How to Smash Large Goals in 90 Days or Less
I've spent this entire year setting up targets and hitting them ... in record time.
For a guy who used to resemble a deer in the headlights every time someone mentioned goal-setting ... this is a great place to be.
Driven mainly by a bulletproof blueprint for optimal time management - The 12-Week Year by Brian Moran - I'm setting my sights on targets no one can yet see.
It would be unprofessional not to share this. Time, unlike money, is a fixed and finite resource. We're locked in a permanent scorched-earth battle with it. The only way to get time on your side is to get in front of it.
The Problems of Time
For business owners, time is probably the most mismanaged, misallocated resource we have. Executives are even more prone, and there's nothing worse than the feeling that you're working the hardest you ever have ... and getting nothing done.
Most coaches, consultants and professionals I speak to use the allegory of Matt Emmons, the infamous US Olympic archer who shot an absolute bullseye for a gold medal ... and hit the wrong target, ending up with a zero score.
But it could be worse. You could be that "jack of all trades, master of none" stereotype. The entrepreneur who has their hands in so many different areas of their business, they can't extricate themselves long enough to muster a decent executive performance.
Whatever the case for you, I'm not here to lecture. Time management isn't my skill set. I'm here to report genuine, quantitative and qualitative progress, by following the wisdom of people who are very good at it.
The main idea of The 12-Week Year is that you select, over the planned period, the top two or three things you really want to accomplish. In my most recent plan, I had the following:
- Conduct an ongoing publicity marathon and submit a final manuscript of my next book, Influencer Networking Secrets, to my publisher.
- Increase monthly revenue to my agency by 50 percent.
As you can imagine, these both contain plenty of details and activities. Editing, cover design, rewriting, podcast interviews, bookings and so forth for the book. Prospecting, following up, sending notes, conducting podcast interviews and staying on the radar of potential clients for the revenue increase.
You have to steer the ship toward the next port where you can make a profit and nourish your business at its roots. Otherwise, you'll experience the drifting sensation of working hard all day and getting nothing done.
How the 12-Week Year Works
Once you know the top two or three goals you want to accomplish, you break them down into tasks.
Once you know the tasks, you divide them across the 60 or so working days you have during the stretch.
For example, I wanted to add 2-3 new clients between June and September of this year. Now, I've already long since done that, and continue to add more up to the time of writing.
In order to achieve the goal, I needed to book one guest per week on my podcast, send 2-3 messages a week to warm leads, and open a conversation with one new prospect per week through mutual relationships.
That might sound like a very limited amount of work, if you're used to dialing for dollars. Or, it might make your heart beat a little faster, if you're introverted and nervous about social interaction.
This approach, however, straddles the middle ground between both. For the extroverted schmooze like me, it means I "have to stop" after one guest.
For my wife, who prefers life behind the scenes, it means she "gets to stop" after the nerve-wracking ordeal of pushing "Send" on a friendly invitation to a stranger to get acquainted.
Since we're on the subject, I'm going to make a goal of approaching Brian for a podcast interview. Don't be surprised if you see him on the show; in fact, I recommend you subscribe to the Influencer Networking Secrets podcast so you don't miss it.
I'll keep you posted.