Goal Setting: Today Tomorrow and the NEXT!
Goal Setting is a HUGE part of my business and life. By nature I’m a very “fly by the seat of my pants” person, and that energy and motivation comes in handy…but my weakness is for sure staying focused and productive. Recognizing that I need goals and a plan to maximize my drive and creativity has been a game changer. Left to my own devices, I’d be running all the time in all directions and procrastinating what really needs to get done! So I started putting more focus and energy into goal setting. As I read different tips and advice, the part of me that hates to be confined by a long term plan just couldn’t wrap my head around planning out an entire month. I wanted to have a plan, but weeks and months at a time was just too much. So I tried to take the long-term advice and make it work for me. I’m guessing there are others like me, overwhelmed by the idea of planning out an entire month or by the prospect of stretching for a goal you’ve never achieved. I see too many people selling themselves short, never putting their true, big, scary goals out there for fear of failure.
My theory is if the goal doesn’t scare you, it’s not big enough!! Figure out YOUR big, scary, audacious goal for the next 30 days, then divide that goal by ten. I apply this to a monthly sales goal, but the process works the same for a personal or fitness goal too. If you want to sell $1,000 in a month, your ten percent goal is $100. If you want to work out 20 times in 30 days to create a new, healthy habit, your ten percent is 2. Now you make a plan to hit that goal over the next three days. I call this my TODAY, TOMORROW, and THE NEXT strategy! I may struggle making a plan for the entire month. But I can have a plan for today, tomorrow and the next. This three day plan is a bite-sized, smaller break down of my bigger goal and it’s much less intimidating. Not only does this create an attainable goal, it also creates the pathway for 10 small wins throughout the month to build confidence and consistent momentum: the two keys I believe to success in life and business.
As I focus on those three day chunks, I make a plan for, in my case, IPA’s or income producing activities. These include both active, things that need me present, and passive, things that can serve my community while I’m away or working on something else. The reason I plan both active and passive IPA’s is to prepare for the inevitable. Kids will get sick, unexpected trips will pop up, life WILL happen. Most people fall off-track with their goals and let a bad day turn into a bad week, and then a bad month, because they get caught off-guard when challenges pop up instead of planning for them. If I have a tentative plan for today, tomorrow and the next, and I need to pivot, I can - because I’m prepared. I call this my “back pocket plan”; I always have something ready in my back pocket to use when life throws a curve ball. That may mean you have to get ahead on a Sunday night to prepare the next week, but that small sacrifice will be priceless when you need it! Again, this works the same for personal goals…maybe you plan to write a book, that sounds daunting, but breaking down a word count goal into three day chunks makes it manageable. If you miss a writing session one day, you can pivot and add to the next two and still hit your goal. Plan to go to morning workout classes the next three days to get in your exercise, but have to miss a day for a school conference? No worries, if you have planned ahead you can shift and have a Youtube video saved to get in a quick at-home workout after putting kids to bed.
Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail.
Just a little bit of planning three days at a time has made a huge difference for me to stay on track and keep those promises to myself, and I hope it helps you too! Let me know in the comments your big, scary goals - I want to celebrate with you! Start chasing those big, scary dreams TODAY, I’m cheering you on!