Jason Hietbrink

A Radically Different Way for High Achievers to approach Goal Setting

A Radically Different Way for High-Achievers to Approach Goal Setting

Do you ever feel stressed out by your goals once you’re 3-6mo into a year?


Do you sometimes feel like you’re on a treadmill trying to keep up with the pace you committed to running at the start of the year?


Do you sometimes feel chained to the goals you set months ago even though priorities, life, and your situation has changed?


And secretly you know something needs to change but you can’t stomach the idea of changing course because that’d mean you gave into excuses and you failed.


Is your solution to grind even harder and at times put in extra hours during evenings/weekends to compensate?

Maybe the problem is how you’re approaching goal setting in the first place…


STEP 1 – Take what’s physically possible for a human being to accomplish in a year, multiply it by 5 and assume you can get it done because you’re YOU. Work the goal backward and come up with a superhuman action plan for each quarter, each month, each week, each minute!

STEP 2 – Take your newly created unreasonably high number of personal & professional goals and create a plan you’ll be able to consistently follow for about 3 weeks before burning out.

STEP 3 – Pepper your days as you start your year with guilt and negative self-talk for not following your 38-step daily action plan perfectly

STEP 4 – maintain a low-grade fever of stress and anxiety for the rest of the year because you always feel like you’re behind or in danger of getting behind.

That was meant to make you laugh. If you didn’t crack a smile, you either are already so stressed that you’ve lost your sense of humor OR you’re not a high achiever and can’t relate 😊

In my experience, if you’ve already built a successful business and you’re attempting to take it from where it is to the next level (adding, empowering, and developing team members, creating or revitalizing systems/processes, implementing new strategies or services, etc), you need a BETTER WAY to approach setting goals.

If you’re a high achiever, let me give you a brief but radically different way to approach your goals…

#1 – Create 3-to-5-Year Goals

When you set goals only from an annual perspective, you lose sight of the bigger vision of what you’re trying to create long-term in your business.

We become like those publicly traded companies who only set their sights on meeting their quarterly numbers at all costs to please the stock holders. Short-sighted and slaves to meeting some arbitrary goal at all costs.

Additionally, we all know what it feels like to have set goals for a year and then suddenly a key staff member gives you their 2 weeks’ notice. There goes your perfect plan!

Similarly, sometimes opportunities we couldn’t have foreseen are dropped in your lap that are totally outside of what you were planning on for the year and you need to pivot.

Priorities change. Circumstances change. When you’re running a growing organization, you simply cannot map out an entire year and think that’s how it’s going to go.

How long you plan on being in business?

Most entrepreneurs when I ask that question say AT LEAST another 5 years. If that’s the case, take the pressure off of having to get a million things done in the next 12 months and set your sights on a broader vision.

There are some parts of your business that may take longer than 12 months to build.

Attempting to accomplish EVERYTHING you want in a year is unrealistic and a totally made-up timeline. If it took you 13 months instead of 12 months to hit your goals, would you feel like a failure? How about 17 months? Would it really matter 5 years from now that it took an extra few months to make it happen?  

And when you try to cram so much into a year, as soon as you get an inch behind schedule, the whole thing starts to crumble because there was never any margin built in.

Moving the timeline out from one year to 3-5 years allows some breathing room and for you to approach the development of your business more methodically than in a constant all-out sprint that leaves you stressed and exhausted.

Ask yourself, “what would I love to see happen in my business and in my life over the next 3 or 5 years?”

These become a direction you’re sailing towards but haven’t necessarily built out every little detail of how you’re going to get there. You can worry about that later because like I said above, even if you plotted it all out, it’s GOING to change!

#2 – Give Yourself a Direction for the next 6-12 Months

Next, take that 3-to-5-year vision and ask “if that’s where I want to take this thing, what would be a few steps I could take between now and the next 6-12 months that would get me closer to that destination?”

If you were to choose 2-3 areas of the business could be developed or enhanced between now and the end of the year, what would be the most impactful? Which would really set you up for what you’re trying to ultimately create in the business 3-to-5-years from now?

These become your areas of focus for the year. These CAN change if needed, and you aren’t planning out all the steps to get there, you’re simply setting an intention at the moment for what you believe are the most important projects for the year.

By the way, these 2-3 areas of the business ought to be OUTSIDE OF the normal day-to-day operations of what keeps the business sustained. These are areas meant to develop the business and exponentially move it forward towards the vision you’re sailing towards.

#3 – Create 90-Day Projects

Once you have your areas of focus for the year (which again, ought to be 2-3 not 10!), ask yourself “which one do I want to start with?”

Pick one project to focus on for the next 90 days.

These projects ought to be big enough that you can’t accomplish them in a few weeks’ time. If you can accomplish it in a few weeks’ time, that means it’s a smaller project that ought to fit inside of a larger one. You’re simply not thinking big enough.

Sometimes a project may take you 180 days and so the goal these first 90 days is to get through “phase 1” of accomplishing this bigger project. Break down that overwhelming project into smaller pieces so it doesn’t feel like it has to happen all at once.

At the end of that 90-day cycle, ask yourself the same question. “What is the next thing we need to focus on in order to set ourselves up for our ultimate 3-to-5-year destination?” And then create a game plan for how you’ll make that happen over the next 90 days.

You’re developing your business 90 days at a time. THAT is sustainable, strategic, flexible, and not overwhelming.

Think of it This Way

What if, rather than attempting to accomplish 20 things this year, you only got one project done per quarter. However, it was a project that moved your business forward closer to the end destination you’re trying to take it.

Imagine where you’d be 3 years from now, having put 12+ different MAJOR projects, systems, hires in place that strategically moved your business exponentially forward.

Doesn’t that feel a lot better than constantly red-lining and stressing out because you’re always running on a treadmill trying to keep up with the unrealistic goals you made up in the first place? 😊

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Step 3

Level Up

If we decide to move forward into a coaching relationship, Together, we’ll create a custom coaching plan to help you reach your goals in your business and your life. 

Step 2

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