How To Reach Business Goals Easily & Happily
5 Principles For Your Goals & Action Plans In 2023
I don't know about you, but I'd love to reach business goals easily and happily. But without certain principles in play when you set goals and action plans, it can feel like a disaster from the get go.
Ever set a goal and watch that goal and action plan fall apart within the first couple weeks after?
Or set a goal so clearly far reaching that you can only be disappointed with the outcome?
I definitely have. And I can say with certainty that feeling like a failure does nothing for my motivation or for reaching business goals with focus and ease.
So in the spirit of making this year as transformative as I’d like it to be, I’ve changed up my approach. And it’s based on 5 principles to reach business goals easily and happily.
1. More is not better. Better is better.
This means I’m actually dropping certain things that usually hit my always-on-the-resolution list in favor of getting way more clear on just a couple key priorities (3 max goals/priorities + 1 fun event that will also be a motivator).
That way, when I go to make decisions and take action, I can clearly differentiate whether the thing in question gets me closer to achieving my priorities or takes me further away. As author Neil Gaimond asks himself, does this get me closer to the “mountain” or not?
Also, sometimes priorities conflict or get conveniently used as excuses. Or worse, leaves me feeling guilty for not following through.
Let’s take weight loss or getting “fit” or “healthy” as an example. These sorts of goals always seem to end up on my list. And trust me, having just come off a cruise, I’m ready for some healthiness.
But I also know that in these last 2 ½ years to my son graduating from high school and heading off to college, if I have to choose between the financial health that will help both our freedom and physical health that has more to do with social expectations than any real disconnect… or between a real conversation with my teenage son and time I could spend at the gym… the gym is getting dropped.
Yes, I KNOW all the ways to combine the two. I don’t need suggestions on the how. My point is I don’t want to waste brain space, emotional capacity, or nasty things like guilt on something that I feel like I should do but isn’t my top priority.
And I kinda feel like I might be MORE healthy by dropping health from my goals. It doesn’t mean I can’t go to the gym or can’t eat healthy. I’m just going to stop giving myself a hard time for not being f**king perfect.
Because I’m not.
Now, just because I’ve narrowed my priorities, that doesn’t mean that distractions won’t creep in or there won’t be some amazing shiny object to sideline me.
I recognize that this will be an ongoing process of weeding out the unnecessary as I go. So with that said, I’m going to…
2. Put the biggest, most important things first… and keep them there
This one is practical but critical. Whether this happens in my big planning or in the daily action taking... it’s based on the idea of filling a bucket with the big rocks first, then the medium, and then the sand/water. If you start with all the little stuff, the big never fits in.
But what I don’t think that analogy talks about enough is that you can put the big rocks in first, but unless they are locked in somehow, it’s easy for the sand/water to backfill over them the moment you’ve shifted, moved or displaced them.
It’s not enough to identify them.
It’s not enough to schedule them.
I need to honor them too.
And that’s where I usually get tripped up. Because unlike a calendar appointment with another person, which I will rarely skip, those “deep work” slots in my calendar don’t come with the same hurt or discomfort when I shift them.
After all, it’s just my time. I’ve got more, right?
You can see how this can fall apart. Especially when I honor my time less than I honor others.
So how do I make sure I’m putting in big priorities first and then keeping them there? I’m not sure I know the answer yet, but I’m definitely going to be working through some techniques.
Maybe it’s having an accountability partner.
Maybe it’s about getting solid on the value of my time.
Maybe it’s that my goals are so clear this year that I can see exactly how I let myself and that purpose down when I treat appointments with myself as less important than those with other people.
Either way, this one is something I’ve struggled with, but I’m recognizing more and more as a key lesson to ensure I reach my goals.
And the next lesson to share is… it’s not just about action-taking.
3. The WAY I take action is as important as, if not more important than, the action plan I create
I can choose to take action from two places.
From a place of worthiness, abundance and integrity.
OR from a place of shame, insecurity, and lack.
There really isn’t an in between.
So when I’m caught up in fear or doubt or anxiety… even if I’m doing all the “right” things… that’s not where I want to be.
It’s long been my philosophy that you have two real freedoms in life… actions and attitude. But I always thought of them as two different things. Like if I at least choose the right actions, then I’m good.
But I’m realizing that not only is that NOT correct, but I’ve been allowing it to derail me… A LOT.
I can be doing the right things but doing them from the wrong place internally. And it’s directed me into less than pleasant situations as a result.
Let’s say I eliminate an expense from my monthly spending.
I can decide to cut back like this because I have wealth accumulation goals and I’m excited about what freeing up that cash flow will do for me and my future.
As a result, I feel amazing, I reinforce my good decision with the knowledge that I’m doing the right things, and I’m more likely to see and attract other ways of achieving my goals and be ready to take those steps.
Or I can do it because I’m feeling scarcity.
Thoughts pop in like I might lose out on something else or there isn’t enough to go around. Or if we want to get really ick… I’ve made mistakes which make me feel “unworthy” for what I’m paying for and I have to make reparation.
I feel like sh*t, I beat myself up, and I don’t really want to make the choice but feel like I have to. Oh and the next time I’m presented with a similar spend/no spend decision, I’m more emotionally wired to spend, simply to relieve the angst and pressure I’ve been putting myself under.
Substitute in for “reducing cash flow” anything from investing money to eating sweets or drinking alcohol to criticizing/gossiping about yourself or others… In fact, insert your vice of choice and just look how the problem accumulates by taking the “right” action with an attitude of unworthiness.
If I’m feeling unworthy, I’m in the wrong energy even if it’s the right action.
4. 10x-ing my goals, but not 10x-ing the pressure
When I think about my goals, especially the financial ones for this year, it’s easy to get into a state of average thinking.
I can take my goals and do the math of course.
If I have so much desired revenue and I divide that by the average revenue per client then by the average close rate etc etc… somewhere I get to a number of leads that my business needs to generate.
But then… I just default to the usual strategies. Things I’ve done before. And for some people, that would be a guaranteed win.
But my business isn’t there yet. And neither is it for most of my clients.
Plus, if I’m feeling that whole scarcity bit, I’m likely to take the safe route. The comfortable route. The one that doesn’t push me too much.
And also if I’m feeling the scarcity and fear, I’m likely to buy into someone else’s strategy for my business, distracting me from my mountain and what works for me.
The usual strategies (and the usual feeling of unworthiness that accompanies it) is not going to get me where I want to go or allow me to help the type and volume of people I want to help.
So I’m 10x-ing my goals.
Not because I need to reach the number. I’ve tried that in the past, even to the point of bargaining or trying to entice myself to succeed - and all I get is more scarcity! More unworthiness! And I know I’ll need to work on embracing my worthiness of the new setpoints as I go.
But right now, I’m 10x-ing my goals because I want the creativity it brings.
A $50k strategy is different $500k strategy is different than a $5m strategy is different than a $50m strategy.
If I go for $50m, it’s kinda like “Yikes! That’s major transformation for me.” But it also informs how I’d need an entirely different strategy than the $500k strategy or the $5m strategy.
10x-ing my goal is allowing me to reimagine how I serve people, how I capture bigger opportunities. I’m thinking about my business, my team, even myself, in an entirely new light.
And the courage to go after the bigger things becomes more necessary. Easier to tap into.
I don’t want to create a $50m strategy this year with $50k client opportunities or $50k resources. That’s a slog. It feels demotivating before I even start.
To 10x, everything has to be bigger, better, and most importantly… different.
Sure, I can chip away at the little safe things. I can do what the “experts” tell me to do.
Or I can revamp my goals, get into creativity mode, and embrace a totally reimagined and far more impactful, exciting, and aligned business.
5. It’s all about bringing it together
While each of these feel key as I go full on into this year, it’s what happens by bringing them together that gets me most excited.
Because each depends on the other for true and enjoyable success.
Simplifying what my “mountain” is and keeping those priorities front and center makes daily action taking and respecting my personal time commitments easier. It helps me see the worthiness in me and in what I’m trying to do.
10x-ing that mountain… it actually makes the mountain easier to see and steer toward, with creative solutions that were otherwise hidden when trying to reach ordinary and “reasonable.”
When I feel and embrace the abundance and worthiness of myself first, I more easily tap into the courage to move toward my priorities.
Plus I see the worthiness of my goals and the commitments I’m making to achieve them. They are worth the risks and the natural discomfort.
What are your key principles for this year? How will you better achieve your goals and follow your action plans in the coming year?