In the previous post we discussed how to set your goals. As a result of this you should now have a clear view of your long-term vision, your 3-5 priorities for the year, and your 3 goals for the next quarter.
We’ll now look at turning your goals into processes.
You may have heard of the phrase ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’ (inspired by a quip attributed to management guru, Peter Drucker). I think it’s just as true that ‘processes eat goals for breakfast’. Get the processes right and the goals almost become inevitable. Fail to turn your goals into processes and your chances of consistent and significant progress is limited.
Turning your goals into processes can seem a complicated task, but here are my top three strategies to help you guarantee success by the end of this year.
Turn your timeline goals into 5 main moves
The majority of goals tend to be things that are achieved over a timeline sequence with a number of steps required to attain your goal. For example, the steps involved in setting up a business, writing a book or buying a house. This may sound obvious but all too often we fail to consciously and deliberately break large goals into the right steps and so these goals remain distant fantasies and can often seem overwhelming. The solution? Five main moves.
Consider a goal that you have for this year. What are the five major moves or landmarks that will take you from where you are now to the completion of your goal? Remember, no more than five.
This may be harder for some goals than others, but the minute you break large goals into five main moves you get clarity on exactly what needs to happen for you to achieve it. And just as importantly, once you know your five main moves, you’ll understand that until you have completed ‘move one’ you no longer need to worry about moves 2 to 5. This allows you to spend all of your time, energy and resources on your first move
Turn your lifestyle goals into 1-3 key habits
Not all goals are best served by breaking them down into steps or moves. You may have already noticed that one of your goals for this year doesn’t really work with the above method. For example, what if your goal is around losing weight, increasing sales or reading more books? These types of goals still require being broken down into a process but a different approach is necessary. The solution is deciding and implementing the 1 to 3 key habits that will make achieving your goal inevitable.
Begin by brainstorming all of the things that you could do to make progress towards your goal. Take weight loss as an example. You could list things like, eat less saturated fat, eat more vegetables, go to the gym more regularly, workout every morning at home, sleep more, drink more water…the list goes on. But you can’t do it all. Instead, pick the one, two or three key habits that you feel will make the biggest difference to your goal.
Calendarise your moves and turn your habits into routines
Now you need to book in your calendar your main moves, and turn your key habits into routines.
Main moves – book the specific days or times over the coming months when you will take action on your main moves. When specifically are you going to do this stuff?
Key habits – start small and make it as easy as possible. Don’t be overly ambitious at first, start small and build on your success.
Turning your goals (‘what’) into processes (‘how’), as outlined above, will make all the difference. Experiment and try things out – some things may not work initially but small tweaks and you’ll soon be creating systems that will make achieving your goals inevitable. Enjoy the process.
3 point review
- Turn your timeline goals into 5 main moves
- Turn your lifestyle goals into 1-3 key habits
- Calendarise your moves and turn your habit into routines