/Holistic goal design (best framework to avoid burnout)

Holistic goal design (best framework to avoid burnout)

We clink glasses. The event finally ended and it was a great success.

At least on the surface.

Hours earlier, I had delivered the closing remarks at a business conference, and now, drink in hand, I was sitting at a bar with the founder, who finally had time to catch a breath after months of hard work.

We talked about the future: plans for a bigger and better event next year, revenue goals for our businesses, and the hiring spree he was on to grow his team three times in 4 months.

He was meticulously detailed and knew exactly what was going to happen and when. business goals o’clock.

After about an hour, I got curious and changed the subject:

“What’s happening outside of business? Any big goals with the family this year?” I asked.

After a quick sip of her 3rd old-fashioned coffee, she said, “Oh, you know. Just making sure we’re all happy and healthy.”

I nodded my head and raised my glass.


We continue to chat about random things for the rest of the night, and around midnight we say goodbye. He had a briefing with his team the next morning and I had a flight to catch.

As I got ready for bed, I couldn’t help but think of his answer to my earlier question and how ironic it really was.

Beneath the surface, I knew they weren’t the healthiest of people. She slept badly and ate worse. At home, things weren’t much better either. Those close to his family knew that he and his wife were not doing well, and any relationship with his son was usually what he could fit into his busy schedule.

Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon story in the world of entrepreneurship. We are so focused on our businesses and their goals that other parts of our lives take a backseat.

We can get so specific with our business goals, but when asked about our personal lives, it’s just a generically broad answer that’s more like “Eventually I’ll make it, someday.”

This is not how it should be.

Since 2011, ever since I found myself falling into the same trap, I have made sure to never let the business be the center of everything in my life again.

Rather, the business is an important part of a much larger whole. Each part is equally important, and each part deserves time and attention for real, specific, and measurable goals.

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The 6-Part Framework for Holistic Goal Setting

Inspired strongly by michael hyatt and his The best year of all program, I have created my own 6-step process that I follow every year to continue to improve all aspects of my life, not just the business.

I have taken Michael’s program every year since it launched in 2012. Unfortunately, it is no longer available as an online course. However, I recommend Michael’s The Complete Focus Journalwhich agrees with the teachings of The best year of all. It is wonderful.

My frame is a slight adaptation of his show, and he deserves all the credit for it.

Here’s the breakdown:

Part 1: What do you want?

Part 2: Why do you want it?

Part 3: Create your top 3 goals for 2023

Part 4: Next Steps

Part 5: What’s the trigger?

Part 6: Who will support you?

To help you in this process, Download our Goal Design Workshop 2023 Workbook. This was offered last month in a live workshop that I led to help guide our all access pass members Feel free to download the worksheet and consider joining our all access pass to get access to all of our courses, workshops, and a community to help support your work.

Part 1: What do you want?

The first step is to divide your life into more than just business, but into other aspects of life that are important to you.

Emotional, intellectual, physical, relational, business, hobby, and financial are some of the categories you can add to the list, and you can add even more if you want.

From there, within each category, what could you hope to one day achieve within that category?

It doesn’t have to be a goal that needs to be accomplished within the next year, and it doesn’t have to be specific either. You can also list more than one.

This exercise simply makes you think about what you really want. Think deeply about these things, because they will influence the decisions you make later.

The interesting thing is that every year that I do this exercise, a lot of what I want has changed or has been transformed in some way. That is why it is important to do this exercise every year because we change, circumstances change and goals must also change accordingly.

Part 2: Why do you want it?

“Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is a nightmare.”
japanese proverb

It is important to know the WHY behind each of the aspirations you wrote for each category in Part 1. Without the WHY, there will be no momentum.

Everything needs a purpose, otherwise why do anything?

This exercise helps you get to the root of what your actions will be and can help motivate you when taking action is difficult or if you hit a snag.

Part 3: Create your top 3 goals for 2023

Let’s start by creating 3 specific SMART goals for the year that support 3 of the aspirations above (from 3 different categories).


We want to narrow our focus for now and move on to the rest of the exercises sooner. After you’re done with 3, go back and repeat the rest of the exercises with more.

For each one you choose, turn each aspiration into a clearly defined SMART goal or habit to work on this year.

What is a SMART goal?

A SMART goal is:

S: Specific.

Be clear and as specific as you can.

Bad example: I will go to the gym as much as I can.

Great example: I will go to the gym 3 days a week and exercise for at least 45 minutes each time.

Bad example: Stop wasting time on my company.

Great example: Reduce the number of meetings to just twice a week for my employees by the end of Q2 2023.

M: Measurable.

You can’t track and improve what you can’t measure. Tracking is an important part of goal setting so you can see how far you’ve come toward your goal and allows you to adjust if necessary.

If you have a goal and you’re not quite sure how you’d know if you’re on track or not, then you need to go back to work or write again.

A: Achievable.

Your goals must be realistic and achievable. This can be the trickiest because you may be inclined to make your goal a little easier to ensure that you can achieve it.

Set your goals too low, however, and you won’t achieve or grow much.

Use common sense here.

I love basketball and use it as a sport to stay active, however if I am setting my sights on joining an NBA team this year, that is not realistic at this age, my height, and of course my skill level. (The gentlemen I play with can definitely attest to that, lol.)

A: Risky

The ‘R’ in SMART goals generally stands for Relevant, which is important – obviously, you want to make sure these goals matter to you. And I think this is here so that we don’t just put random goals that don’t matter on our list, but in general, especially if you follow this framework, every goal you write is going to be inherently relevant, so I decided to use one of the R’s of Michael here instead: risky.

By risky, I don’t mean dangerous or super consequential. Risky is a word used to make sure you don’t include goals that are “too easy.” There is a risk that you won’t get it.

Adding a bit of risk makes your goal a bit more interesting and potentially more rewarding as well.

T: time based

Having a set day or time included with your goal is what ultimately makes this whole system work, and can help you create a deadline that drives action today.

All goals should include a time, either a month and date to achieve the goal, or a time frame to embed a habit into.

Part 4: Next Steps

This is simple but powerful.

For each of the goals or habits that you have written down, write down what the next steps are. From where you are now, what’s the next thing you need to do to move toward those goals?

For example, I have a hobby goal: to compete in four bass kayaking tournaments by the end of the year. My first step? Please register with SoCal Kayak Fishing Club so I can register my name and start adding tournament dates to my calendar.

Once you do this, the boost begins.

Part 5: What is the trigger?

For each goal or habit, write a trigger that activates that goal. This is a strategy exercise to give yourself the best chance of keeping up with your goals throughout the year.

For example, in James Clear’s book, atomic habits, says that if you want to get into the habit of running every morning, remove as much friction as possible to make that happen. Place your running clothes next to your bed the night before and make them part of your bedtime routine. When you wake up in the morning, you’ll see your running shoes ready for you right next to your bed.

Nerd Fitness’s Steve Kamb talked about something similar on his path to learning the guitar. Instead of just putting his guitar in the corner of his living room, he placed a guitar on a stand at the end of his hallway between his bedroom and the kitchen so that every day, several times a day, it was within easy reach. . his guitar and you will be reminded to practice more.

Maybe it’s a sticky note next to your computer or an alarm on your phone. We all know life is busy, so create a trigger to stack things in your favor and make it happen.

Part 6: Who will support you?

This one seems to hit home for many because we often don’t realize that there are people in our lives who will stand up for us, people who will be there to support us and hold us accountable.

Write someone who comes to mind that you can call to support you with each of the goals you have written. They don’t need to guide you through the process (although they might if they’re qualified), just realize that there are other people you can trust when you need help.

A business colleague, member of a community you are a part of a friend, a co-worker, a spouse, or even one of your children. Share the goal with them and ask them to know that this is something you are working on. Tell them that you think only their encouragement will help. You will be surprised how well it will work.

Sometimes they can provide direct help, but even the fact that they are there to hold you accountable can make you do something, whatever it is.

I hope this has helped you start to think about your goals differently, in a way that goes beyond your business and income goals – it’s about you as a whole person. There are many more aspects of your life that are important and also deserve your time and attention.

If you would like to connect with other entrepreneurs who are available to support you throughout your business journey, and if you would like access to our library of business courses and training workshops, consider joining the SPI All Access Pass. Community-driven courses are where they’re at, and we’re taking the lead in this industry; we know that this is the best way to offer service and help others.

Click here to view the All-Access pass and join hundreds of entrepreneurs who are in it just like you, and for all the right reasons, too.

Greetings, and good luck to you. Here’s to an amazing 2023!