Food For Thought: State of “Reach”

Food For Thought: State of “Reach”
With less than 3 weeks left of 2014, I’ve finally taken some time today to slow down and evaluate my life and my business. This was actually inspired by my hunt last night for something inspiring to feed my mind when I opted for an early evening cardio session. I decided to log in to my subscription to Success Magazine and listen to the audios that come with every edition.
I was inspired by the audio, as I usually am, and decided to take advantage of a quiet Sunday and read through some of the articles in the January issue of Success on goals setting. It made me realize that it’s far to easy to be satisfied with a state of comfort. By this, I mean it so much easier to stick to routines and habits that we have developed, than it is to push ourselves beyond our comfort zones.
Last week in the gym, I had a quick chat with my good friend John Eliakis. We were both mid-workout and quite winded. He said “This doesn’t get any easier.”  I replied “Nope, you just get stronger.”  Working out is a great analogy for life and business. Just like changing and habit, your first trips to the gym leave you exhausted, and likely hurting for a couple days after. But once your body shifts to accepting a state of consistent growth, which both physically and mentally is a state of constant discomfort, you begin to see consistent results. I like to think of this as a state of “Reach”.
As so many of us start to think about 2015, how can we learn from this fitness example? How can we shift from our immediate state of comfort, which is keeping us stagnant, to a state of “reach”?
Here are some suggestions I will be implementing:
1. Set your “why” goals: Setting arbitrary targets are pointless because you aren’t connected to them. I have a friend to prefers others set goals for him. This reflects his drive to impress others, but it’s not enough connection to use as fuel to overcome obstacles along the way. You must have or develop a vision of where you want to be, ideal 3 years and 1 year from now. This can extend to 5 years as well, but beyond that is hard to keep your focus on. Make your goals align with your personal core values. If these are not clear, write out a personal mission statement for yourself. This is about what you would like to have said about you in your eulogy. This is your statement of legacy.
2. Schedule your time: What gets scheduled gets done. You will never have the opportunity to grow unless you schedule the time. This can be different for everyone, but make it a routine.
3. Inspect what you expect: You need to know your starting point to monitor your progress. If you have a fitness goal, get your starting weight and body measurements, along with other data like BMI or whatever metric is important to you (side note: try to avoid only using weight as your measurement if your goal is to get healthier. As your fitness level increases, your body composition changes. You may not lose any weight in a week but you’ve actually converted body fat to muscle and measurements will better reflect that.) For your measurements, ensure they reflect your true goal identified above.  Your business goals could be specific to revenue, net profit, number of new clients, or community impact (ensure you can specifically measure this). Maybe it’s growth reflected by new job creation.
4. Break it down: Go back to your goals, and identity what has to happen for you to be on track at 6 months, 3 months, 1 month, and this week. Breaking your goals down allow you the ability to measure your progress weekly, even daily. It also helps give you that extra kick when you get discouraged and feel like taking a day off for the wrong reasons. Were you short in your goal last week? What do you need to do to make up for it this week?  And don’t let excuses get in the way. Practice looking yourself in the mirror and calling yourself out on your excuses. Excuse: “My email was down”. Your reply in the mirror: “So… How will I make up for that this week?” When things change daily, you need to respond accordingly. You should be so connected to your goal that your desire to achieve it is never hindered by a bad day or week.
5. In sight, in mind: Keep your goals where you will see them everyday. Structure them so your longer-term goals (1,3 years) are positioned visually. This could be a vision/dream board where you have images representing what you want, or you could draw images of you achieving your goals. Break daily and weekly tasks into “to do” or check lists. Physically checking things off a list helps you actually feel the progress you are making.
6. Celebrate your wins: Celebrate, and do it big!  This is all a mind game that you need to master with yourself. Reward yourself for achieving goals that show you are on track. The other side of this, that often is overlooked, is that celebrating big allows your mind to create a positive snapshot of that moment. When the roller coaster that is your business and life starts to get scary, these images of celebration can help keep you focused. Even take videos or photos of the celebration to help you revisit those moments.
I would love your feedback on these steps, and would love to hear how you will implement them. I hope you have a fantastic holiday season, and even more so, a wildly successful 2015. “Reach” everyday and your success will blow your mind.
Get Uncomfortable. Get Results.
 – Jeremy S. DeMerchant, The Startup Sales Strategist


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