GOAL SETTING IS OVERRATED
This year I’ve launched three information products, created a global magazine consultancy service, supported my Private Clients, as well as doing all the day-to-day stuff that’s allowed my core businesses to buck the trend and continue to grow in a market that’s declining.
In addition, I’m heavily involved in charity work, I help my teenage boys run their craft stall at the weekends, and I run a number of business projects in my own time.
Now I don’t say this to impress you, but to make a point…
Fact is I don’t have any more time than the average person. In fact you could say that I’m more challenged than most! My wife, Hazel calls me a ‘restless visionary’. I’m continually looking at what I can do next. As such I needed to create a system that would allow me to implement as quickly as my imagination conjures up new ideas.
And that’s when I realised that goal setting is massively over-rated.
You see the language just isn’t right.
‘Setting’ a goal is far too much about the intention and less about the actual implementation. After all a ‘set’ goals makes no impact on your business or your life until it’s a tangible reality.
And that’s why I’m a huge advocate for goal-getting. Whilst this may be a mere semantic difference, my proven system allows me to implement more in just a few months than most business owners deliver in a year.
And it’s this goal-getting process that I’d like to share with you in this chapter.
Re-programme your year into 90-day chunks
Most people struggle to implement quickly because of the time span they focus on.
I blame five, three, and even one-year plans for this tardiness. There’s just no urgency! As such, an idea goes unexplored or if the plan is implemented then the moment has often passed and the reality falls far short of the expectations.
In our fast paced digital age you can’t afford to sit back and wait. Instead you have to crack on – just like the big boys at Google, Intel, and Mind Candy (to name just a few).
That’s why the crux of my goal-getting system is to break the year into four 90-day cycles.
In each of these cycles I get focused on implementing the projects and ideas that I know will make the biggest impact NOW. And this is a system that you too could easily follow.
Let me outline the five steps:
1) Celebrate your success
Firstly, you’ve got to start from a positive perspective. You’ll find this will significantly boost your motivation and help expand what you believe is possible. This positive focus is a great method of cutting through the self doubt and helping you to think big. And it’s very easy to do. Simply make a list of your achievements (both personally and professionally) and keep topping up your tally.
I think you’ll be surprised at the amount you have accomplished when you make the effort to write it down. But the really gem is how these positive references will help stretch the expectations you have of yourself as you get ready to kick-start your rapid implementation.
2) What’s important to you?
With a positive mindset, my next step is to think about the next 90 days.
I usually take a day out of the business to do this and get clear on what needs my urgent attention. For example:
- Is it a threat I must overcome?
- Or a need to respond to market pressures?
- Or is it a big project I want to deliver that I feel is going to make a big wave in my business?
The secret here is to focus on the pressing priorities of the here and now – not what I thought would matter when I crafted a five-year plan three years ago!
Remember… Times change – fast – and this cutting edge focus means I’m always pushing forward with the most relevant plans and projects – and realising the benefits of their implementation while timing is optimal.
3) Break each objective down into bite-size chunks
Once I’ve identified the three or four key projects that are going to get my focus over the next 90 days, my next step is to break the task down into easy to implement bite-sized chunks.
Remember the old saying… how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time of course!
This chunking is important because it helps to reduce overwhelm (which can lead to procrastination) and kick-start some rapid progress.
Next, I schedule time in my diary where I’ll attack each chunk. This day-to-day progress keeps me tightly focused and on track. This work discipline also drives the momentum needed to make the delivery of a big project less daunting.
4) Do it!
Planning is one thing… the most important part of the goal-getting process comes next – IMPLEMENTATION.
During this step I’ll crack on ‘doing’ the individual tasks that I identified in step 3.
I’ve found that the best way to do this is to aim for 90 minutes of focused activity each day. I protect this time religiously and schedule it into my diary. People know not to disturb me and it works. I get loads done, but more importantly I still have plenty of time for all the day-to-day stuff. With this discipline in place I still have time for all the day-to-day stuff so the core business doesn’t suffer because I’m distracted elsewhere.
5) Review and repeat the 90-day cycle
When I come to the end of the 90 days, I review what’s worked and what hasn’t – in preparation to start the cycle again.
The review is a valuable bonus of this system. That’s because you discover very quickly if an idea will have the impact you anticipated. If it has then brilliant, but if not, the time wasted is minimal. What’s more, I’ve always learnt something valuable which allows me to attack the next set of 90 day priorities with fresh insight.
My 90-Day Goal Getting System works brilliantly for me (and for others) – because it helps me deliver the projects that build success. If you’d like to discover more about this process and how you could apply it to your business, simply click here.