So you’ve addressed your vexed relationship with goal setting, set yourself some meaningful goals, and planned for your worst-case scenario, while actively believing and expecting your best outcome to fruit (see part one of this series).
What next? Now it’s time to turn your goals into your action plan.
I know, I know, you know this already. But have you done it? Are you doing it?
In our quarterly business planning and development sessions inside the Momentum accountability program, we get together to set goals and then turn these into our quarterly sprint action plans, which we then follow together, week-on-week.
Taking a snapshot in time
You’ve set a goal to get from A to B. So first, take a snapshot of time detailing where A is so that you can create some metrics with which to measure your progress.
Let’s take the example of the goal to get more inquiries from a website. The snapshot in time would be how many inquiries are currently coming through per month and how many unique web visitors per month. This gives you two key metrics to monitor.
Chunking it down
In my experience, most people vastly overestimate their ability to achieve a goal because they don’t chunk it down into smaller action steps. ‘Get my new website live’ is a great goal, but leaving it at that will ensure it doesn’t happen.
To get your website live, you need to:
- Write or revise your website navigation
- Write your web pages based on your web navigation document
- Find images for each web page
- Edit and organise each image for their corresponding web pages
- Put all content onto site
- Optimise each page for Google search
- Review website content for errors or edits
- Test website
- Send website live
Chunking each goal down into small action steps will ensure that you’re minimising time on decision making because you have a clear outline of exactly what needs to be done, and you’re reducing the likelihood of becoming overwhelmed by a massive task.
Chunk it smaller
Each action task that takes you towards your goal should take no more than 40 minutes to complete – any longer, and it needs to be chunked further.
Don’t skip this bit – the more manageable you can make each task, the more likely it’ll be done.
A popular fantasy amongst business owners is having the time and space to dedicate great swathes of unbounded time to complete a big task. If you’ve ever had a fantasy about running away from your life to hole up in a cabin the woods or a beach shack and work uninterrupted on your book/creating your course/building your membership/insert dream goal here, then you’re in la-la land. Sorry.
And while I love running away from my family, and do hire AirBNBs periodically to escape to (or run courses and trainings interstate!), can we agree that we’ll get far more done if we can achieve big goals without postponing these indefinitely to the fantasy we’ve invested in?
Your big goals can – and should – have action taken on them every single week. It’s the small, consistent steps that you take towards your big goals that make them your reality, not the one weekend a year that you got jazzed up at a business conference.
We tend to overestimate what we can achieve in a week or month and underestimate what can be done in a year. By flipping this, and taking consistent steps forward towards our goals, we may amaze ourselves with what we’re able to do.
Creating your system to do the work
In our Momentum accountability program, we make the commitment to take three key action steps towards our goals each week. We share and declare these to each other, and then we put our heads down and get it done.
These aren’t three random action steps – they’re taken from our quarterly action plan that each person writes together. (We’re doing this next on May 19.)
Each week, we know exactly what our top three priority tasks are – these take precedence over paid client work, over general marketing and definitely, back-office tasks or admin.
And while this sounds simple in theory, this is where most people come unstuck. In our next installment of ‘how to get what you want’, we explore how to overcome self-doubt, procrastination, and overwhelm, to help you achieve big things.