How many times have you set out to achieve a goal only to quit after 10 days or so?
I’ve definitely been there.
For some reason, we have this idea that goals are hard to stick to and actually achieve.
Do you know why your goals matter to you? Do you know how you’ll actually achieve them?
You just have to start with one secret step and then use that to create a road map that aligns everything and puts you on the right path forward.
That’s what today’s episode is all about.
- How to cast a vision for your big goals
- The secret step that most entrepreneurs miss when setting their big goals
- How to breakdown those goals into daily actionable steps
Rather skim before you listen? ⬇️
Do you know why your goals matter to you and how you’ll get there? That is what today’s episode is all about.
How many times have you set out to achieve a goal, only to quit after 10 days or so?
Boy, have I been there!
I have started & restarted workout regimens countless times in the past 10 years. I never found myself unhealthy and overweight per say, but there was always this idea that I was supposed to workout and it was supposed to suck. So it did.
And because it sucked, I didn’t stick with it for very long, cause who wants that?!
We have this idea that goals are hard to stick to & actually achieve, but if we do it, we are badass babes with the willpower and determination that others should worship. And if we don’t, we think we are lacking something— that same willpower & determination that others have.
But the truth is that setting the right goals & achieving them can be fun & easy. You just have to start with one secret step most people miss.
Your own vision.
No, not your eyesight. I’m talking about how you imagine your future self and daily life.
Vision is the most important step in setting achievable goals.
By starting with your own vision, you are creating goals that inherently mean something to you.
Rather than trying to fit goals into the context of your future and life, you start with that future life and reverse-engineer goals to get there. (I know, mind-blown, right?!)
And by vision, I don’t mean a checklist of the cool cars and vacation homes you hope to have, though feel free to put those in, too.
It goes much deeper than that. It’s not just about the things you have because really material things can’t motivate us in the same way as growth, accomplishment, opportunity, and comfort.
While collecting Mercedes & ski lodges in Colorado is awesome and can be a big part of your dream life 10 years from now, seeing the ways in which you are showing up, serving, and standing up for what is important to you just goes a bit deeper when the journey to get there gets a little rocky.
In essence, you need to focus on who you want to be & what you want to do rather than just what you want to have.
Challenges are a normal part of basically everything. If you aren’t experiencing hard things, you are in denial or dead.
There are going to be things that get in the way of your imagining your vision for your dream life. But if you can recognize them when they show up, you can deal with them head-on.
The first thing is others’ expectations. This is by far going to be the thing that slows you down the most.
You’ve already experienced this— reaching for something because you are supposed to do it, you are supposed to want it.
The reason it slows you down is you can spend years of time and hours & hours of energy & mental bandwidth working towards someone else’s idea of dream life rather than your own.
To simply say, “let go of others’ expectations for you and go after what you want” may not be enough though.
Societal expectations & others’ definition of success can be so engrained in your way of being that parsing out what is your true desire from what you are supposed to want can be hard, but it isn’t impossible.
This is why in my programs, I take students & clients through a specific meditation to get out of their head and into their heart as we vision-cast— leaving them with what they really want for themselves.
The second thing is focusing on what you want to have. I mentioned this earlier, but it deserves a deeper dive.
We know that money can’t buy happiness and we also know that it is hard to be happy & secure when you are worried about making rent.
Our feelings of success don’t come from having the latest tech, the biggest mansion, or more acclaim than others.
We are most fulfilled and living our dream lives when we feel supported, relevant, and free to chase what we want to chase.
So it isn’t necessarily having the thing your are after, but the means to get it. And not just money either.
This looks like support from others around you, a deep fulfillment from doing what is right and helping to have a positive impact. Freedom to chase whims, creatively express yourself.
Finally, the third thing is thinking you have to have your vision perfect or that it won’t change. I know you are afraid that your dream life and your real life will never look exactly the same. And I have some good news: it won’t.
That may seem counterintuitive, but hear me out.
You are casting a vision for yourself right now based on the information you have & the experiences you’ve encountered.
As you gather new information and experience new things, you are going to edit & alter your idea of your dream life.
Possibilities that previously weren’t on your radar can then become your reality.
Just get started and continue to check in with your dream life to reimagine as often as necessary.
How To Cast A Vision
Here is a quick how-to if you are ready to cast your vision:
- Set a timer for 10 minutes when you can be totally on your own + uninterrupted.
- In that 10 minutes, write down everything that you wish for your future self in 10 years. Not just how much money you have or how many sports cars, but the minute details— what do you eat for breakfast, what time do you wake up, what are your hobbies, how do you spend your afternoons & evenings, with whom are you interacting every day, what kind of clothes do you wear, where do you vacation?
- Don’t stop writing for 10 minutes.
- Once you have your vision on paper, you can start reverse-engineering your actions to build that kind of life.
If you are hanging out and listening to this, I’m guessing it’s because you’re an entrepreneur or want to be one. And one thing that I’ve heard from pretty much every entrepreneurs I’ve ever talked to is that they are busy.
And honestly, lots of programs tell you to hustle more and just make space to reach that next level (that is where you are wanting to go, right?)— but you are already so busy and overwhelmed that if you could just make space, you would’ve done it already.
That is why I am hosting a free workshop to help you take back control of your schedule so you can make the time and space for your next level. Want to join me for the Your CEO Schedule Bootcamp? Head to workwithprocess.co/ceoworkshop to snag your spot for free.
Now, let’s dive back in.
I live next to a lake.
When the season starts changing from summer to fall weather, the fog is unbearable. And I HATE driving in fog.
For those of you that may not know, the official definition of fog is “a thick cloud of tiny water droplets suspended in the atmosphere at or near the earth’s surface which obscures or restricts visibility to below 1 km” which basically means you can’t a damn thing.
I can’t stand not being able to see where I’m going, especially when operating a motor vehicle with my daughter in the backseat.
To get to her school in the morning, we must get on a highway where the average speed is 65 MPH and when there is fog, the average speed is 65 MPH!
So then entire way to school, I’m white knuckling the steering wheel while my brain is trying to figure out why I can’t see more than 50 feet in front of the car, while going 45 MPH hoping no one rear ends me, while simultaneously squinting & determining if I see the taillights of any cars in front of me so I don’t rear-end them— oh and fielding 1000 questions about why fog exists from a tiny human in the backseat. (You didn’t think I knew the official definition of fog by accident, did you?)
To put it plainly, driving in fog stresses me out because I can’t see where I am going or how to get there.
The same is true of life & business: A lack of clarity on next steps = stress & lack of confidence, causing you to slow down and sometimes stop altogether.
You have your vision now, but having an action plan will help you make that vision your reality.
An action plan gives you the clarity, direction, and confidence you need to move forward on your big goals.
It outlines the steps you need to take next, in the distant future, and those that you should just say no to.
There are thousands of entrepreneurial gurus on my instagram feed at any given time. I’m sure you experience the same thing. There is a wealth of information, strategies, advice, and— yes, overwhelm.
The question actually isn’t “what should I do?!” but instead “what should I do first?”
We are told that building a funnel, or a tiny offer, or a Facebook group, or using hashtags, or leveraging partner campaigns, or leaning into Pinterest, or creating Reels, or any number of other strategies is going to fast-track our success and get us where we want to go, faster & easier.
And who doesn’t want that?!
But the problem arises when you can discern what to do next and try to do all the things. You are not only ineffective but burnt out by the must-dos, to-dos, and should-dos others swear by.
But a good action plan can keep you moving forward even amidst the shiny objects and distractions being thrown in your direction every time you open Facebook.
An action plan can actually create a decision filter for you so you can better prioritize opportunities as they arise and stay on track towards your goals, rather than chasing a wild hare of an idea just because Suzie Entrepreneur told you to.
It helps you stay aligned with how you work, what works for you, and what is truly important to you. (See a theme here yet?)
You know your next right steps because you’ll start with your vision & goals, then break down your goals into weekly strategies & daily habits to make incremental progress every day.
The result? A happier, less stressed, more successful YOU.
If it was easy, everyone would do it. But that doesn’t mean it has to be hard.
Here are a few things that may come up for you when creating your action plan:
The first thing is perfectionism. Ugh, I hate this word. Probably because I hear it basically every day. And I used to be the one saying it too.
Perfectionism is a socially-acceptable form of procrastination. It’s a cop out. We think that by wearing the badge of perfectionism, it gives a free pass to stay exactly where under the guise of “high standards”.
We can’t move forward because the plan is perfect or finished or thought through at all angles. Yea, that’s BS.
There is a difference between perfectionism & excellence. Perfectionism is an excuse. Excellence is the language of high standards. And you can’t make anything better if you never create it or dare to start.
The second challenge is inflexibility. Your action plan is meant to be a road map but that doesn’t mean you can’t deviate from it EVER.
You are creating an action plan for yourself right now based on the information you have & the experiences you’ve encountered. As you gather new information and experience new things, you are going to edit & alter the steps needed to get where you are going. Possibilities that previously weren’t on your radar can then become your reality.
Maintaining flexibility and a willingness to pivot will ensure your success.
The final challenge is analysis paralysis & indecision. This can tie back to the dreaded perfectionism, but its worth its own mention. My coach & mentor Julie Theis regularly reminds that “there are a million ways to make a million dollars but only a few things you should do to make a million dollars.”
You can get stuck in all the possibilities but at a certain point, your research & mulling over the options is just procrastinating and that means you are wasting time— your most valuable resource.
The most successful people are making decisions quickly and following through on them, but they aren’t afraid to change course or their plan of action when the situation calls for it. Cultivate decisiveness as a habit.
It can be overwhelming to start with a 10-year, 1-year, or even six-month plan— which is why I help my one-on-one clients create a six-month plan at the beginning of our work together. But you can create your own action plan as well.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Start small with a 1-month goal and reverse-engineer it down to daily actions. You’ll know what you need to do each day to stay on track with that 1-month goal.
- Once you create your Action Plan, print it out and keep it where you can see it every day. Get in the habit of taking 15 seconds to review it each morning.
- Practice pivoting.
I always like to end each episode with an action step that you can take right now to help you move forward and begin to implement immediately. Here is your action step for this episode:
Cast your vision using the steps I outlined earlier in this episode. Then start creating an action plan to start getting you closer to that vision.