Think Time (Part 7)

This final installment addresses the question of how to turn annual intentions (Parts 5-6) into actions. We all know what the Road to Hell is paved with so, let’s move to actually getting things done!

For your annual priorities (business and/or personal), I’ve seen 4 very useful approaches and tools. They are not mutually exclusive and I’ve chosen pieces of all of them for my own process.

Gazelles 1 Page Plan

Small business expert, Verne Harnisch, wrote Mastering the Rockefeller Habits over 20 years ago and it still works today. Very practical and concise I recommend it to all of my clients. One of the tools he mentions is the 1 Page Plan. You can download this tool at

Jholdas G&O

My business partner and great friend/brother, Gary Christopher, developed a tool for the Jholdas Group which focused on Goals and Objectives coming out of the Values to Vision exercise (Part VI). Essentially, Once you know where you’re headed for the year, you turn these into measurable outcomes (goals and objectives). Each one then has very specific action items underneath it with specifics in terms of data, metrics, and things to do. Updated quarterly, this becomes a very useful tool to set direction and achieve what you want. 

Covey Roles and Goals

Covey, in First Things First, encourages people to build their plans around the roles they play. For example, Husband, Father, Business Owner are typical roles we see. Then, for each role, explain what you hope to achieve for the year and to support that create specific action items with a target date for completion (ending the action with “by 12/31/21.”) This practice is taught in the 5 Choices for Extraordinary Productivity course. 

EOS Vision Tracker/Organizer (VTO)

Finally, in the work of Gino Wickman, a toolbox full of helpful forms and processes make up the Entrepreneurial Operating System (or EOS). A specific tool for turning plans into achievement is the VTO. I have clients who use EOS diligently to keep their businesses moving forward. 

Over the years, I’ve used all of these approaches and each one works. Find the one that works best for you and use it. That is the key. All the thinking in the world isn’t going to bring you what you’re looking for if you don’t turn thoughts into decisions and decisions into measurable actions.

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