Small Changes, Big Impacts

Me and Anjali! She's such an inspiration!

Me and Anjali! She's such an inspiration!

This morning, I had the opportunity to talk with superstar entrepreneur, Anjali Varma's Modern Mompreneur Meet-up group about one of the beliefs I hold most dear.

Small changes make big impacts.

I find this to be true in both business and life in general. Dreaming big while keeping your planned actions small helps fight overwhelm, keeps you focused, allows you to switch things up when something isn't working, and makes your day easier instead of more stressful.

As just one example, I heard that a tiny change like eliminating sugar in your coffee could add up to 10 pounds lost in a single year. After trying this myself and feeling better just a week in, I had to ask myself- what other small changes could I make that might pay off big?

Since then, I've applied this to networking, community building, and writing. The result? I'm spending less time battling my tendency to over complicate things and my days are a bit easier.  All of this makes me want to continue towards my goals and resolutions- instead of throwing in the towel a month into the new year as I might have in the past.

So, here's a brief video followed by a recap of what I shared today with Anjali and the rest of the AWESOME mompreneurs there.

Things I believe to be true about goals

  • Goals should be specific and measurable
  • Small actions have a big impact
  • Right for right now
  • Stretchy, but with some built-in flexibility in what success ultimately looks like
  • Integrated into the rest of your life
  • Aligned with your strengths
  • Within your direct control
  • Yours, not someone else’s goals for you

Things I believe to be true about planning

  1. You don’t have to be able to see all of the exact steps to infinity in order to start
  2. Shorter planning windows are WAY more effective
  3. Plans can have flexibility and opportunity built in

So, how might you put this in practice for yourself?

Consider adopting a 21-day cycle to build a series of good habits that move your towards your goals.  Here's a worksheet to get you started.

A big thank you to the ever-lovely Jessica McFadden for the photos and video!  So great to see you!


Follow through or else

Color Grid: Spring 2   by Allison Long Hardy

Color Grid: Spring 2 by Allison Long Hardy

Strategic plans are like dust bunnies. They have a cute name but are an annoying reminder that there is something else we should be doing. They're amassed from the fur, fluff, and fuzz floating around and tend to reproduce in dark corners. Strategic plans are often the end goal of a long process with at least a meeting or two scheduled along the way.

Strategic planning meetings can be great but have limitations. Done well, they...

  • Get everyone on the same basis of understanding around the problem to be solved
  • Lay the foundation for some near-term decisions the leadership team will ultimately have final say on
  • Energize a team in a rut

Sadly, the initial interest and excitement generated during the meeting can flip to disappointment quickly after. The problem usually isn't in the meeting itself, it's the follow through. To avoid frustration and reduce the risk of long-term eye-rolling, there are two choices.

  1. Plan, schedule, and market the meeting as a team building exercise. Then when good strategic thinking happens and written down in the minutes, the team is delighted.
  2. Build follow through into the process at the beginning. Schedule a least post-meeting sessions to bring closure to the plan and, more importantly, get a few (2-3) of the priority actions rolling.  Then, get a meeting on the calendar for one year out as a reminder to all that the plan will be revisited, progress reviewed, and actions refined for the next year.