We're in the second half of the year and to some, this will be met with excitement. However, the other subset of people will realize this and start to feel a little anxious, overwhelmed due to mistakes, and bad for not hitting particular benchmarks for the first half of the year.
No matter if the first half was a success or a bit of a letdown, the least productive option is to fixate on those previous months. As a high achiever who most likely has ambitious and aggressive goals, the best thing you can do for yourself is to set yourself up for a strong second half by meticulously planning.
To meticulously plan doesn't require an expansive list of questions to address. In fact, to finish the year strong, answer these five questions.
1. What's my current reality?
You can't move forward until you fully understand where you currently stand. If you're like me, then sitting still and taking time to be alone and think is more difficult than it initially sounds.
Taking action and doing things makes us feel like we're being productive but there are a time and place for taking action. Before strategy and massive action, make your first step be conducting an audit on yourself and the business.
Write down what's going well and also, what isn't going so well.
2. What are my current and likely future chokeholds?
This was a valuable exercise I learned from a coach who was helping me map out my goals. This exercise here is essentially attempting to fail-proof your plan.
Start off by documenting all of your current problems and obstacles that could get in the way of your goal. For some entrepreneurs, it could be a lack of funding, consistently having enough energy, or stress.
Most would simply move on, but it's also important to try and predict the future by writing out a list of potential problems and obstacles down the road. I found this helps lessen my worrying while adding amounts of certainty and belief in myself.
3. What's my strategy?
This step is the action step where you list the many activities that will lead to your desired result. Once again, the best way to do this is to dump every single idea that sprouts from your head onto a piece of paper. Once you're devoid of any more ideas, assess your paper and try to link up commonalities and group them together.
Lastly, make a hierarchy of actions and identify your big rock actions that could drastically swing the pendulum in your favor. It's not going to be rocket science, for a lot of entrepreneurs, it's simple actions such as making a daily number of phone calls, outreach emails, and other tasks that involve sweat equity.
4. What must I accomplish this quarter in order to reach my yearly goal?
Most people have the big picture goal in mind. While you must know what you want, it also can be intimidating and feel daunting to realize just how far off you are from that goal.
In that case, it's imperative that you chop that yearly goal down into a quarterly goal and even a weekly goal if you want to get even more specific. You won't be able to accomplish everything in a quarter. Limit yourself to a couple of things that will make the biggest impact on that yearly goal.
5. How can I apply pressure to myself?
Let's be honest, when left to our own devices, we're not going to push ourselves to our peak ability. There's a reason why professional athletes and top performing entrepreneurs have a support network to help them with their specific goals.
Some people are motivated by money, some like public accountability, and others simply don't like to let others down. Your job is to establish some form of accountability and support network. The next step is to create some stakes to ensure you take the necessary actions week in and week out.
You can't control the specific outcomes, but you can control the actions you choose to take.