It’s hard to believe we’re already through February. How are your new year’s resolutions coming along? Are you still as committed to reaching your goals now as you were two months ago?
Many people have already dropped their goals and resolved to tackle them later or even next year. This doesn’t have to be you! Commitment is crucial to achieving goals and there are a few simple steps you can take so you can have the restaurant or business you dream of.
Life Is All About Choices
When you made your new year’s resolutions in December, did you know what you would be doing in March or June or October? Of course not! You were merely setting a goal or intention for the new year.
What good are goals if you don’t make the commitment to take action on them?
Life is a series of choices. For example, my family takes an annual trip to Turks and Caicos. For us, it’s an important and non-negotiable trip so we can spend quality time together and refocus our energies. We book next year’s trip while we are at the resort so it gets put on our calendar and we are committed to going. We make life work around that trip because we don’t know what the next year will bring, but we do know that we’re taking a family vacation regardless. We make the commitment by booking the dates, paying for the trip, and buying the plane tickets in advance.
I understand it’s easier to commit to a vacation than something boring, like work. However, the same concept applies to business. I’ve already calendared my deadline to write the first draft of my second book. I have new training courses and coaching products planned for 2022 and because they are on the calendar, my team and I are committed to getting them done by a certain date.
When I put things on the calendar, it helps me prevent “busy” from getting in the way of achieving my goals. The following tips will help you know what to put on your calendar, because once it’s on your calendar, it becomes real. It’s now a commitment that you MUST decide to commit to.
4 Ways to Battle “Busyness” and Achieve Your Goals
1. Get laser focused
The one thing that creates more “busy” in your restaurant than anything else: operating without clearly defined goals.
Generally speaking, most people are terrible at setting goals because of the fear of failure (failing yourself and failing others). When we set clearly defined goals (that are very specific and that have deadlines), there’s a chance you won’t achieve them. Now you’ve opened yourself up to the pain and embarrassment of not achieving your goal, and nobody wants that to happen.
So as scary as the goal setting process might seem, creating clearly defined goals is important for your business. These goals must be so specific that anyone who looks at them will understand what they are and be able to tell if you’re on track or have achieved them.
A simple formula for creating laser-focused goals:
From X to Y by Z
Selling 800 appetizers in a month is NOT a properly formatted goal.
Increasing our appetizer sales from 650 to 800 per month is NOT a properly formatted goal.
Increasing our appetizer sales from 650 to 800 per month by March 31 IS A GOAL!
2. Chunk it down
Now that you’ve created your overarching goal, let’s talk about how to break it down into manageable tasks. One of my favorite methods for doing is this is called “chunking it down.”
What is chunking?
It’s taking a large, complicated task and breaking it down into smaller tasks and sub-tasks. I learned this method from Tony Robbins as a way to find focus and find the time to spend on the things I was passionate about or knew I needed to get done in order to reach a goal.
I have found that the secret behind the chunking method is that it gives a clear sense of purpose to your actions, which motivates you to do whatever it takes to reach your goals.
Let’s apply this using our example goal above of increasing appetizer sales from 650 to 800 in a month.
Your first step is to break that down from a singular goal into 2 to 3 tasks.
Perhaps your first task is to create a new table script for your servers to help entice appetizer orders. Another task could be having the chef create some new appetizers. Another task could be to experiment with pricing or marketing.
Then you break those tasks down into sub-tasks. For example, when creating a new script, you have to:
Write the script, test the script, create a process for your staff on how to use the script, train your staff on how to use the script, measure results, make tweaks, etc.
When you create small, manageable tasks that are easily accomplished, reaching your goal becomes doable.
3. Block and tackle
At this point, most people think the next logical step is to create a to-do list. This is also the point where I pull out my coach’s whistle and call a penalty. Flag on the play. To-do list created. 1 hour penalty!
All kidding aside, there are many reasons why to-do lists don’t work, but these are probably the most common pitfalls:
- The longer the list becomes, the more you avoid it.
- Anything that doesn’t gets done moves onto the list for the next day.
- It just sits on your desk for weeks while only one or two things ever get crossed off.
So, if to-do lists don’t work, what does? Time blocking!
Time blocking is the process of putting your tasks, steps, or action items directly onto your calendar versus a piece of paper or some fancy digital to-do list that works about as well as a piece of paper.
There is a lot of psychology as to why calendar blocks work better than to-do lists but probably the most important reason is that things on our calendar always have associated deadlines so they feel urgent and immovable. When was the last time you decided not to see the doctor that you had an appointment with just because you got distracted? If it’s on your calendar, you have a better chance of doing it.
4. Lighten the load
One of my restaurant clients shared this great story with me about how every day his team puts pebbles in his basket (not complaining, it’s his job as manager to carry the heavy load). He can carry a few pebbles up a hill, but not a full basket of them because it weighs too much.
My reply to him was to make sure he unloads some of those pebbles daily so that when his team puts new ones in tomorrow, the basket is starting nice and light instead of being weighed down with yesterday’s pebbles.
The moral of this story is that you need to work at your goals EVERY SINGLE DAY. Some days it might be for a few minutes and other days it might be for a few hours. But doing something every day helps lighten the load so you see progress and feel accomplishment.
It can be hard for restaurant owners and operators to do this. But in order to have the restaurant you dream about, you have to set well-defined goals, chunk them down into manageable tasks, and then set aside time in your calendar every day to work on your goals and not just the problems (or pebbles) that are thrown in your basket. Most importantly, you have to COMMIT to your goals. After all, it’s just a decision.
Ryan Gromfin is an author, speaker, chef, restaurateur, and founder of therestaurantboss.com, clickbacon.com, and scalemyrestaurant.com, and author of Make It Happen. He is the most followed restaurant coach in the world helping Restaurant Owners and Operators increase profits, improve operations, and scale and grow their businesses.