5 Reasons Why You Don’t Reach Your Goals (Part 2)

[5 Reasons Why You Don’t Reach Your Goals – Part 2]

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After years of helping small business owners be more productive and profitable, and after seeing the same challenges tripping them up every year, I’ve put together the top 5 reasons why business owners don’t reach their goals each year and surefire ways to fix it.
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5 REASONS WHY YOU DON’T REACH YOUR GOALS

The first 2 reasons why you sometimes don’t reach your goals have been covered in Part 1 of this blog post, and they are:

1. You don’t know where you’re going, and

2. You don’t have a clear plan.

We’ll now explore the last 3 reasons why you might not reach your goals.

 

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YOU DON’T ALIGN VISION WITH ACTION

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Once you have a clear vision and plan, the next potential obstacle that can trip you up is knowing what to do but still not doing it. So you’re not taking the steps to make that goal a reality.

This normally happens because fear gets in the way of us taking action. Goals are defined as “an aim or hope to achieve something”  which means that in order to achieve it, we will have to do things we haven’t done before which makes us feel uncomfortable.

Goals are meant to stretch us out of our comfort zone, so if you don’t feel uncomfortable while chasing your goals, you simply created a to-do list for yourself. However, going outside your comfort zone means dealing with your fears.
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Does this sound familiar?

You think about the goals you want to achieve, your minds comes up with 20 good reasons why you can’t do it, you start to worry about “what if it doesn’t work, what if all my time and effort is wasted, what will so-and-so think or say or even, what if I succeed?”. This thinking makes you feel anxious, so you open Facebook or Instagram for a quick scroll and look up 30 minutes later…

When you’re feeling afraid it’s easy to make excuses and put things off till later. And that’s how your vision and action become misaligned and you don’t reach your goals.
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Fear will never go away. Don’t wait to feel ready – the only way to win, is to take action.

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HOW TO DO THIS BETTER
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#1 KNOW EVERYONE FEELS FEAR

It’s how you choose to deal with fear that makes some people successful in reaching their goals while others don’t quite get there.
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#2 THE ONLY WAY TO WIN IS TO TAKE ACTION

Use fear a sign post in your business – if you feel fearful doing something new, making a call or speaking at an event, it means you’re on the right track and you should definitely take the next step. (This obviously excludes risky investments without due diligence or actions that endanger your life!)

This approach feels totally counter intuitive as you want to feel ready before you take action but it’s the act of DOING what you’re afraid of, that will help you overcome the fear.

Remember, reading or research is NOT doing. Talking about something is NOT doing it. The ONLY way to reach your goal is by taking the next step, possibly failing the first time, learning from mistakes and giving it another go until you’ve reached your goal.

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YOU DON’T TAKE CONSISTENT ACTION

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Just like you can’t expect to get to the top of the mountain if you stop climbing halfway through, you can’t expect to reach your goals if you don’t take consistent daily or weekly action.

This is much easier said than done, as we’re only human! And that’s why it’s so important to have a strong vision of what you want to accomplish and why it matters so much to you.

Then it’s about creating rituals and habits in your life and business to ensure you take regular action, as we can’t rely on willpower only or wait to ‘feel like it’ before we take action.

There will definitely be breaks in the routines you created as life tends to throw us a few curve balls from time to time. These breaks will inevitably lead to a loss of momentum but HOW we deal with the loss of momentum is the key to whether we’ll reach our goals or not.

Research has shown that we tend to be super harsh with ourselves when we break a ‘winning streak’ and instead of forgiving ourselves and getting back on track, shockingly most people completely give up on the whole goal!
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When you lose momentum, don’t quit! Get back on track.

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Logically this doesn’t make sense, but it has been proven over and over. Studies have found that people trying to wake up earlier would stop altogether after missing ONE day, regardless of being successful for a week or more before that day.

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Or they would give up on their diet because they had one unplanned cheat meal or stop hitting the gym because they went on a business trip and now the ‘winning streak’ has been broken.

Reaching your goals is tough, so let’s see how we can increase your chances of success.
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HOW TO DO THIS BETTER
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#1 CREATE HABITS AND RITUALS

Be clear on your big vision and remind yourself daily of the reason why you’re doing what you’re doing, with a vision board or vision statement.

Create habits in your business that will help you to reach your goal e.g. Theme Days where you work on specific things in your business on specific days like Marketing Mondays.

Or dedicate blocks of time a couple of times per week to specifically work on your projects or goals. Schedule them into your calendar and treat them as non-negotiable appointments. Your business success and overall happiness depend on it.
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#2 SETBACKS WILL HAPPEN

Be prepared for them as they are there to teach us and test us. Anyone who has ever achieved success had to face many setbacks.

The only difference between those who reach their goals and those who don’t, is that the successful ones expected it, acknowledged the setback and got back on the horse while others slashed the other 3 tires too. (image above)

Get up, forgive yourself and get back on track.

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YOU DON’T GET THE RIGHT HELP

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When you climb a mountain like Everest it’s essential to take the right action and get the right guides to help you summit. If you don’t get the right help, you could literally die on the mountain!

The business consequences of not getting the right help might not be as severe, although up to 60% of small businesses close down within the first 3 years of business, according to ASIC stats.

One of the main reasons for this is a lack of business skills which is something you can learn from a course, a mentor, coach or peer. This will help you shorten the learning curve and help you take the right action to reach your goals quicker.
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HOW TO DO THIS BETTER
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#1 SUCCESS IS A TEAM SPORT

Identify a few specific individuals who can help you bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

A mentor for valuable business advice so you don’t have to learn all the hard lessons yourself. They have been there, done that and got the T-shirt. Asking questions and getting advice from someone who already walked the path you’re on, will save you countless hours, dollars and much frustration.

Just like Batman is better with Robin, we all need a sidekick or cheerleader to have your back and keep you motivated. Cheerleaders can also be found in group settings like small group coaching, certain networking groups, accountability pods or membership communities.

If you like more of a one-to-one approach choose a respected peer for accountability and brainstorming.

And lastly, think about who the connector is your network. This is the person who can help to open doors for you, make introductions and get you quicker to your goals.

If you’re looking for a group of like-minded business owners to kick some goals with, join us in this free Facebook Group to Power Up Your Business.

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Read the 7 Key Planning Questions for 2018 blog post by clicking the blue link – in it I cover the 7 Key Business Areas to plan for in your business if you want to reach all your goals in 2018.
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Download your own customisable 90-Day Action Plan around the 7 Key Business Areas by clicking the link or image below and start planning your success today.

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QUESTION:

Which if these 3 reasons have tripped you up in the past when trying to reach your goals? Leave your comment below.

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#smallbusinesssuccessskills

Alicia-MenkveldAuthor: ALICIA MENKVELD  Creator of: SMALL BIZ TOOLKIT Alicia Menkveld is an award-winning entrepreneur for the last 17 years who loves to travel and lived on three continents to date. She is an international speaker, author and a trusted adviser to small business owners and leaders. Alicia is an authority on business strategy, mindset and productivity for individuals and teams. Streamline your business to support your lifestyle.

5 Reasons Why You Don’t Reach Your Goals

[5 Reasons Why You Don’t Reach Your Goals – Part 1]

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It’s a new year and a fresh start with new goals. You have good intentions to be more organised and smash your goals this year until…

  • an angry customer calls because she didn’t receive her order
  • a project is running late
  • a key supplier is off sick or
  • a family emergency pops up.

Then all the planned goals fly out the window and you’re back in the same old rut you were stuck in last year.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Studies in both Australia and the US have found that on average close to 60% of people have given up on the goals they set 6 months earlier.

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And only 8% of people achieve their goals in a year.

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These statistics correlate with ASIC’s (Australian Securities & Investments Commission) findings that one of the main reasons 60% of small businesses close their doors within the first few years, is because business owners have no clear plan or they get stuck in the daily running of the business and don’t execute the plan.

After years of helping small business owners be more productive to be more profitable, and seeing the same challenges tripping them up every year, I’ve put together the top 5 reasons why business owners don’t reach their goals each year and surefire ways to fix it.

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A goal without a plan is just a wish.

ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPERY

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5 REASONS WHY YOU DON’T REACH YOUR GOALS

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YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING

Last year I’ve decided to climb my first mountain ever which was Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.

Like any mountain, Table Mountain has many peaks with many different routes, but before starting out I had to choose one specific peak I wanted to reach which determined which route I had to climb.

If I didn’t choose a specific peak to climb who knows where I could’ve ended up?

It’s the same in business. At the beginning of a year, you have to decide which peak(s) you’ll climb this year and that will determine the route(s) you’ll take to get there.

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The peak you choose to climb determines the route you’ll take to get there.

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In business, you can have 2-3 Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs) for the year but realistically you can’t achieve more than 1 BIG goal per quarter (especially without a team) when you also build your business, do client work, marketing, sales and the list goes on.

And that’s why you need to be super clear at the beginning of the year about where you want to end the year, to be able to choose the correct strategies or routes to get there.

Part of the problem is that we suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) – we’re afraid that we’ll miss out on other exciting things if we commit to only one BIG goal every 90 days, so we take on too many goals at once and set ourselves up for failure.

We also seriously underestimate the various everyday competing priorities we have to deal with and overestimate our available time, energy and willpower in a day.

We start enthusiastic but get overwhelmed, start procrastinating and panicking and that’s when things start falling through the cracks.

And instead of reviewing our results and changing strategies, we simply work harder and in the process we neglect our health, relationships and sanity. And we end a quarter or a year, disappointed that despite all our effort and sacrifice, we haven’t reached our goals!

But we set ourselves up for failure from the start when we decided to climb more than one peaks at a time.
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HOW TO DO THIS BETTER
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#1 BE CLEAR ABOUT WHERE YOU’RE GOING

Look at all your family and business commitments and choose the 2-3 BHAGs that will make the biggest impact in your business this year.

Then choose one life goal and one business goal to work on for the next 90 days that will move you closer to one of your annual BHAGs.
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#2 STAY FOCUSED

Focus all your actions and resources on that area for a full quarter. Set specific milestones that will indicate progress and tweak the results as you go.

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YOU DON’T HAVE A CLEAR PLAN

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There is a huge difference between climbing Mount Everest (8,848m) or Table Mountain (1,085m) and climbing the Perth Hills where I live.

You’ll approach the preparation and climb for each mountain very differently. You’ll need different levels of fitness, different equipment and for Everest you’ll even need guides to help you summit.

If you don’t have a clear plan of how you’ll train to climb the mountain, what you’ll need, who will help you and how you’ll approach the climb you might end up seriously injured or even dead!

It’s the same in business. And although you might not actually die, your business could close down as the ASIC stats have shown.

So the second reason why we don’t reach our goals in business and life is because we don’t plan for success.

Just like mountains, different business models require different tools, skills, resources and investments from its owner.
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HOW TO DO THIS BETTER
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#1 WRITE YOUR GOALS DOWN

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” as Antoine De Saint-Exupery said, so get your goals out of your head and write them down.

Then break them down into smaller steps to identify what needs to happen first, second, third. Track your progress throughout and tweak as you go.
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#2 KEEP YOUR GOALS VISIBLE

Put your quarterly goals where you can see them daily in your office – on the fridge, bathroom mirror or use a vision statement or board.

Research has shown that those who keep their goals to themselves are 64% more likely to fail than people who share their goals. So share your goals with your business partner, friends, family and even on social media for additional accountability.

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In the next blog post – Part 2 – we’ll look at the last 3 reasons why people don’t reach their goals.

In the mean time, you can read about the 7 Key Planning Questions for 2018 blog post by clicking the link. I cover the seven key areas you need to think about and plan for in your business if you want to achieve your goals in 2018.

You can also download your own customisable 90-Day Action Plan around these seven business areas and start planning for the next quarter.

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QUESTION:

Share with me what one of the peaks are that you’re climbing this year. Leave your comment below.

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#smallbusinesssuccessskills

Alicia-MenkveldAuthor: ALICIA MENKVELD  Creator of: SMALL BIZ TOOLKIT Alicia Menkveld is an award-winning entrepreneur for the last 17 years who loves to travel and lived on three continents to date. She is an international speaker, author and a trusted adviser to small business owners and leaders. Alicia is an authority on business strategy, mindset and productivity for individuals and teams. Streamline your business to support your lifestyle.

7 Key Planning Questions for 2018

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One of my coaching clients, Caroline, is not a happy camper. Twelve months ago she organised a stunning off-site planning get-away for her and her small team of 2 staff members. The goal was map out their operational plan for the next year.

One year later when she reviewed the planning document they produced, she was shocked to learn that the numbers were disappointing and several goals haven’t been reached.

In their book, The Balanced Scorecard, authors David Norton and Robert Kaplan found that a staggering 90% of companies fail to execute their strategies successfully. This includes large organisations and small businesses alike.

ASIC has found that one of the main reasons 60% of small businesses close their doors within the first few years, is because business owners have no clear plan or they get stuck in the daily running of the business and don’t execute their plan.

This is what happened to Caroline and her team. They created a plan but put it on the shelf as the daily running of the business consumed them. Putting your plan on the shelf is as bad as not writing a plan at all.

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Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing. 
~ THOMAS EDISON

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Just wanting something isn’t enough. Creating a plan and executing it, takes discipline as you’re bound to encounter challenges along the way.

After years of helping small businesses simplify their strategy and planning processes and hearing the same questions time and time again, I decided to put together 7 Key Planning Questions around the seven areas of a high performing business, as you’re doing your business planning for 2018.

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7 KEY PLANNING QUESTIONS FOR 2018

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I cover each of the 7 Key Planning Questions in depth in the download below AND you’ll also get your own customisable 90-Day Action Plan around these 7 business areas.

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QUESTION:

How often do you make time for planning in your business? Leave your comment below.

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#smallbusinesssuccessskills

Alicia-MenkveldAuthor: ALICIA MENKVELD  Creator of: SMALL BIZ TOOLKIT Alicia Menkveld is an award-winning entrepreneur for the last 17 years who loves to travel and lived on three continents to date. She is an international speaker, author and a trusted adviser to small business owners and leaders. Alicia is an authority on business strategy, mindset and productivity for individuals and teams. Streamline your business to support your lifestyle.

3 Easy Steps To Plan Your Business Goals

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Most small business owners complain about:

  • working longer hours than they ever imagined
  • not being able to consistently reach their goals, and
  • constantly worrying where the next money and clients will come from.

This slowly kills the passion they have for their business and leave them doubting their ability to succeed in creating a lifestyle business. A main reason for this is…
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… the GAP between PLANNING our business goals and strategy, and what we DO on a daily basis.

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Recent studies in corporate companies have shown that up to two-thirds of decisions made in annual strategy sessions are never implemented! In my experience, the stats would be very similar for small businesses.

You see it’s easy to sit in a planning session (even only with yourself) and decide on the annual business goals to pursue but it’s 10X harder to execute on those business goals when you’re in the thick of things and:

  • taking customer calls
  • preparing quotes
  • answering emails
  • doing marketing
  • managing a team and many other things on a daily basis.
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We get distracted by every squeaky wheel in our business, instead of sticking to our plan.

So our biggest struggle is to link our yearly business goals and plans to what we do day-by-day and hour-by-hour in our business. Here are 3 easy steps to turn your business goals into successful completions.

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“Vision leads to proper planning and proper planning leads to successful completion.”

~ FARSHAD ASL (The ‘No Excuses’ Mindset Book)

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3 Easy Steps To Plan Your Business Goals

There is a difference between being effective and being efficient. When it comes to executing our plan we want to make sure that we’re as effective as possible.

This means being laser-focused on working on the right things in our business that will move us forward and make the biggest impact.

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THINK QUARTERLY

It’s crucial to know what success looks like for you. Effective business owners know what they want to achieve and then set business goals that will help them achieve their vision while taking the daily action to get there.

Let’s say you want to lose weight and you’re not clear on what you want to achieve… you could lose one kilogram and be successful because you lost weight or you could lose 10 kg and fail if you wanted to lose 20 kg.

It’s the same for your business goals e.g. let’s say you want to make an extra $50K this year, there are many ways to reach that goal.

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WHAT TO DO NEXT

1. Identify the 1-2 high-impact activities that bring in the most money in your business and that will get you to $50K the quickest

2. Commit to doubling or tripling the amount of time you spend on these 1-2 activities every week

3. Schedule non-negotiable blocks of time in your diary to work on these activities every day.
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EXAMPLE: PRODUCT LAUNCH
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One of Your Annual Business Goals:
Generate an extra $50K from an existing product/ service this year to a new client base.
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Quarterly Business Goals:
You identified one of your high-impact activities as a very profitable and time-efficient online program or physical product or service, and you decide to launch it in 3 months’ time. You estimate you can make an additional $20K from this activity this quarter.
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Example Main Activities: (not a comprehensive list)

// Research the new market to determine viability
// Adjust your marketing material to suit the market
// Create a marketing plan
// Market the product
// Launch the product

Estimate the amount of time needed to complete each activity and the people needed to complete the activities. Work it into the planning and set milestones to track progress along the way.

Use a software like Trello, Asana or any other project management and workflow software to lay out your project and assign activities to team members.
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Example Tasks: (not a comprehensive list)

// Create a survey for the new market, send out the survey + analyse the results
// Update website e.g. create a new landing page + shopping cart item
// Plan out social media posts, etc. etc.

Allocate time every day to work on the most important activities to move the project forward and work towards the set milestones. Schedule weekly progress check-ins with yourself + your team.
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There are many moving parts (activities + sub tasks) that need to be completed to achieve this quarterly goal.

That’s why it’s crucial to stay focused every day and to say No to any other distractions that come your way.

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PLAN WEEKLY
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Once you’re clear on your business goals and identified the 1-2 high-impact activities that will help you reach that goals, it’s time commit to doing these activities ‘no matter what’.

We’re all busy and life throws us curve balls all the time but unless we see these activities as non-negotiable, I can guarantee you that something else will come up to throw you off course, within a week if not days.

And that’s a hallmark of successful and effective people – their ability to be clear about their goals and their unwavering commitment to making it happen ‘no matter what’.

Let’s go back to our weight loss example:
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Would you be more motivated to lose weight in situation A or B?

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A. It would be nice to lose a few kilograms before I going to that wedding next month, or

B. The doctor just told you that unless you lose weight immediately you only have 6 months to live…

Of course your motivation will be higher in situation B, because your life literally depends on it.

And you’ll make time to exercise and eat healthy every day instead of making excuses like, “I didn’t have time today, I’ll do it tomorrow.
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Unfortunately we don’t always experience this drastic urgency in our business…

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That’s why it’s sometimes harder for business owners to move from making-a-living into a full lifestyle business.

Because as humans, unless we face a crisis, it can be a real challenge for us to only focus on the important activities while saying No to any other distractions that won’t help us to achieve our goals.

The only way you can ensure it will happen is by planning your weeks and scheduling it in your diary.
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WHAT TO DO NEXT

1. Be clear about what needs to get done this week to reach your quarterly business goals e.g. research the new market to determine viability
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2. Open your diary and schedule blocks of 1-2 hours of uninterrupted time every day of the next week to work on these activities e.g.

// create survey questions for the new market (1hr) – Me
// create the actual survey in Typeform or SurveyMonkey (30min) – John
// send out the survey (1hr) – John
>>> who will it be sent to?
>>> do you need to create a list of contacts?
>>> will you use ads to promote the survey?
>>> how + when will it be send?
// analyse the results (2hrs) – Me
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3. Estimate the time each activity will take you to complete. This is a great exercise, as we tend to underestimate how long things take us to do (see example in #2)
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4. Note the people needed to help you complete the tasks and remember to give them access to the project plans and calendars (see example in #2)
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5. Outline your success factors – how will you know if you’ve been successful by the end of the week? e.g.

// Week 1: survey has been created, tested and it’s ready to be send out
// Week 2: 50 people completed the survey successfully
// Week 3: all results have been analysed and a decision to either market the product to a new market or not, is made.
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ACT DAILY

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To act daily on what’s already been decided and planned for, is really the hardest part of everything.

It’s because it’s so easy to be distracted by a hundred little things every day. Studies have shown that on average, we’re interrupted every 3 minutes in the office! 

Between notifications pinging, emails coming in, a team member asking for help, phone calls and social media it’s no wonder that we’re busy all day without much to show for it by the end of a day.

My clients who started planning their weeks, reported feeling much more in control and more organised, but nearly all of them struggled for the first couple of weeks to stick to their blocks of uninterrupted time because of all the distractions.
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“Planning is easy. Execution is hard.”

~ ALICIA MENKVELD

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It takes courage and perseverance to stick to your plan every day.

Most of my clients reviewed and tweaked their plans several times before they found a routine that worked for them. Some started their day with a block of uninterrupted time, while others did a block between 11am-2pm or even later afternoon.

Your success in reaching your business goals depends on your ability to constantly review what worked and what hasn’t, and to be able to change direction quickly and daily if needed.
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WHAT TO DO NEXTblog-image-key-ideas1

At the end of each day take 5 min to review your day and ask yourself and/or your team:

1. How well did I stick to my plan today?

2. Which distractions kept me from working during my uninterrupted block(s) of time?

3. How can I minimise these distractions tomorrow?

4. How long did the actual tasks take vs. my estimations in the planning?

5. Did everyone involved in the activities performed up to standard? If not, what I can do to improve this?

6. Compared to the success factors for this activity, was I successful today?

Reviewing and tweaking as you move towards your business goals, is like a heat-seeking missile adjusting course while trying to lock in on its target.

The missile doesn’t stop trying until it found its target… and neither should you. Continue to review and tweak until you find a way that works well for you and your team.
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QUESTION:

Which part of sticking to your daily plan do you find most challenging? Leave your comment below.
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#smallbusinesssuccessskills

Alicia-MenkveldAuthor: ALICIA MENKVELD  Creator of: BUSINESS CONFIDENCE ACADEMY Alicia Menkveld is an award-winning entrepreneur for the last 17 years who loves to travel and lived on three continents to date. She is an international speaker, author and a trusted adviser to small business owners and leaders. Alicia is an authority on business strategy, mindset and productivity for individuals and teams. Streamline your business to support your lifestyle.