Yes, Doctor Who is back on our screens. But I’m thinking of a different Doctor. Mike Gardner, the Time Doctor. Mike has just published a new book aimed at business owners to help address work life balance issues. Mike, like me, is a huge fan of holistic goals. Having a set of holistic goals, that combine personal and work related objectives, is vital for every business owner who wants to achieve big things.

Your goals must be about you as a person and not just your business objectives. Mike Gardner’s book, Business Owners: Your Family Misses You, goes into this in far more detail and covers a load of other strategies for prioritising your work and getting the things that matter done.

Having balance in your life is vitally important. It provides the strong foundation to build on. Makes sure whatever we are trying to achieve is built on solid ground and won’t fall over the first time a crisis comes along. In actual fact holistic goals help you to find many potential crises well before they happen and give you the ability to do something to prevent them.

I’ve used an approach to review and set holistic goals for a while now. My approach is based one of my favourite books. Michael Heppell’s How to be Brilliant. Based on Michael’s original model I’ve developed my own 8 areas to look at, and these are remarkably similar to the list the Time Doctor discusses.

My 8 areas that I use to set holistic goals:

  1. Health & Wellbeing. Are you looking after yourself? Its top of the list for a reason. Your own personal health and well being is the bedrock on which everything else is built. Are you looking after yourself?
  2. Immediate Family. A very close second to looking after yourself is your responsibility to those around you. Are you making time for them? Giving sufficient of yourself to them?
  3. Money. While I don’t believe money is a motivator, not having sufficient can be the root of all sorts of problems. Having a bad relationship with money can also be very damaging.
  4. Personal Relationships. What are things like with the people you come into daily contact with? Your staff? your friends? Are you networking effectively, forming the relationships that will take your business forward?
  5. Contribution. Yes you are busy, but are you doing stuff that actually makes a difference? that really matters? that plays to your strengths? The classic pitfall that many business owners fall into is thinking they have to do everything themselves and are too busy doing the mundane to really use their special talents properly.
  6. Vision. Are you moving from day-to-day just keeping things ticking over? or have you got a real vision for the future? Many businesses get stuck in a rut, doing the same things week after week, month after month. What does your long-term plan look like?
  7. Spirituality. Mindfulness is becoming a well regarded business tool, are you taking time out to reflect, think, and be in touch with yourself? Are you in touch with your life purpose? Why are you here? What are you meant to be doing? Whats the motivating purpose that gets you out of bed in the morning?
  8. Personal Development. I believe firmly in life long learning, the business owner in particular needs to embrace the need to develop both himself and the people around him. What are you reading? Do you need to book a course? Are you up to date with whats going on in your sector? Are you giving your team development space?

I’ve applied this to my own quarterly personal offsite. The process is simple. I look at each area in turn and give myself a realistic score out of 10 to indicate how I think I’m doing. I’ve got into the practice of writing some notes saying why I gave the score, both to justify it to myself, and so that I can look back later and assess whether things actually changed. I then take a view whether I need to do anything to improve the score and write down some actions that I could take to improve the position. One thing I want to avoid though is having a massive action plan as a result of this exercise, so I then prioritize so that I only take two or three key things forward to add to my plan for the next quarter.

This time round, rather than scribbling in a notebook, I’ve built a template to record the assessment and I’ve added it to the Quarterly Personal Offsite toolkit. If you want a copy, complete the form at the bottom of the page and I’ll mail it to you.

I’d also highly recommend Mike Gardner’s book  – Business Owners: Your Family Misses You
Time Management Strategies that Free up Two Hours a Day and Get You Loved again – Follow the link below to get a copy from Amazon.

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