Learning how to set goals – and to then achieve them – is a vital skill for every travel agent to acquire – but not at any price. Far too many business people have learned the hard way that the costs paid for success can be too dear. Our physical well-being, our spiritual life and our families can suffer if we are willing to sacrifice too much and too often at the altar of our careers. Instead, let’s learn to set goals in a way that is not only balanced, but which will assist in achieving a well-rounded set of priorities.
Establishing goals is a very personal process with its origins in our individual desires. The concept of setting a goal goes to the very question of what you want from not only your travel practice, but from the relationships around you and, indeed, your very life. The proper balance of our wants and desires will shape the goals. Do you want more money? Free time? Opportunities to travel? Some of these, all of these? You can see that the determination of what you want, and the establishment of goals, will in turn shape the resulting marketing plan.
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As you develop your sales goals for your travel consulting practice, it is a good time to also look at the other areas of your life and begin to develop personal goals there as well. The reason is fairly simple – realization of goals requires the whole person. If you give up your health, your mental well-being or your important family time then the rewards for achieving your goals in business will be diminished. Here is a simple exercise that will assist you in determining how balanced perspective on your goals might be. I have borrowed heavily here from the work of sales expert Don Hutson on goal setting and achieving balance.
- List the areas of your life in which you want to set goals for yourself. Suggestions: career, family, financial, social, physical, educational, spiritual;
- For each area, write a one-line description of where you want to be in one year with relation to each area. Remember to be specific with each goal.
- Next, if your one-line goal is a “10”, write down on a scale of 1 – 10 where you are right now.
- Compare the numbers in each area of your life. When the numbers are relatively equal across the board in each area, you are achieving a good balance. Where there is wide variations in the degree of achievement, that area of your life could use some work!
Each area supports the other. Having good health means we can work and play harder. Having time to educate ourselves means we will be more clever at work or more versatile in our social life. Spending quality time with our family permits us to work hard when needed at our career. After all, achieving our goals is only important when we can enjoy the rewards.