What is holding you back?

breakoutCongratulations, you did it! You’ve identified your top goal—the one that is going to take your business to the next level—and now everything is going to be sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. Not so fast! While you may have thought the goal planning process was the hard part, the real hard part is the doing.

Getting started on the doing is a common roadblock that gets in everyone’s way. So what is the difference between a goal idea and a completed goal?

One word: Commitment.

The main reason most of us don’t get started on a goal is that we never commit to it. Motivational expert Tony Robbins said it best, “There’s no abiding success without commitment.”

To help you make the leap and achieve your goal, here are four ways to help you get committed:

1. Write it down

Writing your goals on paper or in an electronic format forces you to articulate and clarify the goal. No longer will this concept of a goal be confined in your mind, but now a clear vision of the future will live outside of your head. Additionally, having a list of goals enables you to remember and, by frequently reviewing your list of goals, you can remind yourself of what is important as you prioritize your time.

When writing down your goals, we suggest you write them in SMART format, meaning each goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. There are many resources about how to make SMART goals online.

2. Tell a friend

After you write it down, you need to commit and communicate it with someone. That someone doesn’t necessarily have to hold you accountable, but if you know someone is aware of your goal and may expect updates, then you are more likely to do what you need to do.

In fact, researchers found that telling a friend about your goal and your goal progress can increase your goal achievement significantly. Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University of California, found that goal achievement could almost double (from 43% achievement to 77% achievement) when you write down actionable goals, share them with a friend and send regular updates to that friend versus just thinking about your goal. This brings new meaning to the power of friendship.

3. Raise the stakes

If you want to kick commitment up a notch, put some money on the line. The website stickK was developed specifically to help people achieve their goals by leveraging motivation and accountability. On the site you create a commitment contract according to your terms, if you break the commitment, then you pay. You have some flexibility regarding who you pay, maybe a charity or a person, but, to make things really interesting, try an anti-charity. They found anti-charities (e.g., a Republican having to make a donation to the Democratic party) very motivating since you are not only parting with your money if you break your contract, but it goes to an organization you don’t want to support.

4. Leverage a partner or coach

If a friend isn’t the best source of accountability for your goal, try leveraging a coach or an aligned strategic partner. Coaches have long been used by advisors looking to overcome obstacles and reach new levels of success. There are a wide variety of coaches and coaching programs available, so make sure you find a coaching program or coach that aligns with your specific goals.

Aligned strategic partners may also be a good resource to help you with your accountability since they are motivated to help you succeed. Our firm, Bellatore, has consistently partnered with our advisory clients to help them achieve their goals faster. By bringing together aligned people, you increase your support network and potential to achieve your goal.

Whether you want to transition your business to fee-based, increase your revenue or right-size your firm, you need to get committed to your cause. Making a solid commitment to your goal and taking actionable steps to meet it puts you on the path to success. Why wait? Get committed today!