Is Your Success in 2014 a “Nice to Do” or a “Must Do”?

Wow, it is the 4th week of January – it feels like the year is already zooming by? How are those resolutions or intentions you set at the beginning of the year?

I’ve been having conversations with a variety of business owners and what I am hearing is that there are a lot of big plans for 2014. And with these big plans come a lot of goals. Some of the goals lists look more like a to do list than what is super important.  Now, don’t get me wrong, goals have their place, but when we start out with a huge list of goals a couple of things can happen: we are not sure what to focus on first or which will have the biggest impact, we may go into overwhelm or not take action, which results in not making progress and then we go into our stories about our goals and ourselves – how we should have worked harder or that we failed

As awesome, smart and powerful as we all are – we cannot set up a new website, create a new program, start a newsletter, create a higher converting sales system, network, adopt a new business strategy and build a community of 5000 ALL AT ONCE.

An Alternative: Using Critical Musts

3 Step Process to Create Critical Musts

Important | Critical | SuccessThis 3-step process can be used to set the direction for your business and can also be used for monthly or quarterly check-ins to see how you are doing against your priorities.

Step 1: Create & Connect

As Stephen Covey has said “begin with the end in mind”. Take a few moments to connect to what really matters to you: why are you in business? What is it you want to create for yourself, your family, and your business this year? What will success look like for you in 2014?

Step 2: Reflect & Assess

In order to move forward in 2014 need to take reflection on 2013. Ask and answer the following 3 questions:

1) What were your successes?  This is not just the numbers driven results like revenue, conversion rates, number of sales, or size of list, but also the softer things like stretching yourself and doing a telelclass or in person workshop, learning a new skill, or delegating and being okay with it.

2) What did you learn?  Maybe you realized you are more comfortable having face-to-face meetings versus on the phone, or that asking your family and friends for referrals isn’t as scary as you thought. Perhaps you learned that need to network or speak more to have the number of clients you really want to work with.

3) How do your success and learnings inform 2014? Taking into account your successes and what you learned throughout the year what do you need to stop, start and continue achieve the results you desire this year. We tend to focus on what we need to do or keep doing, but many times there are things we need to stop doing also so be sure to make this list as well.

Step 3: Create Your Critical Musts

Critical Musts are the 3-5 overarching strategies for your business. They are the things that are the most critical to you achieving your vision, your bigger purpose and will serve as the compass fro all your activity and decisions throughout the year. In the business and corporate worlds, these overarching strategies have been called strategic imperatives or business imperatives.

Examples of Critical Musts include Superior customer service, Create a high-end group coaching program, Increase sales conversion, Shift to fee based planning. They do not describe how it will be done, but are the big overarching “what” will be done to have your business achieve its goals.

To create your Critical Musts:

Answer the question: If nothing else in 2014, I will ___________________. For each one, also answer: This is important to me because ______________. I know it may seem obvious, but answering this question really connects you to why this is important to you so you can choose to do it versus feeling like it is something you have to do.

Write down your 3-5 Critical Musts and keep them visible. Whenever something comes across your desk or a new opportunity presents itself, ask yourself “which of my Critical Musts is this aligned with” so that you can stay on plan, on purpose and be profitable.

What is 1 of your Critical Musts for 2014? Please share it here.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Speak Your Mind