Be Specific to Get What You Want.

About a month ago, my husband Carl and I were able to take our first ever week-long vacation. It was well-timed… I had just finished up work on the super-successful Dirt Classic Presented by Kasey Kahne and he was capping off a successful racing season, too. We finally had time to sit back, relax and talk about the future for the first time since the previous winter.

Sneaking a moment at the Dirt Classic.

Sneaking a moment at the Dirt Classic. Photo by TJ Root.

See, last year we did something a little bit different – instead of making New Year’s resolutions, we sat down and set our goals and intentions for 2014. We picked a few areas of our life that we wanted to improve on – everything from t-shirt sales and wins to blog subscribers and income levels – and wrote out really specific goals. Thirteen of them, to be exact.

I know, I know. I’ve done this a million times before, too. And what did I do? Stuck that little piece of paper God-knows-where and rarely, if ever, thought about it again.

This time was different, though. Our goals were specific and measurable, with numbers and a timeframe. The other thing that changed? I hung this sheet up on the wall in my office so I could see it regularly. 

(Which also means that every time I got a harebrained idea, Carl could point to that wall and ask if it would get us closer to one of those goals. Eek.)

One thing that Carl had personally been disappointed about was that he hadn’t hit his goal for number of wins this season. He wanted to double the previous year’s win count of four to eight and with only one race left on the season, his win count totaled six.

On our vacation, we took an afternoon to review the season from all perspectives. And it hit me – we had gotten specific with eight wins, but we didn’t specify what kind of wins.

What about winning the Lernerville Speedway Track Championship? That’s a win. Then we got a call this week from a friend sharing some news that clinched it for me: with a second-place finish in his final race, Carl had won the #1 Cochran Cavalcade Points title. Sounds like eight ‘wins’ in 2014 to me.

We seemed to have gotten exactly what we asked for. 

In fact, when we looked at that goal sheet a few weeks ago, we had already hit 11 of 13 goals we’d set out for this year. Numbers 12 and 13? They’re already in progress. I know that taking this approach to goal-setting was the key to us making strides forward in our life.

If you’re working towards a goal – whether that’s finishing your first feature or building the #1 sprint car series in the country – it’s crucial to set specific intentions for what you want.

Then, keep yourself accountable to those intentions. You can do that by:

  • Telling a friend and sharing updates
  • Posting your goals or intentions somewhere you can see them regularly
  • Setting up your goals in an action-provoking phone app like Lift
  • Investing in a coach that’ll help keep you on track (you value what you pay for!)

Are you already thinking about 2015? I am. And goal setting is one big part of that.

To a successful 2015!

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About the author

Kristin Swartzlander Kristin Swartzlander is passionate about applying business sense to racing 'nonsense' in hopes of growing the sport of dirt track racing. She is a business strategist who works with entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them learn how to use public relations, marketing and social media to achieve their goals. Learn more about social media, marketing and racing sponsorship on the DirtyMouth blog.