If you look around the business blogosphere you hear a lot about goals. Track everything, know what winning is, quantify every action, etc. It’s all data and finite, quantifiable actions. I have nothing against this, in fact, I agree. I think it’s hugely important to track your actions and have definable goals to know if you’re winning or not. The problem I’ve seen though, is, what happens when you reach your goal? What happens when you figure out if you’ve won or not? How do you keep winning?
The obvious answer is, create another goal. Figure out what worked and repeat. That’s all well and good but let’s call a spade a spade, you’re creating habits. You’re figuring out what’s working then repeating your actions to get the same or better results.
Why not step back from the continual rat race of chasing goals and figure out what habits you, and your company as a whole, exhibit which make you successful? What habits were required to win that big deal? Or revamp your website? Or create an awesome customer experience? And on the flip side, which habits hindered your ability to reach your goal?
Let’s pause for a moment and take a look at another industry, the diet industry. What works and what doesn’t work. Every year there’s a new fad. Don’t eat meat, eat only meat, eat organic, cut calories, whatever, there’s always a fad. And every fad is marketed by the end result, the goal. A guy, 200lbs overweight, then a picture of him with a 6-pack. What an awesome goal, right? Get fit, get healthy, look like him. And a lot of times the fads work, people do get heathy, well at least they get skinny.
The problem is, after they reach their goal they usually bounce right back, they gain back most of their weight pretty quickly. Why is this? Simple, they didn’t create the right habits. They were so focused on the goal they forgot what happens after they reach it. So once they reached it, they had a big sigh of relief and then started eating again.
Back to businesses. Once you reach your goals, what then? Have you created a sustainable process? Have you created internal habits which will not only allow you stay at your goals but to continue building them? Or do you have to go back to the drawing board each time around?
The more I learn about culture, communication, goals, revenue, and just life in general, the more I’ve realized it’s all about the right habits. Do the little things really well and just keep building on them. The best businesses all rely on great habits, even if they don’t say it out loud.
So my question to you is, what habits do you have? How about your company? Are they helping you or hurting you?