Perhaps you’ve have heard Denis Waitley’s quote, “Happy people plan actions, they don’t plan results.” You almost have to read that quote twice to understand his message.
There is a psychological test, originally developed by Julian Rotter, called the “Locus of Control” that essentially determines where an individual places the power to control events in their lives – either internally or externally.
Their score indicates whether they take full responsibility for what happens to them, whether they give all the power to their circumstances, or whether, like most people, they fall somewhere in between.
As you can imagine, those with a high external locus of control often feel powerless and victimized. Those with a high internal locus of control usually feel strong, independent, and in charge of their circumstances. You can guess where most entrepreneurs score.
We can choose to be in charge of our circumstances or we can choose to let our circumstances control us. It’s our choice – there are no rules.
To feel more powerful and in control, you must develop a stronger internal locus of control. One of the best ways to do that in your business is by setting action goals instead of results goals.
When you set a results goal you are not 100% in control of the results. You could be dependent upon other people, circumstances, time, or the weather cooperating in order for that goal to be met. If they don’t, you’ll likely be disappointed that you didn’t meet your goal.
It’s not that you didn’t work hard and it’s not that you didn’t plan properly. It’s just that the power to complete some aspect of that goal was not entirely yours.
However, when you set an action goal, one that is based on the action steps you can take entirely on your own (number of phone numbers dialed, miles run, words typed etc.) it is entirely within your power to make that happen.
That means you can meet your goals every time if you so choose. And if you set high enough action goals, the payoff is extraordinary results.