Accomplish Your Goals: Frustration Breakthrough Exercise

Every now and then I get annoyed, even exasperated, at situations in which I find myself at work and in my personal life.  Often, all these situations need is a bit of course correction to get back on track.  I use the following process to step back, assess the situation, get clarity, and devise an action plan to move toward the ideal result.

  1. Start by listing all of your current frustrations and irritations.  I list what is bothering me – in all areas of my life.  These can be things that are distracting me, angering me, taking up my mental energy.  It might be business results from the last quarter, not having enough quality time off, dealing with too many office distractions, gaining weight.
  1. The next step is to brainstorm for each item on your frustration list: what is the ideal goal?  Write down the ideal goal.  The ideal goal should  manifest exactly how you would like life to look, for example:  get back to a weight of  X lbs, spend quality time with my children on the weekend instead of checking my blackberry, divide day at work so that 90% of my time is focused on business-related activities.
  1. The third step is to create a strategy.  For each item that I listed, what do I need to take to resolve these annoyances or frustrations?  Examples may be: delegating more in my office so that I can focus on what I should be doing, review my business plan to ascertain how I am tracking against my goals, schedule a meeting to discus all the projects with the team and what responsibilities they have, go back to keeping a food journal and exercise more.
  1. Finally, we create an action plan to implement the strategy.  The action plan should answer the question: what, specifically, do I need to do over the next 30, 60, and 90 days so that I will be able to make some progress in these areas.  For the strategy to exercising more, this may include: rejoining the gym and scheduling 1 personal training session a week for the next 8 weeks.  For the strategy of delegating more, this may include sitting down with the office manager to identify frustrations and figure out who is best to manage those projects and tasks.

Here is an example, using 6 common frustrations, illustrating exactly how to use this tool to get the results that you want.  Good luck!

Frustration Ideal Goal Strategy Action Plan
1. Health 1. Weight is 185, living a healthy lifestyle 1. Restart the my Evernote food journal and go to the gym every other day 1. Call the nutritionist and join spin class
2. Constant interruptions between email and drive by meetings 2. No interruptions and distractions, 2. Block time during the day to respond to calls, emails, and team questions 2. Set an out of office reminder that emails will be checked twice a day, please don’t expect instant responses. turn off email notifications. Let the team know the ideal times to discuss issues with me,
3. Revenue Stagnant 3. Exceed our revenue goals 3. Review the Revenue Targets with the team 3. Have regular meetings with the team to report the #’s with weekly progress and status reports
4. Team results are not where they need to be 4. Team is engaged, own the projects 4. Team meeting to discuss 4. share with the team exactly what their duties & responsibilities are as well as their KPI’s and track them
5. Loops not closed 5. Communication is off the chart 5. When clients communications arrive, let the client know that you received it and a response will be provided by a certain day 5. Meet wit the team and implement a follow up plan for closing loops
6. Kids 6. Weekend belongs to family 6. Have a family meeting and schedule activities for the weekend 6. Book the next 8 weeks




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