I am a goal setter for sure and make extensive use of calendars and task organisation software for scheduling client work so I’m pretty organised there. But last week I watched Marie Forleo talking about how she plans her week and I realised there was room for improvement. My business goals have always been a list of things I review when I get down-time in-between client work. You know, at the end of the quarter, the calendar year or the financial year. But at these times I am looking back and can’t change the result! Looking back is not as useful as being in the now and thinking forward. I actually do believe in the power of setting goals and trusting this to unconsciously steer you towards them (yeah I read The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo early in life!). It does work but… if you’ve got a lofty vision, you’ll need to plan, in detail, and ‘check-in’ on a daily basis. Otherwise, you might find it’s a really slow path to success.
Why? Let me explain.
When you plan, it forces you to break things down into tasks and think about the time it actually takes to do these things. There’s really only so much we can achieve in a week so if you have a big list of general goals you’re unlikely to tick things off each week so you won’t get that feeling of moving forward. It feels really good to look back at a well planned week and see what you’ve achieved. In fact it’s a well researched aspect of human happiness. I think half the time we have the big plans but not the detail that’s needed. And it’s the detail which holds accountable and moves us forward. Detail provides tasks for action and action turns dreams into reality.
The way I start this process is often just with pen and paper but I always end up in Xmind creating a mind map as I find it’s super simple and quick. Once you have your lofty goals sorted, take some time to break it down. Which task is key to your next step for your business? That’s the one to focus on for now. What’s the first task for that? Write it up as your goal this week.
Have a good week.