Have you found a way to set goals that inspires and pulls you towards your dreams? The right formula will help encourage you to make progress.
Without a measurable plan, you’re significantly less likely to achieve your goals, which in turn makes you less likely to set new ones or have the opportunity to live the life you hope for.
I use the SMART acronym to help me set my goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and anchored within a Timeframe), and I’m always excited to find out more about the strategies other successful people use.
Jeannette Linfoot, corporate CEO turned entrepreneur, has a fantastic goal-setting strategy which has already supported her to create a multi-million-pound property portfolio.
Part of her recipe for success includes breaking her annual goals into 12-week chunks so there is an increased sense of urgency. You can hear our full conversation on the Goals Do Come True podcast.
Before we get into the fine details, I wanted to know Jeannette’s overall ethos.
Formula for success
Jeannette: “It all starts with the inner you: having the right mindset, being in the best physical and mental shape possible, and genuinely believing in yourself. You need to have clarity around where you’re heading.
What’s your why? You need to have a measurable goal and take action towards it. My formula for success is belief + purpose + action = results. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.
I believe that if you raise your vibration, you can attract good things, but you have to put the work in. If you have all three of them [belief + purpose + action], you’ll get results.”
Jeannette, born and bred in Manchester, has been in business for 27 years, during which time she has worked as a corporate CEO of global travel businesses, including Thomas Cook, First Choice and Saga. She left the corporate world three years ago and now runs a property investment business (with her partner Chris), a merger and acquisition advisory business, and mentors business owners to help them achieve their full potential.
How to stay on course
There’s no doubt that Jeannette is driven, but it’s easy to lose your way when you split your focus. What I really wanted to know was how she brought all of her businesses together when it came to setting goals.
Jeannette: “You have to have a clear vision for your life and know why you want what you want. What are your core values? What do you want to see written on your gravestone? What do you want to make a stand for?
At the end of the day, you can have a great plan, a great vision, but if you don’t take action, stuff is not going to happen. I knew that I wanted to ultimately become a CEO and I did that. Chris and I want to create a property portfolio in excess of 15 million pounds. We’re heading towards that and we’re committed to that journey. You need to know the big picture, then develop a granular bottom-up approach to achieve it.”
I’m a big believer in writing goals down to help embed them into the subconscious mind, and it’s clear from the way that Jeannette reeled off her numbers when it came to her property portfolio ambitions that she firmly believes in them. Her goals have become part of her.
I was keen to find out more about her goal-setting process.
The big picture and the detail
Jeannette: “I write everything down. I’m a scribbler. I have a whiteboard with our goals for the year at a macro level. Then I translate those into 12-week periods so we focus on a three-month period [from the book The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington].
When I plan my specific goals over a 12-week period of time, I break it down into a weekly action plan to help me achieve those numbers. When you focus on a shorter period of time, you have much more certainty about what you can achieve. You can be more targeted. When you treat each week as though it’s a month, it gives you a greater sense of urgency. I still set goals for the year, but I also break them down much more.”
I love Jeannette’s way of breaking down her goals; often when we feel like we’re up against the clock, it increases momentum. I’m planning to take four months off this year (March, June, September and December) so it’s encouraging me to think about a new strategy to accelerate results in the months I do work.
What seems to be particularly effective for Jeannette is that she is clear on her long-term goals and very detailed on how to progress towards these in the short term.
Jeannette: “I know my big vision for five and 10 years. I then strip that back to one year, then get really granular over each 12-week period so that I can ruthlessly measure progress. Within that, I have what I call lead and lag indicators. A lag indicator might be that I’ve secured a client and have the money in the bank. A lead indicator is knowing how many prospecting calls I need to make.
Lead indicators tend to be more focused around the actions you need to take to get to your numbers. When you know exactly what you need to do, you plan better, which gives you more freedom. Having structure like this as an entrepreneur might seem like a paradox, but over time it gives you more freedom because you don’t waste time.”
Jeannette’s goal-setting process is inspiring, and even if you’re nowhere near planning a multi-million-pound business, trust that you start somewhere. Setting your goal is more important than its size or lead-in time. Once you set a goal and consistently take action, it will happen sooner than you expect!
If you’d love more goal-setting wisdom, check out my book Think Simple Win Big: How to Build the Business of Your Dreams With a Few Simple Goals. It’s a modified version of my original book Goals Do Come True.
Do you have a big goal you’re determined to achieve? I’d love to hear about it. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org