The start of the new calendar year.
Full of opportunities just waiting for you.
Hopefully you’ve reflected over the break on what you want to achieve this year.
What are you doing to convert those goals into achievements?
Here’s a four-step strategy to give your goals a much greater chance of becoming reality this year.
Step 1 – Adopt a Theme
I decided on adopting a theme for the calendar year ahead.
My theme is ‘Leveraged Simplicity’.
What does this mean?
Leveraged Simplicity is about leveraging success through simplicity. It is me conducting more activities of choice that I enjoy doing. As in any business and lifestyle, it also includes doing things that I need to do through necessity or obligation.
I have committed to Minimum Effective Dose (MED) on the activities that I need to conduct. And nothing more. MED is about understanding that there is a minimum amount of energy expended on an activity to deliver the outcome sought.
More is not better. The MED is enough to deliver the required outcome.
More sugar in the cake ruins the recipe. More Gin in the G&T doesn’t improve it. Spending more hours on networking to the wrong audience doesn’t increase sales.
Leverage time and effort.
Simplicity is choosing what to do once you have applied MED to leverage your time and effort on non-negotiable commitments.
Part of Leveraged Simplicity is choosing not to fill up all my unallocated time with busy-ness.
Simplicity is me allocating time to projects or leisure on a relaxed, organized and enjoyable basis. On my terms.
The simplicity aspect is critical in not over-committing to projects, people or activities that risk rendering me overwhelmed or exhausted.
Leveraged Simplicity for me is about getting the maximum benefit from flow. Flow is finding rhythm between my business and personal life.
So, I encourage you to pick a theme for the year that is powerful for you.
It must resonate and pass one test.
Each time you monitor your progress throughout the year, ask yourself “Am I honouring my theme?”
Step 2 – Set SMART Goals
SMART Goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based.
I’ve nominated a series of 5 goals under Health, Family & Friends, Business, Finance & Projects. Within Projects, there are four nominated projects for the year.
These goals are documented in writing for regular reference and periodic review.
Set your SMART Goals and write them down.
Step 3 – Set 7/30/90 Day Action Plans
The year ahead seems a long time at the beginning of the year.
But then you get busy, side-tracked and beaten up.
Time runs away and before you know it you’re hating yourself for not achieving your SMART Goals.
To short circuit this, I believe it’s critical to break your goals into bite-size incremental pieces.
By setting 7,30 and/or 90-day action plans it allows you to step out a sequence of actions you need to complete to achieve each goal.
Again, these should be documented for easy reference and accountability.
Step 4 – Monitor your SMART Goals
It seems like common-sense but common-sense aint that common.
You must monitor your goals systematically throughout the year.
I use a 30/90 Day rotation combined with Day Sheets for the working week.
At the end of each week, I review my forward schedule and fill out my Day Sheets for the week ahead. In addition, I use Outlook to set reminders on actions/projects.
At the end of each month, I review my goals and note achievements and identify performance gaps. This cycle continues on a quarterly, bi-annual and annual basis.
Monitoring is like using the rear-view mirror and windscreen in your car.
The big piece of glass in front of you is the future and you’re driving towards it.
The little glass mirror is the rear-view mirror. As tempting as it is to look ahead through the windscreen, you also need to check the rear-view mirror to see what’s behind you.
Check your goals using both the windscreen and rear-view mirror.
And check regularly.
Better to identify that performance gap in real time and diarise actions to achieve your goal while the year is still present.
Adopt a Theme.
Set SMART Goals.
Set 7/30/90 Day Action Plans.
Monitor your progress on achieving goals regularly and systematically.
To start creating sustainable success in your business and life, download a copy of my eBook 'The Success Algorithm' which details my process to work less and earn more. You can get a free copy on the Giveaways page of my website. Plus some bonus videos from my Fourth Moon video series to reach your goals sooner!
All the best,
Darren K Bourke
Connect with Darren on LinkedIN here.