Imagine you want to take a long-distance road trip. You live in New York and want to visit friends in San Francisco. If you jumped in your car and started driving with no plan, it’s likely you’d take a really long time to arrive, if at all. Just think about all the logistics: what highways would you travel on? Will there be cell phone coverage across each state? What motels are clean and safe?
But what if you mapped out your trip? What if you packed everything you need, found the most expedient routes, and planned where you’ll sleep? With a plan, or a blueprint, it’s much more likely you’ll arrive in San Francisco in one piece, make good time, and have plenty of energy to have fun with your friends when you get there.
Now, let’s apply this idea to your business or soul-centered project. It’s the same with your business goals. You need to map out your journey to ensure that you arrive efficiently, on time, and in a way that feels good to you.
Blueprint for Success
One of the best ways to succeed at your goals is to get as specific as possible in any given time. Your blueprint is the specific action steps that you’ll be taking over any 4 to 12 week period. In creating the blueprint, you’ll not only detail the steps, but also set a limited time frame for each step.
Why Don’t We Achieve Goals?
I’m sure you can think of a few instances where you didn’t make any real forward movement on a goal you’d set. There are 3 common reasons why you didn’t achieve a goal you’ve set:
- You didn’t make it a priority – didn’t schedule the time.
- You didn’t know how to do it. You didn’t know the steps of how to get from A to Z.
- You were overwhelmed or in fear and didn’t follow up.
This is why blueprints are so helpful. The blueprint is the roadmap that shows you the exact way you’ll get to your goals. A blueprint helps you remain grounded and not get overwhelmed because you’re breaking down the big goal into manageable pieces.
What’s In a Blueprint?
Don’t map out your entire soul-centered project unless it’s achievable in 3 months – focus on your goals within your project. For example: creating a proposal for your book, not writing the book. You might be losing 10 pounds, getting clear on your career path, planning a kitchen renovation – anything that takes 3 months or less to complete.
Don’t Do Too Much At Once
This is where priorities become important. You might want to accomplish 10 things, but you can’t do them all at the same time. Don’t work on more than three goals or blueprints at one time. More than that will be too overwhelming.
You may have concrete, outer action goals, such as to build your business, to launch a program in your community, to stick to an energizing exercise program, etc. You may have inner goals such as to gain clarity about your career path. What’s important for either is that these goals must be measureable. So if you want to create more space in your life so you know what you want next, then the goal is to have clarity about what you want next.
How to Create a Business Blueprint
State your goal clearly. Write what you want for the goal as well as how you want it. I believe that goals work best if you add an emotional component or inner intention for them. So you want to do X (hire an assistant, write that proposal, edit that film) while also being joyful, or facing a fear, or with an open heart, or being openly communicative, etc.
The blueprint is also the place you can lay out what you don’t want: I don’t want to feel unsuccessful; I don’t want it to cause problems with my partner; I don’t want this to take forever, and so on.
Set your goal time. Goals should be large enough that they require at least 30 days but no more than 3 months to complete. What’s your due date?
Break the goal into categories – both inner and outer. For example, if your goal is to create a website, it can cover hiring a graphic designer, writing web copy, deciding on the feel and look of website, what you’ll offer as a free gift, and more. An example of an inner goal might be managing fear around hiring contractors.
Break it into baby steps. Break those goals down into time chunks of 1-2 hours to make each one as manageable and doable as possible. So if you’re building your website, one goal might be to research websites whose look you like. The point is to make it small enough that you can do it without feeling overwhelmed or over time.
Put them in your schedule: Once you have the baby steps chunked down, you plug them into your schedule: decide what you’ll do the first week, what you’ll do the second week, and so on.
One thing that can help ensure you stick to your blueprint as much as you can is putting things in your calendar. Another tool is to recruit people who keep you accountable, like getting friends to come with you to exercise class.
As your life changes and grows, your blueprint will too. We are not robots, and nobody’s schedule can ever be written in stone. Things will come up – both emergencies and opportunities. Go through a process of assessing things weekly. Things will change and you need to make sure that as you meet goals or hit up against obstacles, you have the flexibility to work them into your schedule.