Just like that, we’re into the second month of 2022. Yikes, where did all that time go?
It feels like just moments ago, you were plotting your business and personal goals for the year. And now we’re like 13% into 2022, and you wish you had made way more progress than you actually did!
Don’t worry, that’s completely normal. February is that scary month when we do a double-take on our goals and realize that maybe we don’t have them in the bag after all.
February is the month when we realize: just setting big, ambitious goals isn’t enough.
Yes, you can make them as specific as you like, writing book-length world domination plans; you can give yourself deadlines upon deadlines, each more strict than the last; you can use all the hacks in the book, and then some…
But you need more.
You need actionable plans and mental frameworks that will actually help you implement those goals month over month, week to week, and day to day.
And that’s exactly what I’m going to help you do today!
In this week’s article, you will learn 3 strategic mental frameworks that will put you back on track to achieve your goals in 2022. I’ll show you how each framework works, workshop them with multiple examples, and hopefully give you a jolt of motivation and clarity you need to regain momentum this year.
Deal? Then let’s dive in!
1. Reverse-engineer your ambitious yearly goals
Setting an audacious goal that makes you feel giddy is exciting… right up until you re-examine it and think, “Oh crap, how am I actually going to achieve it? Anyone got an extra 10 hours a day I could borrow, or maybe a self-cloning machine? …Anybody?”
Contemplating a big goal with a long timescale is a bit like staring up a mountain you have to climb. Without a clear plan on how to get from base to summit, it’s going to feel overwhelming rather than energizing.
That’s why the solution is:
Reverse-engineer a path from where you want to go to where you are now — down to the smallest increments you can manage.
Quarterly milestones? Nah. I’m talking about monthly, weekly, and even daily micro-goals you can map out and work towards. That way, you won’t have to worry about the big, hairy, capital-G goal on the horizon every day… but just that little chunk that gets you a few steps closer to it.
E.g. if your grand goal for 2022 is…
- Appearing as a guest on 50 podcasts => focus on getting 1+ interview a week => send at least 5 solid pitches a day.
- Making at least $100,000 => that’s $8,333 a month => a little under $300 a day.
- Growing your email list by 10,000 subscribers => focus on driving 27 new signups per day across all your marketing channels.
You get the idea.
Now, like all roadmaps, this won’t mirror your actual progress 1:1. There will be good days when you achieve more and bad days when you accomplish less…
…but what it will do is channel your efforts in the here and now — so you’re always building towards your yearly goal, every day, instead of feeling scattered, overwhelmed, and having zero clue what to do next.
Take this approach, and before you know it, you will blow right past your goal for the year — maybe even with weeks (or months) to spare!
2. Processes > Goals. Obsess over the former
Bestselling author Sir Terry Pratchett wrote and published over 50 books in his lifetime. And if he hadn’t passed away prematurely in 2015 due to Alzheimer’s disease, his body of work would be even greater today.
“Good for him, Summer — but what does this have to do with me and my business?”
Well, let me tell ya!
You see, the remarkable thing about Sir Terry’s staggering output isn’t how much he wrote… but how little.
Namely: 400 words a day, every day. (Sometimes, on the day when he would finish a book with 100 words still to go, he would start a new one and write the remaining 100!)
That simple, consistent practice translated into 50+ bestsellers.
You can see how this could apply to business as well, don’t you? Sometimes the best thing you can do is forget about the big goal, and focus on creating a consistent process instead.
Take a long, hard look at your #1 goal. Let’s say you’re a service business and you want to book 100 clients this year. What do you do?
Well, first you can isolate the key revenue-generating activities that lead to getting clients. Those could be:
- Sending sales emails to your existing audiences.
- Finding and pitching new leads.
- Following up with past clients or upselling existing ones.
Awesome — so based on those, which processes can you implement that will build your sales momentum?
- Write 500 words per day, so you have plenty of sales copy to deploy to your list.
- Hit Send at least once a week, making the offer to the leads on your list.
- Pitch 10+ completely new leads via cold email, and do it every weekday.
- Once a month, hit up past clients to ask if they need help with anything.
- As part of #4, ask your past clients for referrals.
- When you’re wrapping up a project with an existing client, upsell them and/or ask them to refer you to someone they know who might be a good fit.
Repeatedly implementing these activities will snowball into more and more sales for your business… even if you completely forget that you have numbers to hit and goals to meet!
You can combine this framework with #1 (reverse-engineering your goals) or leverage it on its own. Regardless, it will help you build monster momentum and make progress on your goals!
3. Success (and failure) are a spectrum, not a binary
The worst thing you can do as a business owner when setting and pursuing goals is to embrace an “all or nothing” mindset.
I have seen it dozens of times: smart, ambitious entrepreneurs miss their big, meaty goal — sometimes by inches — and dismiss the whole thing as a failure. We like to think that this kind of zero-sum outlook prevents us from getting complacent, keeps us moving forward and conquering new heights…
…but in reality, it just as often leads to burnout, exhaustion, and disappointment.
Success and failure aren’t binary. They exist on a spectrum. So when you set and revise your 2022 business goals (or any goals, personal ones included!), it helps to think in degrees.
Let me illustrate…
Define success along three tiers
Instead of obsessing over one all-or-nothing goal, break it down into three parts:
- A modest success, a.k.a. the minimum desirable outcome that will still leave you satisfied with what you’ve accomplished.
- A total success, a.k.a. the result you will be completely happy with, even if you don’t achieve anything else beyond that.
- An outrageous success, which is basically your “stretch goal” — if you hit that, you will know 100% that you knocked it out of the park beyond your wildest expectations.
So, for example, let’s say you want to grow your business to $100,000 in monthly revenue this year. You can define $70,000 as modest success; $100,000 as total success; and $150,000 as outrageous success.
Now… what about failure?
Clearly describe your failure state
In my opinion, failure can be a powerful signal to reevaluate the trajectory of your business, and change course while you still can.
But to function in that capacity, failure needs to be: a) clearly defined and b) evaluated on a much stricter timeline than your goal.
Let’s take the example from before: growing your business to $100,000 per month.
Here’s a not-useful definition of failure: “If I don’t clear $100K in MRR before January 1st, 2023, then I will have failed.” No kidding!
So what would be a useful, timely, and well-defined failure state? Something like…
“If we’re not doing $50,000/mo by the end of Q2 and growing, we will reevaluate our marketing and sales strategy for the rest of the year and implement an action plan to get back on track.”
You can see the difference, right?
One is too far removed in the future and vague to be helpful; the other one is a failsafe with clearly defined parameters that will ensure that you can still reach your goal.
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