You are part of this amazing Pilates family, and I want to see you succeed. I want to see you building the business you want. A business that is fulfilling, successful and profitable.
That’s why, this month, instead of just helping you set goals, I want to help you reach them.
I'm sharing with you my for 4-part formula (complete with your very own worksheet) that facilitates progress in your business.
I want to take you from a place of thinking of all the things you could be doing, to a place where you are cultivating intention, defining your goal, and constructing a solid plan that leads to real progress.
Consider it a gift to celebrate a new year.
Your SO welcome ;)
For some, progress means more clients, for others, it means more learning. It may be pursuing a personal project, or it could be adding a new revenue stream within your business.
Whatever you desire for your future, having a clear intention is key to success.
Here’s how you stop spinning your wheels.
Are you ready? Lets get started!
When I ask my clients where they want to be in 5 years time, only about half have a vision for their next step.
They have achieved what they set out to achieve.
When you first start out, it's very obvious: you need to get good at teaching, and you need clients.
You are doing the things that have to get done for your business to run (teaching, scheduling, bill payment, servicing clients, continuing education, studio maintenance... etc... etc.) and you are doing (all) those things. You probably have a to-do list a mile long, and possibly endless ideas that pop into your head of where you could go next.
But, what is your next move?
There comes a point in every business where growth starts to level out.
And then, you can find yourself stuck.
Because; it’s a lot easier to work in your business than on your business.
It’s so much easier (and more fulfilling!) to check things off a list than to answer an open-ended and thought-provoking question like:
What Is Your Vision?
But, that is where I want to start. I want to start with your vision.
Your vision for your business.
A vision is not a dream.
A vision is not a laundry list of all the things you could do
A vision is not a to-do list of all the things you should do
your vision is the picture you paint of success for you
Visualization is powerful.
Visualization is about trying something on for size. Visualization helps you see whether something is a good fit for you and your business.
It’s an opportunity to try out how it feels to overcome a challenge in your business.
Give it a try: think about your future and where you want to be.
Visualizing yourself achieving your goals is a great place to start.
Sometimes you may not be able to envision your goal, or perhaps, you picture it, but it just doesn’t look quite right. This exercise will help you adjust and eliminate goals that aren’t worth your time.
And, science backs this method too! Studies have shown that if you can picture yourself having achieved your goal, you’re much more likely to accomplish it.
Let's do this
Let’s set your vision
I like to keep the time horizon short. (It keeps us focused.)
Question: What does your business look like three months from now?
Take a moment to think about that...
The key is to visualize yourself inside your vision. See yourself inside that picture you’ve painted. Step right into that picture.
Notice, what are you doing there that is different from what you are doing today?
Have you overcome a challenge? Reached a goal? Made some positive changes?
I don’t want you to just think about it - put it in black and white! Grab a pen and paper and start writing. You can even go here and print out this super-duper worksheet!
- Describe the vision you have for your business
- What does that look like? What does that feel like?
- What does your day look like in that moment?
- What have you had to do to get here?
- Who else is there? Who isn’t?
- What is different?
- What is the same?
Give as much detail as you can.
If you like, share your vision in the facebook group
Now that you've created your vision (nice work by the way!), you are ready to begin the prep work that will lead you to success.
By crafting a path to move towards your vision - your painted picture - without pressure, stress, burnout or overwhelm.
Typically, the next step is to focus on setting goals that define your vision.
But there's a problem. For the vast majority of people who DO set goals - they fail to achieve them.
Think about all the people who struggle with New Year's Resolutions. Just 8% of people actually follow through and achieve their goals! (Yes, you read that right - 8%!)
Why is this?
Achieving any goal requires a certain level of self-control, energy, and focus.
Now, you're ahead of the game here. I know you have energy, and I know you have self-control (you are a teaching of Contrology after all!) so, we are more than half way there…
The biggest mistake I see amongst small business owners comes from how they define success.
Often we know what we want, but when we set our goal, we either make it a little too ambitious or we fail to specify what the accomplishment looks like. Mostly it's the latter!
this isn’t a dream
It’s a goal
It’s meant to be achieved!
One thing you really (really) want from your goal is achievability. It’s awesome to have big goals, and it’s okay if they are slightly overwhelming. However, you cannot leave them that way. To make your bigger, more ambitious goals achievable; you’ll need to make them specific and break them down into smaller snack-size pieces.
Your goal must be quantifiable (measurable), detailed(specific) and have a deadline (time-bound).
Setting goals that are aspirational but rational, challenging but reachable and clear-cut (not vague) is how to ensure success.
And here's another lesser-known tip: the more detail you can add to your goal, the more real it will become.
“Being more on top of my numbers” is too vague.
“I will dedicate an hour on the last Tuesday of each month to reviewing expenses and paying bills” works better!
“I want to go to the gym more” is not detailed enough.
This is better: “I will go to the gym every Monday after work"
Now it's your turn
Step into your vision and pick one thing you notice that is different.
In that picture, what have you accomplished?
What are you celebrating?
What did you just do or complete?
What just happened when you said: “Yes! I did it!"
Be specific about what will determine your success and why achieving this goal is so important to you.
Answer these questions:
- What is your goal?
- How is it measured?
- What would achieving this goal mean for you and your business?
Write whatever comes to mind. There are no wrong answers.
Hurrah! You have completed the courageous step of writing down your goal... doesn’t that feel good?
This goal is where you are heading.
You have officially set your destination!
I've learnt (the hard way!) that a successful trip requires that you pick the best route.
But, in this case you don’t have google maps to do it for you.
It's up to you to connect your vision and goal, with the action steps that will guide you to your destination.
This is the part that most people skip and the reason they never quite get to where they want to be.
The problem is that there is a gap between those day to day actions - the things that keep your business open - and the actions that move your business forward towards your goals.
We’ve all been in a spot where we want to work and get something done, but we’re not exactly sure where to start or what to do first. So, we accomplish a little procrastination instead, filling that time with reading articles or browsing social media… all because making a decision about what to DO feels like a ton of effort! And it is.
Daniel Kahneman wrote about this in his book, Thinking Fast And Slow. He says that there are two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive and emotional. And System 2 is slower, thoughtful, more deliberative and more logical. This is the system that helps us with long-term planning. The trouble is that system 2 is sleepy and lazy and takes a while to kick in.
It’s time to hack your way into System 2. Here’s how.
Instead of focusing on the goal, focus on the actions that will lead you there.
The checkpoints that you have to reach that will guide you to your destination.
You have to map out your route with the things that you will do to make progress.
It’s unlikely to be a lone, single action. There may be 2 or there may be 5 action steps. Once you have figured out these actions, you will need to put them in chronological order.
This series of actions becomes your route
What deliberate actions need to happen to get you to your goal?
And just like it is critical to define your goal, you must clearly define your stepping stones that will guide you toward your destination.
Set the bearings that will lead you toward your first stepping stone. Beyond that, each stepping stone is an opportunity to check in on where you are heading and whether you are staying on course.
What actions need to happen to get you to your goal? (They must be measurable and specific)
Go ahead! Write them down and note at each step note who will undertake the action and when this action will happen.
We are so close.... but we aren't quite done yet!
I want to set you up for real success. And if we stop here, success can’t be guaranteed.
Most plans fail not because of a bad idea but because of poor execution.
Yes, we have a plan of action (whoop whoop!), but we have ignored one important factor.
Your goal doesn’t happen in a vacuum.
You still have your day job. You still have to teach, schedule, pay bills… etc… etc
So, how do we work around this little road bump?
How do we make sure we stay on track?
Let’s think through the potential pitfalls:
Problem: I'm so busy
Solution #1: Schedule. Put your action items in your schedule. Step back and decide whether you can dedicate the to do what needs to be done to reach each stepping stone.
Solution #2: Stop doing something. What can you stop doing to make space for this goal in your calendar. Is there a way that you can be more efficient with your time?
Solution #3: Dedicate more resources. Can you delegate an action to someone else? Or perhaps you can delegate some other tasks to a team-member that will free up your time?
Problem: There are other priorities too
Solution: A big part of taking your business forward is sharing your goals with those around you. Idea’s die when they are isolated. Sharing your goals allows for input, feedback and support. Most importantly, it keeps you accountable.
Problem: Something went wrong that isn't on this list
Solution: Too often we commit to things conditionally, and once something goes wrong, we count it as a failure or say that it was “not meant to be” and move on. Truly committing means that you expect s*** to happen and you are prepared to work through or around whatever comes your way. I trust that if you really want it - you will make it happen.
I hate to be downer, and I know it's not super-fun to anticipate potential challenges but it is super-practical. And that is why this method works. So, my last series of questions is what will make your path robust and your plan resilient.
- What could happen that would stop you from achieving this goal?
- When will you devote time to achieving this goal?
- Can someone else help?
- Who will you share your goal (and your plan) with?
Congratulations! You have crafted a powerful plan to take you towards your vision. When you work with real direction, you become consistent about working towards your vision and about reaching your goals.
To keep you on track from here:
- Visit your vision regularly
- Following through with action
- Keep track of your accomplishments along the way (and celebrate at every stepping stone!)
- Talk to people about your goals and actions
- Adjust your plan when necessary
Once you have done this exercise once, you will find it quick and easy to do regularly throughout the year. Ideally every three months or when you find yourself in that "stuck" place.
Action is the foundational key to all success
- Pablo Picasso
If you keep thinking about your goals in terms of actions, you will always be moving forward on your projects.
Good luck for a smashing 2017!
Our facebook group is your resource for asking any pilates-business questions. Share your vision with us!