Travel is one of my biggest passions, and taking off for weeks at a time and traveling wherever I want has always been one of my biggest goals in life.
But it wasn’t until 2013 – at the age of 30 – that I was able to accomplish that goal.
You see, I’d spent all of my 20’s struggling financially.
Not in the respect that I couldn’t pay my rent, but in the respect that I never had an actual savings account where money went in – and stayed in.
Every month my job paid me twice, and every month I spent very, very close to every single penny on my rent, my bills, and my weekends.
Sometimes those weekends consisted of a quick trip to Las Vegas, or camping in Joshua Tree, and those were always my favorite weekends.
But I couldn’t afford to do that every weekend.
Accomplishing my biggest financial goal
It was always a goal of mine to have a 10k savings account at all times, because to me that meant I’d have enough money to travel whenever, wherever, and not have to worry about whether I could afford it.
That day didn’t come for me personally until 2013, when I quit my corporate job and joined John here at Entrepreneurs On Fire.
Since, I’ve become better and better at accomplishing goals in all areas of my life: personally, professionally, and financially.
Specifically, as it relates to travel, John and I are accomplishing a pretty massive goal this year in 2018: we’re traveling Europe for 60 days.
Gaining momentum and the domino effect
I look at it as a sort of domino effect. I accomplish one goal, and then I have the added drive, motivation, and confidence to move on and accomplish another goal – and another goal – and another goal.
But as with most things in life, accomplishing goals only comes with a lot of preparation and planning.
Back in 2013, when I hit my goal of having a 10k savings account, there wasn’t a ton of structure around it.
So how’d I do it?
Well, first and foremost, I had finally started working on my mindset around money – something I didn’t even know existed before 2011 (that’s when I realized that not everyone lives paycheck to paycheck like I had for the last 12 years of my life).
In addition to reading books, and talking to others about how they viewed and felt about money (in order to open my mind to new ways of handling my money – and again, my overall relationship with money), it came down to pretty simple math: for the first time in my life I was making more money and taking on fewer financial commitments than ever before.
Fast-forward to today, 5 years later, and I’ve built up quite a bit of drive, motivation, and confidence when it comes to setting and accomplishing my goals.
In addition, I’ve found a process that works – without fail – and always keeps me on track with accomplishing my goals, whether they be personal, professional, or financial.
It’s really quite simple: it’s all about implementing a twice daily roundup of the tasks and projects you’re focused on.
Working backwards to accomplish your goals
Now the not-so-simple part is holding yourself accountable and only putting tasks and projects on your roundup that are helping you get one step closer to accomplishing your goals.
If your roundup consists of all sorts of tasks and projects that have nothing to do with the goals you’re trying to accomplish, guess what? You’re not going to accomplish your goals.
The best way to figure out what tasks and projects should be on your daily roundup is to work backwards. Once you have your big-picture goals, what’s it going to take in order for you to accomplish them?
Your big-picture goals
So first, you have to set – and be super clear on – what goals you’re trying to accomplish.
Typically when I talk about setting goals it’s in a big-picture sense: goals for your entire business, where you’re headed, where you want to be in 6 – 12 months from now.
Those are super important to have nailed down – and implementing a daily roundup to help you accomplish your goals isn’t going to work unless you have those big-picture goals for your business.
I recorded an entire season on the podcast that focuses solely on setting and accomplishing goals to help in this department.
The smaller goals that will help get you there
Once you have your big-picture goals, it’s time to focus on the smaller goals that will help get you there.
So for your daily roundup – the tasks and projects you have included should all be related to helping you accomplish the smaller goals that are in some way, shape, or form helping you get one step closer to your bigger goals.
Let’s looks at an example, and then I’m going to dive into how you can implement a daily roundup to help you with accomplishing your goals.
Big-picture goals versus smaller goals that will help get you there
One of our big-picture goals here at Entrepreneurs On Fire in 2018 is to simplify the journey we take our avatar on from the minute they’re introduced to our brand, all the way to them becoming a customer or a raving fan.
The purpose is to not overwhelm people who come to our site by asking them if they want to do five different things – and also to get them into one of our funnels as quickly as possible.
We want someone to come to our site and for us to already know what it is they want and need, and without them having to click even 1 link or scroll the homepage, show it to them.
As you can imagine, this big-picture goal has become multifaceted.
In order to accomplish it, we started by working backwards and breaking down the smaller tasks and projects (or smaller goals) we’d have to accomplish first.
One of those smaller goals was a homepage redesign that presented our avatar with a single call to action: join our free course, Your Big Idea, and JLD will walk you through the steps to help you discover your big idea.
We found that to be the biggest pain point our audience has: they might have a big idea, several big ideas, or no big idea at all – and in all 3 cases, they need help discovering, confirming and focusing on the one big idea they’ll go all-in on.
And again, this smaller goal required another project: creating that free course.
So you’ll see that setting your big-picture goals results in several smaller goals that need to be accomplished in order to help you get to the big-picture results.
The smaller goals are the actions you’re going to take in order to help you accomplish the big-picture goal, and they’re integral to its success.
So one project on my daily roundup was getting our free course, Your Big Idea, live.
Implementing a daily roundup
Here’s how a daily roundup actually works…
Step 1. Prioritize and set your 7-10 day window
Once you have your big-picture goals broken down into the smaller goals you have to accomplish first, you can start populating your daily roundup.
Remember, your daily roundup consists of the tasks and projects that will help you accomplish the smaller goals, that will eventually help you accomplish your big-picture goals. Nothing more, nothing less.
Chances are there is going to be a priority in your daily roundup: what’s the 1 most important task or project you can accomplish today?
That most important task or project will be followed by the others in order of importance, and should span a 7-10 day period – meaning, do not add a task or project to your list if you’re not going to accomplish it in the next 7-10 days.
For those tasks and projects you know you need to get to eventually, but that you won’t get to in the next 7-10 days, you can keep a running list in an Asana project or in your Workflowy.
Don’t add them to your daily roundup until you know they’re within your 7-10 day window.
Step 2. Set your outline
Now it’s time to set an outline you can follow every day for your roundup.
This might differ depending on whether you’re doing your daily roundup for just yourself, or you’re doing your daily roundup with your entire team.
For example, I do my daily roundup with John, and so our outline is:
Title of tasks or project – color-coded based on who is lead
Kate [date]: Kate’s comments / updates on where the project is at
John [date]: John’s comments / updates on where the project is at
And we send our daily roundup back and forth via email.
There are several different ways you can do this – again, it’s going to depend on what works best for you. Maybe it’s an in-person or Skype meeting every morning (and/or evening) with your team of 4, where you go around the room and everyone shares an update on where they’re at with a particular task or project.
Maybe it’s a project in Asana, where your team is tasked with posting a comment at the end of each day with the progress made, and what their first next step is tomorrow morning.
Whatever outline and venue you choose, have one person in charge of making sure it happens every single day. This will be critical, because as easy as it is to send an update, it’s equally as easy not to.
Hold yourself accountable (or assign someone else to hold you accountable).
Step 3. Always go back to your roundup
It’s SO EASY to get distracted.
You sit down at your computer, and there are suddenly 5 different things you could be doing right now.
Which one do you do first?
Always go back to your roundup when in doubt.
Your roundup is like your North Star when it comes to what you should FOCUS on right now, because your roundup has your first most important task or project listed right at the top.
No guessing as to what you should be working on, or what order your tasks should be in. Stop overcomplicating things.
This is a simple process.
It’s all laid out for your in your daily roundup.
Case in point: just the other day I sat down at my computer and felt this rush of overwhelm. I knew I had about 4 different tasks or projects I was working on that day, and I couldn’t remember where I had left off the day before.
Then I remembered I had my daily roundup. So I went back to it, checked the comments from both myself and John, and was immediately back on track with ONE task to focus on first.
Distractions keep you from accomplishing your goals
My journey to finding a process that actually helps me with accomplishing my goals hasn’t been easy – or quick.
Accomplishing my goal – even setting my goal – of having a 10k savings account was a big step that took me 30 years to figure out.
It starts with just 1 step, and once you’ve taken that first step, it’s going to be that much easier to take the second, and the third, and the fourth.
If you’re ready to to get started with accomplishing your goals, then I highly encourage you to implement a daily roundup. I also highly recommend The Freedom Journal: a physical, hard-cover journal that will help you set and accomplish your #1 goal in 100 days.