When John Wooden, the greatest coach of all time, was asked what he was focused on during his basketball games, his response was, "I am watching to see if my guys are making their cuts in straight lines or curves." Coach Wooden was more interested in how his players were playing, rather than the score of the game. He knew that if his players were making cuts in straight lines, they would be faster than the other team. He knew if his team was faster, his team would win more often.

In our society we judge ourselves and others based on RESULTS. Everything from a person's job title, to how much money one makes, to the type of car we drive. Over time, this results-based thinking sinks in and becomes the norm.

I work with my clients on becoming ABNORMAL using 2 types of goals:

  1. Product Goals. Product goals are result-oriented, and are potentially attainable within the next 12 months. For example, earning 1 million in gross commission for the year, or losing 20 pounds by Christmas.
  2. Process Goals. Process goals refer to what it will take on a daily basis to achieve the product goals. For example, reach out to 12 contacts daily, meet with one elephant provider per week, or spend 60 minutes at the gym 4 days per week.

Normal people focus on product goals. Mentally tough people LEARN to focus on process goals. Get used to the idea that you have to work for greatness. Greatness does not magically happen without channeled effort.

Product goals will make you articulate where you are going, but process goals will get you there.

David Kohl, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech University, has found that individuals who write down their goals will have nine times the success of those who don't put their goals on paper. Yet, Dr. Kohl's research suggests that only 20 percent of our population has goals, and less than 10 percent take the time to write their goals down.

So why is it that so few of us take the time to develop and make note of clear and concise goals?

The reason is, quite simply, that we are lazy.

To dramatically increase the consistency of success, adhere to the following 3 steps:

  1. Post: Hang on a wall somewhere your most important product (result) goal and your 2-3 most important process goals (daily/weekly tasks). The key is to force yourself to look at those goals at least every day.
  2. Block: Set aside time in your calendar daily for the completion of your process goals. The earlier you schedule them in the day, the better chance you have of getting them done.
  3. Honor: Learn to honor your process goal time-blocks just as you would a meeting with your most important client. You already know how to honor time-blocks, you just need to remind yourself that process goal completion is more important than any one meeting with any client.

My experience has been that the single most important thing a person can do to develop mental toughness is to learn to be consistent with process goal completion. Commit at least 5 minutes today to get your goals written down, posted on a wall, and blocked into your calendar.