Step 1: Dream
Think about what you really want – this is the key. Most of the time we set goals based on what we can do or should do. If this year is going to be different and better, stretch your thinking to what you really would like to have happen.
For example, if your business is in Foundation and it isn’t fulfilling and isn’t really making you happy, now is the time to change. If you have a larger established business and it isn’t fulfilling, have your team run it day to day and find something else that will give you the fulfilment you need. This step requires complete honesty with what is or will make you happy. Take some time over this because it’s the foundation of creating the life – and the business – you want.
Step 2: Believe
Amazing things happen. But if you don’t believe you have a hope in hell of achieving the goals you set, then you won’t. Being such a left brain thinker, my challenge is always to have belief when I can’t see how something will happen. My default position is to have the roadmap and then I proceed.
However, I’ve learned in recent years through actual experience, that once I decide to do something all I need is to take the first step toward it and the next steps after that will unfold.
Step 3: Decide
Sounds easy but this is the hard part. If you don’t believe you can actually achieve something then you will never be able to decide to do it. Decisions provide momentum and action. Decide to do something and that sets you on the path to achieving it. If you haven’t decided (because you don’t really believe you can do it or you don’t really want to do it) then nothing will happen.
Genuinely wanting to do or achieve something and believing it’s possible, underpin the decision to do it.
Step 4: Create
This is where the action comes in. Have your monthly planner at hand! This is your high-level map for what you need to focus on each month.
If, for example, you’ve decided to spend more time with friends and family this year, what does that look like? Regular get togethers, attending school events, celebrating birthdays, weekends away – don’t go overboard but start with what you’d like to do to make this happen. Remember, this isn’t your diary, this is a planner to make sure you make time for the really important things that will help you achieve the things you really want.
If, for example, you want to make more money this year, how do you think that will happen? Is it from within your business or something new that exists outside of your business? Is it through better financial planning?
Start with the first few steps. For example, you may decide you need the advice of a professional financial planner so you decide to ask your friends for referrals to someone they would recommend. You may meet with a couple of finance experts first before deciding on a person or company to work with. First steps – put key events onto your planner. You may enter two meetings for January and then the next steps will flow from there into the rest of the month and into February.
If you want to make some changes to your business, your very first step may be to set a date for a strategic planning retreat with your team. Put it in your planner and the preparation and organisation that needs to happen before that date can also be entered onto the planner. These events are non-negotiable and can’t be shifted or cancelled (unless you absolutely have to). Once the planning retreat has happened there will be key actions and events that need to happen to take you closer to your overall business goals for the year.
Step 5: Visibility
Keep your planner visible to you and have one for your team. Your personal planner will have the key actions and events that you need to take to make your goals happen this year. An ‘event’ could be a meeting, travel, an actual event to attend, a deadline when you have to have something done by, or a regular activity.
The planner sits on the wall in the study and is visible every time I’m in there. At the end of every month, when I’ve ticked everything off, I put up a new sheet for the next month.
Work though steps 1 to 5 and give it a try. Each step is as important as the other, and once you’ve genuinely passed step 3, you’re well and truly ready to make things happen this year. Go for it!