Every business owner needs a practice.

We call it a Planning & Performance practice, because that’s what it is. You:

  • Reflect on the past (performance) and use it to
  • Plan for the future (planning)

It’s called a practice because you have to do just that. Practice. Over and over and over again.

Your goal isn’t to be right. It’s to be consistent. And in the development of a habit you will find you start to put forward a theory, test it, and deliver on it with an increasing degree of consistency.

We talk a lot about the measurable aspects of the practice:

  • Setting monthly and annual financial goals and monitoring for variances so you can course correct
  • Setting goals around your time, then tracking every week and reflecting if your time is aligned with your priorities and intentions
  • Setting action goals that represent the work you commit to do to get to those goals

All of these are good. But a practice needs to go deeper.  It also needs to give you space to live in what it is happening, and what that means to you, so you can find your flow. That spot where you know you are exactly where you want to be doing exactly what you need to do.

We encourage our clients to develop their own practice because not everyone gets the same results from the same things.

Your Homework:  Pick 3-5 questions from this list (at least one from every category) and ask them every morning or evening (or pick a few to answer in the morning, and a few to answer in the evening) and see what changes for you in 1-2 weeks.

Reflection (Past)

  • Rate your day (1-5).  What caused that rating?
  • What accomplishments did you have today (or yesterday)?
  • What are you most grateful for?
  • What struggles did you you have today (or yesterday)?

Focus (Future)

  • What will you do differently to make tomorrow (today) better than yesterday (today)?
  • What are the top things that would make tomorrow (today) a success in your book?
  • How can you set yourself up for success tomorrow (today)?

The tone of the questions matters.  Feel free to customize it to what you need.  Some people need questions that are open-ended and inspiring to calm and lift and bring out the creativity in them. Others need specificity in order to create focus.

Hint: Your personality doesn’t necessarily dictate the right questions. For instance, I’m a quantitative thinker who loves concrete plans, but my reflection time needs more space and flexibility built in or I get shut down.  It’s just one more thing on my to-do on my list.

Once you have your list of questions, you need to set the rhythm.  Find your perfect time of day and the routine you’ve already created that you can easily plug this into.  Mine is with my morning coffee, after the kids go to school but before I shower and get off to my first meeting.

If you’re looking for a solution that is already set for you so you can focus on the practice and not the “how”. Here are a couple of pre-built services which I happen to like a lot.  They are structured to help and get you going.

  • Intelligent Change App (or) 5-Minute Journal – Good for brief, busy people, whether you want physical or prefer a digital solution that reminds you so you don’t forget.
  • Silk + Sonder – For a more immersive, whole-person experience. You get activities, recorded daily rituals for learning, community, socials, a monthly physical journal and so much more.

When we implement a performance and planning practice for ourselves, or our clients do, we notice results immediately.  The act of taking the time to pause gives use the space and information to make the best possible decisions with what we know now.

Talk to a Business Planning & Practice Consultant

When are you scheduling your practice? Schedule a virtual coffee call today and let’s see how one of our coaches can help you create your own business planning for your small business.