December 2, 2013
Q&A

Business leaders need action plan to achieve goals

Q&A talks about how business leaders can better achieve their goals with Peter Winiarski, CEO of Win Enterprises in Avon, and recent author of "Act Now! A Daily Action Log for Achieving Your Goals in 90 Days."

Q: Your new book has become an international Amazon best seller. What's a thumbnail description of the book? Who is its target audience?

A: Act Now! shares a powerful methodology for taking the highest leverage actions each day so you can actually achieve your goals in 90 days. It is based on the process that I follow myself, which I've created from digesting tons of personal development and success training over the years.

I wrote Act Now! for those goal-minded people who are frustrated with their results or want to achieve more. This includes business leaders who want to make a difference in their business results individually or with their teams.

Q: In your book, you teach that there are three types of action to take. What are they?

A: Act Now! begins with deciding your 90-day goals and drafting an action plan for each goal. Then you follow the daily action process. The core of the daily action process is what I call The Circle That Will Change Your Results. This circle is a daily routine that starts with holding a clear intention about what you expect for the day. Then, follow the three types of action.

1. Planned actions: Action steps toward your goal that align with your action plans — decide the most important steps toward your goals for you to take today.

2. Daily habits: Acivities that are proven to accelerate goal achievement, like brushing your teeth every day but for your goals. There is a whole list of daily activities I suggest you follow. For example, visualizing your goals as already complete and saying properly written affirmations for each of your goals will shift priorities in your "reticular activating system", the part of your brain that filters millions of sensory inputs from reaching your conscious awareness because we wouldn't be able to handle it. It only passes through what it thinks is important to you.

3. Inspired actions: Unplanned actions that you take in response to an intuitive hit, idea, or inspiration. Inspired actions are often the actions that enable you to excel leaps and bounds beyond your current progress.

Q: When you talk about setting goals you say at one point to focus on challenging vs. easy goals, yet further state it's important to set achievable goals. What's the best way to determine if a goal is challenging yet achievable?

A: There is research that says 90 percent of the time people who set challenging goals outperform those who didn't set goals at all or those who set easy goals. As humans, we have more capability and capacity to achieve than we generally realize. If we allow ourselves to stay in our current comfort zone then it will be difficult to achieve results that are any different than what we've had in the past. This is why its so important to set challenging goals.

"Achievable" is an interesting concept because the largest factor in whether or not something is achievable is your personal belief. If you believe your goal is achievable and behave as if you genuinely know this is going to come true, then your chances of success are terrific.

One guideline I share with clients is to discover if anyone else has achieved what your goal is. If yes, then it is at least possible for you (or your business) to achieve that goal, too.

Q: An important step in this process would be creating action plans for each of the goals. What are some common missteps people make when creating the action plans? What should every action plan include?

A: A good action plan has a few critical elements: the steps, who is going to complete each step, and by when. Other elements I like an action plan to contain include the predicted impact each step would have, which helps your planning, and percent complete, which helps you review your progress.

The biggest misstep I see people make is to not have an action plan in the first place. They have a goal, but no clarity about what they will do to achieve that goal so they are inefficient in their quest.

Q: There's a line later in the book where you write, "By letting go of your emotional attachments, you are able to move more easily through your issues." Emotional decisions can be a problem in business. What's a good strategy for letting go of emotional attachments?

A: For starters, business leaders are people and therefore are not immune to the emotional challenges that we all face from time to time. When you allow yourself to get emotionally charged up you can't perform at your best.

There are a number of techniques to eliminate the emotional charge so you can get back in the game. The quickest and easiest is to simply close your eyes and breath deeply for a few minutes. Allow yourself to let go of the issue and forget about it, even for just a few moments, so you can clear your head and focus on what's important.

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