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E#222 What to Stop and Start Doing in 2023

This episode is about what to stop and start doing in 2023

Do you have this nagging sense that there are things you should stop doing, and things that you should start doing in your business? Does business feel like a grind at times, sapping your energy and creativity? If so, then it’s time to create your business plan for the next year to work out the kinks and start getting what you want with more ease and flow. That’s what I’m here to help you to do by sharing my 4-step process to developing a 2023 business plan. 

It’s that time of year I start to think about the year ahead and start creating some plans for my business. I figured that you would be doing that too and that you might be wondering what sorts of goals to set.   

Sharing my process will help you get clear on not just how to create a plan, but how to make an exciting plan to get you where you want to be. 

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Two steps to get clarity
* How to map out new ‘business habits’ for 2023
* Defining your achievable outcome goals

Step 1 – Reflect on the Past 12 months 

A good starting point is reflecting on how this year went for you and what you’d like to do more of and less of. 

When I do this process, I start by thinking about what I really loved doing this year and why I loved it, and which strengths I used. I sit with the feeling of my favourite types of work and the things that I’ve achieved and what I did to get there.  

For example, this year, I loved doing the strategic thinking work behind projects and business ideas, because that taps into my strengths of creativity, innovation, problem solving and brainstorming. 

Next, I think about the things that drained my energy and dragged me down or that I found awful and difficult. 

For example, this year, I found it really draining to do very detailed intricate work, logistical stuff, and anything that required a lot of very deep research-based work.  

I really sat with that and thought about why I didn’t like doing that work, and it was because it created a lot of anxiety and stress. It dampened my creative thinking. Anything with too many detailed moving parts create a sense of anxiousness that I might have forgotten something or not done something properly.  I do like some types of detailed work, but not many. 

Thirdly, I look at where I earned money and spent time. I spreadsheet this based on time documented in my calendar. Funnily enough, the work I love to do most takes the least time and earns me the most money. The work I dislike the most takes the most time and earns me the least money – probably because I have to do the grind to complete it. 

Finally, I reflect on my most important achievement of the past year. This is important because it shows you what your toil created that you are most proud of and gets you thinking about the bigger picture. If you don’t look at the bigger picture you might end up just planning another year of doing rather than thinking about your overall direction first. 

My greatest achievement this year was fulfilling four important professional roles, and even though the juggle was hard at times, it gave me a bigger picture view and understanding of two important knowledge areas (menopause and mental health), and of three bigger macro trends (psychosocial risk legislation, supporting and recognising women at work, and improving mental health at work). 

With this knowledge, I have a good idea of which business ideas will succeed in 2023, where the focus and money will be in the broader economy, and what my best opportunities are. Those insights allows me to set some tangible and meaningful goals that leverage these opportunities. 

When you reflect on the past year, ask yourself these questions and write some notes; 

  1. What did you love doing in the past year and why? 
  2. What drained your energy in the past year and why? 
  3. For every type of work you were paid for, which was the best return on investment in terms of time and money? 
  4. What was the most important outcome you achieved this year? 

This should give you a good summary of your past year, what worked and didn’t, in less than a page. 

Step 2 – What did you learn about yourself? 

When you reflect on what you learned about yourself, you can potentially see the work that you need to do and the obstacles you need to face, and the skills and strengths you can leverage. 

I learned a bunch of things about myself this year. 

Firstly, I am persistent and can work hard to get things done. 

I’ve realised that I am a sore loser – and this costs me emotionally and energetically. 

I’ve noticed I prefer to fly solo so I can create my own ideas, I tend to avoid groups, but I do enjoy collaboration if it is a bit hands off and not too intimate or intense. I’ve always known this at some level but have really experienced and felt it this year. 

My greatest strengths are creative brainstorming at a strategic business level and with clients, and summarizing, simplifying, and creating processes to get things done. When I do these things I am truly in flow. 

Finally, I can do about 10 coaching sessions or meetings a week before I start to get overwhelmed and find it hard to focus and be present. 

Having given you some examples, I now invite you to reflect on your year.  

  • How were you operating when you were at your best? 
  • What are your greatest strengths and moments of flow? 
  • In which situations do you thrive? 

Once you’re clear on steps 1 and 2, we start to consolidate. 

Step 3 – Map out your new business habits for 2023 

It’s one thing to think about what you have done and achieved and loved doing or being drained by in the last year.  

The first two steps in this process allow you to evaluate the past, so you can look ahead with clarity and map out your new business habits for 2023. 

In other words, it’s time to use your reflections define what you want to keep doing, stop doing or start doing next year.  

Some people like to start with their outcome goals first, and you can certainly do that. To me it makes more sense to find my flow in the process – then decide what I will create with that new way of working. 

I’ve learned in my first two steps that what’s important to me is to work more strategically, to simplify things, and to scale, so I can earn comfortably and remain in flow, and be at my best with the clients I work with.  This is how I will work. 

Tangibly, to define the habits I’ll stop, maintain and start, my next stage of planning is to: 

  • Knowing I dislike some types of detail work, I will evaluate the detailed tasks I do each week and decide which ones I can delegate or stop doing. A really easy one for me is checking email once per day instead of 4 times. 
  • Knowing how I feel about being in groups, I’ll review the group work I have tentatively planned for next year and decide what I’ll commit to and how I’ll show up (this is both professionally and personally). 
  • Based on what I learned in 2022 (knowledge and market trends), I will decide which areas I want to focus on in 2023. 
  • I will rewrite my vision, mission, value proposition and elevator pitch so I’m clear on what my focus is and how I work with people  
  • I will ask my VA to update my online platforms to reflect the updated pitch 
  • To become a better loser, I will start journalling about challenging situations where I lose, or fail, to change my perspective and rewire my beliefs about those things. 
  • To manage my volume of appointments, I will change my booking calendar to allow a maximum of 12 meetings or coaching sessions per week, which should be achievable when I make the other changes I’ve decided on. 
  • To manage my volume of appointments, I will also put out an invitation to my hand-picked 1:1 clients with the terms of engagement for 2023. 

What would your next stage of planning look like? 

  • What would you decide to stop doing, or delegate? 
  • How will you choose to work – for example more networking and groups, or more 1:1, more strategic or more detailed?  
  • How might your weekly schedule change as a result, and how will you maintain those boundaries? 
  • How do these changes affect your vision and value proposition? Do they need review? 

Step 4 – Defining achievable outcomes goals for 2023 

Having completed the previous three steps, you’re ready to think about outcomes you will be able to realistically achieve with this new way of working. 

I personally feel it’s important to keep the goals simple and few, so you can do a few things really well. As Robert Kyosaki says – the word FOCUS stands for Follow One Course Until Successful. 

My outcome goals for 2023 will be achieved if I do the things previously mentioned. Here are mine.  

In my business, I will be: 

  • Working 20 hours per week, Tuesday to Thursday to earn my target income. 
  • Helping my VA to earn a comfortable living doing the tasks that I dislike, that she is good at 
  • Working collaboratively with intelligent, energized people for a common purpose 
  • Supporting 100,000 professional women to thrive at work through appropriate education, coaching, allied health services and resources 

    In the area of coach training and advocacy for our industry, I will be:  

    • Teaching 2,000 health and wellness coaches to create sustainable businesses that they love, in their unique way, leveraging the coaching methodology 
    • Advocating (through HCANZA) for appropriate standards, definitions and consistency in our industry, and promoting the benefits and quality of what we do as professionals 

    In my personal life, I will be: 

    • Tackling one hard thing each quarter, focusing on a consistent practice in a creative pursuit, and reframing my negative thoughts 
    • Exercising daily in nature to give my brain a break and recharge 
    • Completing 20 hours of personal or professional development (including working with my own coach) each quarter. 

    This is my plan, now over to you. 

    What are the outcomes you want to achieve next year in your business? 

    What are the impacts you want to have in the world? 

    What will you do in your personal life to grow and evolve, show up better and function at your best? 

    I look forward to seeing what you create, with intention and purpose, in 2023. 

    Summary 

    If a business feels like a grind at times, and you have that nagging sense that things need to change, you now have a four-step process to start getting what you want with more ease and flow. The steps to follow are: 

    1. Reflect on the highlights and lowlights of the past 12 months 
    2. Reflect on what you’ve learned about yourself 
    3. Map out your ‘business habits’ for 2023 – what you’ll stop doing, maintain and start doing 
    4. Define your achievable outcome goals 

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

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    E#174 Your Foolproof 2022 Business Plan

    This episode is about your foolproof 2022 business plan

    The start of the year is a great time to make plans. But how do you make a plan that is realistic and will guarantee results?

    Today, I cover the three ingredients of a successful business plan that will ensure your success.

    Ingredient 1: Start with Strategy

    What do you think of when you hear the word ‘plan’? The internet defines a plan as:

    1. An orderly or step-by-step conception or proposal for accomplishing an objective.
    2. A proposed or intended course of action.
    3. A systematic arrangement of elements or important parts; a configuration or outline.
    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * Why starting with a strategy is so important
    * How to create a structured, SMART plan
    * Reviewing and course correcting

    What do you notice about these definitions?

    I see that they are all about taking action. And taking action is great, and important….but in the words of organisational theorist Kenichi Ohmae:

    “Rowing harder doesn’t help if the boat is headed in the wrong direction.”

    In other words, planning your actions is important, but there is a step BEFORE that.

    The step is creating a strategy.

    A strategy is the overall aim, objective or goal that you want to achieve.

    When it comes to your 2022 business plan, you would define your primary aim for the year BEFORE you start the planning process.

    I believe the best aims or outcomes are inspirational, realistic, aspirational and measurable. Here is an example.

    “By 31 December 2022, I want to have helped 50 women reverse diabetes.”

    If you think about this as an outcome, it meets all those criteria.

    For the right person, this is:

    · inspiring (ties in with a passion),

    · something that can realistically be achieved with the right support, systems and effort (the timing and number and content has been done before by others),

    · something to aspire to (reversing diabetes), and

    · measurable (it has an end date, and a number of people).

    So my question to you is – what is the overarching strategic goal you have for this year?

    All of your plans will be borne out of that.

    Ingredient 2: Create a Structured SMART Plan

    This one is essential and it’s where a lot of people go wrong with a lack of detail, specificity and not seeking help. If you’re new at business and/or planning, you will need help with this!

    Like the strategy, a structured plan has very specific actions, dates, milestones and metrics so that you can schedule tasks and check that you are on track.

    Using the example I just mentioned, we can start teasing out elements of the plan.

    “By 31 December 2022, I want to have helped 50 women reverse diabetes.”

    In this example we can see that we need two things: a way to solve the problem, and a way to engage the clients.

    Firstly, you will need to have a program and/or method for helping people reverse diabetes.

    1. What is program or method you will use?

    2. Has it been created yet?

    3. Do you need to test it/get social proof?

    4. Who else might need to be involved to help you?

    By answering those questions, you can work out the actions that need to be taken, in which order, who will help you – and you can schedule those into a timeline.

    Secondly, you will need to have a channel to find those 50 women with diabetes.

    1. What does your market research indicate?

    2. Where will you find them / where do they hang out?

    3. What is your best marketing strategy that plays to your strengths – e.g. writing, speaking, PR etc?

    4. Who can connect you with them?

    5. What opportunities are there in your existing networks?

    6. What will your marketing plan look like?

    By answering those questions, you can work out the actions that need to be taken, in which order, who will help you – and you can schedule those into a timeline.

    Ingredient 3: Review and Course Correction

    A plan is great, but things invariably change as you progress, so you need to schedule time at least once per month to review your progress, and course correct so you can achieve your goal, or change the goal as needed.

    We all find this bit hard because nobody likes changing the goals or goalposts!

    Change requires a shift away from what we know and feel safe with, into the unknown.

    BUT, as we know through coaching clients, the process of experimenting invariably changes the journey.

    Making time to reflect, review, let go of what doesn’t work and change gears, is the absolute key to success.

    In the example above, let’s assume that you did all your actions in January to find prospective clients through your networks…..but you drew a blank.

    Or perhaps you thought you’d have your program finished by now and ready to pilot, but you haven’t gotten there yet and can’t find any pilot clients.

    Eeek! Now what?

    Well, simply go back to your plan and review it.

    What didn’t work?

    What did work?

    What other opportunities are there to find pilot or real clients?

    Who can help you get clarity on these things, so you can progress your plan?

    As you can see, it’s one thing to come up with a strategy and plan, but life and business don’t go according to plan.

    Your ability to problem-solve, troubleshoot, brainstorm, seek help or even pivot are what will help you succeed.

    Please know this – there is no magical solution to any of these or any other problems. They require focus, attention, and work.

    This is the reality of running a business, and you will gain valuable experience not just for yourself, but also empathy for your clients who are going through exactly the same process!

    Summary

    Today I mentioned that planning is essential for a successful business, but many plans go awry or fail.

    The three ingredients for success are:

    1. Start with a big-picture strategy

    2. Turn the strategy into a structured, SMART plan

    3. Review and Course Correct with help in order to stay on track for success.

    If you need help with business planning, I have three spots available in January. Click here to book.

    Otherwise, you can waitlist for my June Passion to Profit Course where we go through the foundational work behind the plan that is essential for success.

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

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    E#149 Taking Control with Better Planning

    This episode is about taking control with better planning

    I’m super on top of planning, and so people tend to come to me as a business coaching or resilience coaching client to get help with getting organised. 

    And rather than talk about transformations, today I’d like to talk about four benefits that my clients experience by being better planners in business and life.

    Planning is a skill that anyone can learn. So even if you’re not very organised or systematic in the way that you do things, you can learn to improve those things for a calmer, more productive and more satisfying life, that you feel more in control of. 

    Let’s get started with those benefits!

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * Avoiding decision fatigue
    * How to feel organised
    * How to feel motivated in under 5 minutes

    Avoiding Decision Fatigue 

    The first benefit of planning is that it circumvents decision fatigue. Here’s what I mean.

    If you don’t have a plan, then you have to constantly make decisions about what to do next, all day.

    This can lead to you feeling out of control, unclear and disorganised. And the human brain has a limited capacity for decision making each day, so without a plan, you are setting yourself up for what’s called decision fatigue.

    Without a plan, by the end of the day, you probably won’t be able to work out how you spent the day, whether you achieved anything, and you will likely feel rushed and stressed, mentally drained and tired.

    But let’s look at the alternative – having a plan.

    Let’s say you turn up at your desk on Monday morning and you have a plan for the day. You’ve defined in advance what you will do and when, when you will take lunch, and your lunch is organised and in the fridge.

    You have a realistic list of tasks to complete, and you get them done easily and on time, so you can knock off work at a reasonable time and without feeling rushed.

    Because you’ve planned an hour to yourself after work, you get to exercise or unwind, or whatever you’ve chosen to do then, before transitioning into an evening of dinner, family time and a restful night’s sleep.

    It sounds idyllic right? But this is possible with a plan.

    A more meaningful, fulfilling life

    The second benefit of planning is that you set and achieve goals that are truly meaningful for you – not just goals that you think you should do.

    When you take the time to truly consider what you want and how to get it, you will feel more in control, intentional and purposeful, rather than just letting life happen to you.

    You are intentionally choosing things that will take you directly on the path to your vision or bigger outcome goals, and you will feel good about moving in the right direction.

    You’ll feel more positive, and like you are doing what you’re meant to be doing.

    In other words, the act of planning ahead gives you clarity, the chance to make purposeful choices about your direction, and to map out the specific steps to get there.

    Feeling organised

    I think a lot of the time when people are dissatisfied or feeling chaotic and disorganised, it’s because they’re vague about what they want and why.

    For example, let’s say that you decide you want to ‘eat better’ – but that’s as far as you’ve gone. What does that actually mean?

    Does it mean that you’ll eat vegetables with every dinner, buy take away only once per week instead of four times, does it mean that you’ll eat carrot sticks instead of chips in the afternoons?

    You can see where I’m going. If you’re not specific about the actions you want to take, and if you have no plan to take those actions, then you’ll probably get lost along the way.

    The flipside of that is having a plan where you know exactly what you’ll do and when.

    Sure you might not feel like doing the specific activity when the time comes, but this is the work of making change – learning to persist anyway.

    As long as you define specific actions that you enjoy taking, and/or you have support to make sure they happen, you will feel organised, in control of your life and you will start seeing the results of your actions.

    Yes, the results you have today are directly related to the habits you do each day.

    Being specific about what those habits are and how and when you will do them, sets the scene for progress and achievement.

    Feeling motivated in under 5 minutes

    Let’s finish on another positive part of having a plan – the chance to recognise your success.

    So few of us actually take the time to recognise how far we’ve come, or what we have achieved, or what we are achieving on the way to our goal. Even being consistent with a habit is an achievement even before the outcome has been realised! 

    When any of my clients feel demotivated on a journey of change or lose self-belief, I can help them flip that feeling around in under 5 minutes by simply asking them to walk through all that they have done and achieved so far.

    When you have a plan in place and clear specific actions that you are marking off in a diary or list, then it’s easy to visually remind yourself of your progress toward your final goal.

    Why would you wait until the end to recognise the final result, when you can enjoy the motivation of recognising your progress along the way, as part of your specific plan?

    Having a plan and ticking things off is an easy, quick and a fantastic way to recognise your achievements and build self-belief, which creates the motivation to keep going with your plan and achieve the end result.

    Summary

    Planning is a powerful tool to feel more positive, uplifted and to achieve what you want in life.

    In my experience with business and resilience clients, it is the key to success, happiness and purpose.

    As discussed today, when you create a plan to succeed you can enjoy benefits including:

    1. Avoiding decision fatigue
    2. A greater sense of meaning and purpose
    3. Feeling organised, and
    4. Feeling motivated easily and quickly.

    If you’d like to hone your planning skills, reach out for a good fit call to see if I can help you to live a more purposeful, satisfied and productive life!

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

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    E#141 How to Bust Your Decision Blocks

    This episode is about how to bust your decision blocks

    Includes offer to free P2P info session

    If you’re struggling with making decisions in your business or your life and you’re feeling overwhelmed and procrastinating then this episode is for you. I want to help you to bust through your decision-making blocks and start taking action so that you can create the business in life that you want and do it your way.

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * Knowing and identifying decision blockers
    * How research can help you bust these blockers
    * How planning can help you overcome these blockers

    Decision Blockers

    I’m currently reading Lisa Sasevic’s book Meant for More. It’s a really inspiring book and I am totally aligned with what she says, she says what I think so eloquently. So I’d like to share some insights from her book in this episode.

    Lisa talks about the concept of decision blockers. These are things that stop you from pursuing your dreams. These are the things that keep you stuck in the I’m not good enough or it’s not perfect headspace and prevent you from achieving what you wish for.

    As Lisa rightly says, all transformation is preceded by a decision.

    In this case we are talking about daily and weekly decisions – the little things – as much as we are talking about the bigger decisions.

    Reflect on that for a moment, like I did.

    Maybe you’re trying to decide when to officially launch your business.

    Maybe you’re trying to choose a colour and font set for your business branding.

    Maybe you’re trying to finalise your website.

    Maybe you’re finding it hard to commit to a niche.

    Maybe you’re trying to decide which CRM to sign up for. 

    Maybe you’re trying to figure out whether you need a CRM, a certain email program, or financial package.

    Maybe you’re wondering whether you should do some specific training course to help you with your business, or to hire a business coach.

    Maybe you’re wondering if this coaching thing is really going to work and if you can commit to stepping away from your job, so that you can transition into your business.

    If you’re feeling overwhelmed just listening to this right now, that’s exactly what happens on a daily basis to a lot of people. You can see how this sort of thinking is not very helpful

    Now, remember a time that you’ve made a decision about something, and how much clarity, confidence, and certainty about what you’re going to do next. Even if the thing is a little bit scary, at least you are clear and confident about the next steps.

    So what gets in the way of making decisions like this and how do you get past that?

    Here are some ways to bust common decision blockers, according to Lisa Sasevich and I.

    1. Do “Just Enough” Research

    Some people do a lot of research before they make a decision. And if you are researching all the time and then never making decisions it means that you are researching probably a bit much.

    And while a little bit of research is great to help you make a decision, too much is going to tip you into decision blocking. 

    It’s easy to get stuck in analysis paralysis, especially if you are a questioner tenancy or if you lack self confidence.

    Here are two things you can do.

    Lisa recommends that you tune into what you really want, hear the answer, and take action. 

    I recommend that you put a time limit on your research – a hard stop – so you contain it to equip yourself with r ohhh  essential information to make a decision.

    2. Stop Seeking Opinions

    We’re not talking about market research here. If you are constantly second-guessing what you are creating, wanting to put out there, or wanting to sign up for, then you can ask other people about their experience and opinion to a certain point, but once again it’s easy to go overboard with this.

    Just remember that other people can give different perspectives but they have different values, goals, and resources.

    So like doing research, it’s important that you put a hard stop on the amount of opinions you seek, and to seek opinions from people who you believe are wise and sound. 

    But ultimately, I recommend you use those perspectives to either strengthen your own opinion, or reconsider it. 

    Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re thinking about getting a VA for your business. You aren’t quite sure if you want to spend the money or whether it will be worth it. 

    So you start asking other people what it’s like to have a VA and what they recommend. Because everybody will have a different VA and for different types of tasks and they will have totally different expectations of their VA compared to you.

    Opinions can be a handy but subjective guide – take them as information and not gospel. As the expert in your own life, only you know what you want and need, why, and what your expectations are.

    The same goes with software. People often ask me which CRM they should use, which mail program they should use, and I just say do the free trials and see which one works best for you. That’s what I do, because some of the most popular software doesn’t gel with me and my learning style, but you can only know that if you do a trial. 

    3. Trust Yourself 

    People are often researching and polling and getting opinions because they lack trust in themselves. Remember that you are your best investment. If you want to be light, respected, trusted, and invested in you and you need to do these things for yourself.

    Start to trust yourself. Do you research, get opinions, but make your own decisions for your own reasons. 

    Know that you will make mistakes along the way, but they can use this to tweak and find tune your decisions to get the best outcome anyway

    Nobody else is you. Only you are you. Back yourself, and you will find that other people back you too. 

    As you can see, to make decisions easier on yourself, you are going to need to pull back from a few things, and let go of achieving. When you can tap into your courage you will bypass the overwhelm and you can try, and adjust as you go and learn. 

    It takes courage to do certain things in your life. And that’s really what we are talking about here.

    4. Make a Plan

    In my experience, every time you get decision fatigue and feel overwhelmed, you can get past that by making a plan. 

    Even if you plan to make a decision by a certain date, at least that is defining a hard stop.

    Plan to spend a certain amount of time doing research. Plan to spend a certain amount of time asking opinions if you need to do that too.

    Plan where and when you might do a trial of some sort. 

    You will have your next steps mapped out clearly and will know exactly what to do and when. You can even ask for help to get those things done, once you have the steps written out and scheduled.

    Summary 

    Today, I talked about how easy it is to feel overwhelmed and to become stuck with decisions or taking action. I have discussed four ways to bust common decision blockers, according to Lisa Sasevich and myself.

    1. Do just enough research
    2. Stop seeking opinions 
    3. Trust yourself
    4. Make a plan

    For this to work, you’ll need to take action.

    You might like to write out these four steps, as a reminder of what to do and how to do it. You might like to put in place a timeslot every week to make a plan for things that you need to make decisions on that week.

    Also, you might like to create some sort of a decision matrix to help you make decisions and take action in the moment. 

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here: