In the previous video and article we discussed how to set your year 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 a specific goal for each priority that you will accomplish by the end of this year. We’ll now look at turning your goals into processes.
If you haven’t yet watched the video or got to that stage yet, I’d encourage you to start there and get clear about your goals for the next 12 months before returning to this.
You may have heard of the term ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’ (inspired by a quip attributed to management guru, Peter Drucker). It can also be said 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 be a complicated task, but here are my top three tips or principles to help guarantee success by the end of this year.
1. Turn chronological goals into 5 major 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 major 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 or less than five.
This may be harder for some goals than others, but the minute you break large goals into five major moves you get clarity on exactly what needs to happen for you to achieve it. And just as importantly, once you know your five major moves, you’ll understand that until you have completed move one you no longer need to worry about moves 2 to 5. This gives you greater understanding and allows you to spend all of your time, energy and resources on the first move.
2. Turn other goals into 1-3 key habits
Not all goals are best served by breaking them down into steps or major moves. You may have already noticed that one of your goals for this year doesn’t really work with the above method. For example, if your goal is about 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? Deciding and implementing the 1 to 3 key habits that will make achieving the goal inevitable.
For any goal that you feel would benefit from this approach, 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, increase your vegetable portions, 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 and you shouldn’t even try! Instead, pick the one, two or three key habits that you feel will make the biggest difference and then turn them into routines. Which bring us to step 3.
3. Calendarise the next three months and set specific quarterly goals
The final step in turning goals into processes is committing yourself to making progress. If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to book in your calendar your major moves, and turn your key habits into routines.
Goals ultimately will only be achieved through action!
Major moves – book the specific days or times over the coming three months where you will take action on your major moves. I don’t think it’s much use booking in further than three months ahead, although you may disagree. When specifically are you going to do this stuff?
Key habits – start small and start easy. Don’t be overly ambitious at first but instead start as small as possible and then build on your success.
Experiment and try things out – some things may not work initially but small tweaks and you’ll soon be creating and living the routines that will make your goals inevitable.
Quarterly goals – now you know the progress you are committing to over the next three months, the final step, and this is a really important one, is to decide what progress specifically you will have made by the end of the next quarter. If you are doing this in January you now need to decide what exactly you will have achieved and what progress you will have made on your 3 to 5 priorities by March 31st.
You then repeat the calendarisation process for the next quarter, booking in your activity over the following three months, adapting your strategy if necessary based on your experience and reflections on this quarter.
The steps above can take some time but really do make all the difference. Enjoy the process knowing that by engaging in it and achieving your goals will simply become more likely.
Best of luck,
3 point review
- Turn chronological goals into 5 major moves.
- Turn other goals into 1-3 key habits.
- Calendarise the next three months and set specific quarterly goals