How do you know if it’s a successful day?

This is not your father’s success.  In today’s business world, and especially in the business of fitness, success is not defined as climbing a corporate ladder and getting a gold watch at the end of your career.

In fact, I’ve heard that today’s business world is more comparable to navigating a jungle gym than a ladder–lots of lateral moves or sudden changes and the ability to hop off and then get back on again.  What do you think?  Seems to be pretty spot on to me.

Today, it’s more about fulfillment of a mission, achieving at work and at home, and continuous learning or personal growth.

So, how do you know if it’s a successful day?  Can you even track progress with these more conceptual daily goals?

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It’s important to define what success means to you, individually.

We’ll talk about how we define success running two fitness studios and how we keep at it even if things don’t seem to be going the way we want.

Throughout the episode, we referred to The Day Designer, which is the planner we all use.  Check out more about why we’re committed to staying organized and how The Day Designer allows us to make it happen and keep each day on the success track.

The new 2019 planners are available for order and we just got ours!  Since we each have to have a different one, it’s always fun to negotiate who gets which cover (Listen for some funny banter about how we had to make our decisions in the episode.)  But … I think everyone got which one they wanted!

She's On Her Toes 2019 Day Designer

Too funny!  We match!

Emily got Brushstrokes (top left).  Carolyn got Ink Me In (middle).   Christina got Patio Tile (lower right).  We like to order right away, because some patterns sell out!

The Day Designer:

It’s the layout of the planner that is what I like best about it.  Each day gets its own page starting at 5:00 AM and finishing up at 9:00 PM—perfect for me because sometimes I have to teach an early class. The appointments are on the left and the to-do’s are on the right, so your whole day is right there on one page. There is also a spot to prioritize your top three to-do’s which is always helpful when you have lots to accomplish in limited time.

You can check out free downloads of a day’s page hereto test out how the planner might work for you. Another great free download is the Monthly Goal Progress page—I use this to make sure I’m on track with my larger goals and tasks that can’t be completed in just one day.  And, the Food & Exercise Log or Weekly Meal Plan pages are helpful to hold yourself accountable to your workouts and healthy meals. Check out the Day Designer here.

Follow me on Instagram and see what I’m working on in my business each day @shesonhertoes

I’m super-passionate about leading and managing my hardworking team.  Check out my courses How To Hire A Rockstar Team and 5 Days to Time Freedom to keep developing your leadership skills.

Podcast Episode 16: Is it possible to find more time each day? Part 1

As business owners, we wear a lot of hats—CEO, Director of Marketing, Scheduler, Head Janitor, Costco Supply Shopper—the list goes on.  But seriously, can someone please let me retire from IT Specialist?!

Do you find yourself exhausted at the end of each day … but haven’t made a dent in your to-do list? Does it seem like you’re working just to pay American Express?  Are you on the verge of massive burnout?  #beenthere

Oftentimes, as busy business owners, we are so focused on the day-to-day and getting our massive to-do lists complete that we fail to recognize if all this work we’re doing is really moving our businesses forward.

What do I mean by that? Well … if you’re doing lots of things, that doesn’t necessarily mean your business is benefiting.  In fact, you might be doing your business more harm than good by doing everything yourself and not delegating work to others.

Yep.  It’s time to take a cold, hard look at how you can find time freedom.  I’ve created a new course called 5 Days to Time Freedom. In as little as 5 days and you’ll determine where your time is being spent and whether it’s time to outsource or hire an employee to help you take your business to the next level.

Check out the course, 5 Days to Time Freedom

 

Planning for Big Things in 2018

It’s hard to imagine bigger things happening in 2018 than what have already happened in the last few weeks

I bought a house and moved.

Celebrated 5 years of being in business at Pure Barre Winston-Salem and 3 years of being in business at Pure Barre Clemmons.

Had my first book signing for She’s On Her Toes.

And spoke to several hundred women about my best hiring practices outlined in my book.

But … the beginning of the last quarter of the year signals that it’s time to plan for big things for my businesses in 2018.  That’s right, it’s that magical time of year when I start to do the following:

  1. Set monthly sales goals
  2. Plan marketing events to drive traffic and create leads
  3. Evaluate all spending and create next year’s budget
  4. Set management and leadership goals
  5. Develop my next book idea

The first step … getting organized.

I’ve mentioned before that one of the best tools that I have in my business owner organization arsenal is my Day Designer Planner.  I decided on the Mint Lizard design for 2018, but it was a tough choice stacked up against, Black Spotty (which I had this year), Black Stripe (which I had last year) and White Marble.

I love The Day Designer.  You can get a version of it at Target, but if you’re serious about keeping your schedule, goals and “to-dos” organized, you’ll want to spring for the Flagship Edition ($59).  If you amortize that across the year, that’s less than $5.00/month to keep your schedule together—totally worth it, if you’re as busy as I am!

But it’s the layout of the planner that is what I like best about it.  Each day gets its own page starting at 5:00 AM and finishing up at 9:00 PM—perfect for me because sometimes I have to teach an early class.  The appointments are on the left and the “to dos” are on the right, so your whole day is right there on one page.  There is also a spot to prioritize your top three “to dos” which is always helpful when you have lots to accomplish in limited time.

Another great thing about The Day Designer, is the free printable pages that allow you to either try out The Day Designer format and/or work on specific planning opportunities.  If you’ve never used The Day Designer, I’d start with the Free Daily Planning Page and How to Design Your Week pages and see if you like them.  For the more advanced, check out Fall Bucket List, Packing Checklist, Brain Dump, and Books to Read.

Check out the free printable pages here. 

Ok … but back to planning big.  Each week, I’ll create a list of all the steps I’ll take to complete each of these 5 tasks to start business off strong in 2018.  The first 3 are all kind of interrelated, so I’ll tackle them together.  First, I’ll schedule some time to develop our monthly sales goals based on historical information and what I think will happen in the future.  I’ll be working on that this week to set myself up for creating our marketing and event calendar either next week or the week after.  It’s all about doing one thing at a time to get all this work complete.  With a little planning and time management, it shouldn’t be too difficult—which is why it’s important to take the time for your business planning for next year … NOW.

If I’m being honest, I’ll probably save #4 for the week between Christmas and New Year’s.  I usually have some time to think when I’m driving home to see my family and setting management and leadership goals is definitely a “thinking in the car” activity.  I get some of my best ideas driving!

Leaving … #5.  I had the opportunity to hear an amazing speaker at a conference in Vancouver, Sharon Lechter.  Sharon co-authored Rich Dad, Poor Dad and writes for the Napoleon Hill Institute as well as being an entrepreneur herself.  During her presentation, she discussed how influential women are at making purchasing decisions.  She also talked about how most sales training was geared towards men.  You know the whole, “if you don’t sell, you suck” philosophy.  While it might be true, it just doesn’t have the same motivational response with women that it does with men. Hummm…wonder why?!

Anyways, Sharon’s message was that as women in business, we either sell or we serve.  As in taking the time to understand our clients and serve them to the best that we can.  I’m working on developing a whole customer service training for my team around this philosophy and I thought … wouldn’t this make a great topic for my next book?!

I still have to develop the topic further, but I think it’s so interesting to ponder the sales paradox and how women can actually overcome it.  What is the sales paradox you might ask?  Well, it’s simply this …

No one wants to be sold, yet we all want to buy.

But we don’t want to buy just any old thing.  We want to make purchases that are meaningful and make us feel good about parting with that money.  With each purchase, we aren’t just acquiring stuff or receiving a service.  We’re expressing confidence that we’re using our money to support a great business or that we really value the item we’re taking home.

And because clients are increasingly savoy about what research they’re doing before parting with their money, businesses will have to adapt and shift their sales training to one that emphasizes better serving their clients—it’s all about serving and earning the repeat business of your client base.

And who better to lead the way?  Women of course!  The future of sales is female because women naturally want to help each other out and provide whatever service they can to their friends and community to do so.

I mean, take a look at your social media feed.  How many of the posts are about places people have eaten and had a great time, or products they’ve been using and want to share because they are life-changing or helpful life hacks?  We don’t have to tell the world about our favorite things, but we do … because if it helps someone out, that’s pretty great.  So yeah … I’ll be refining this topic and getting to work writing book #2.  Good times!

Well, I have a lot of work to get done.  So, I’ll leave you with this … what can you do to improve your business next year?  Take some time in the last quarter to set your goals for 2018 and create a budget.  When you have a direction mapped out for your business, you might just make it all happen!  Crazy!

I know I’ve been a little delinquent in my posting, but I’m feeling inspired and refreshed from my break.  On Thursday, look out for 10 Things to Avoid When Budgeting for Your Business.  I think you’ll get some great ideas about how to use your time in the last quarter to set yourself up for good things next year.

Until then, stay on your toes!

Make the Time to Do Big Things

Why is it that when we think about doing something “big” we tend to delay making decisions or even getting started?  The thought of starting can seem overwhelming.  Or conversely, you start strong and then after a few days or weeks, your energy fizzles out and you’re back to where you started—not taking action.

One of the things I’ve learned this year, is that “finding” time is futile and useless.  You’ve got to “make” time for your top priorities.  Like—you have to schedule it, preferably as early in the day as possible.  Why early?  When you do the most important things first, they actually get finished.  You won’t run into issues of other seemingly more important things popping up at the last minute, or being too tired later in the day.  Not only do you have to “make” time for your priorities (as in schedule time), you have to be consistent scheduling this time.

Sounds great.  Don’t we have check-lists or to-do lists for figuring out what we have to accomplish each day?  We do.  But … have you ever stopped to think about whether the line items on your list are the “right” to-do’s.  If you’ve defined a big goal or a big task you want to complete, are your to-do’s really helping you reach your goal or get your big task accomplished?  I mean, how many times have you already done something only to write it down on your list so you could check it off—100% guilty!  You know you do it too.

The problem with to-do lists is that creating them doesn’t usually take into account what you need to prioritize—or what you actually need to accomplish.  The dark side of to-do’s lies in their format which gives equal weight to each line item.  You just complete each task, check it off, or cross it out and you’re done.  Yea!  Got that done!  Onto the next …

The thing is, if you don’t stop to think about what is really important to you, you can get caught up in checking and crossing off, but still come up empty making progress on your goals.

I bring this up because there are a lot of things that I want to accomplish this year and I only have 24 hours in a day just like everyone else.  The only way for me to get more done is to work smarter and prioritize.  I had the big goal of writing a book this year—which I recently finished and will be publishing soon (more details on that to come).  How did I make more time to write and still get all of my other daily tasks running the studios done?  Two words: time blocking.

Time Blocking

The concept of time blocking is pretty simple.  You create blocks of time to get your most important tasks completed first and then everything else gets done at the end of the day.  Each night you also set aside a block of time (could just be 5-10 minutes) to plan your next day and ensure your top priorities are actually tasks that will help you reach your broader goals.   Planning the night before means that these top priorities are just in fact that—top priorities not just line items on a list.

If you get to the most important stuff first thing, you’ll actually get important things done.  Imagine that!  You won’t run the risk of being sidetracked or getting tired in the afternoon and not finishing the things that are most important.

To work smarter, you’ll have to build a better to-do list by making your to-do’s things that are actually important and help you accomplish your goals.  But is there a way to actually build a better list?  Or learn to prioritize?  I’ve found that using my Day Designer Planner is a great way to prioritize my top to-do’s and schedule my time blocks.  Let me explain how this low-tech solution keeps me on track.

Day Designer Planner

I love technology.  Anything that can make my life easier or more efficient and eliminate paper and clutter is tops in my book.  Except…my planner.  I tried to embrace my iCalendar.  All the syncing and the iCloud was great, but I was missing appointments or showing up late—A LOT.  And the constant alerts were kind of annoying.  I also had to carry around a separate notebook of to-do’s, ideas and events.  So, I went back to the planner.  But not just any planner, Whitney English’s The Day Designer.

You can get a version of it at Target, but if you’re serious about keeping your schedule, goals and to-do’s organized, you’ll want to spring for the Flagship Edition ($59).  If you amortize that across the year, that’s less than $5.00/month to keep your schedule together—totally worth it, if you’re as busy as I am!  The mid-year version starts June 1st, so it’s not too late to take your first steps to prioritizing and structuring your time.  I’m kind of obsessed with the White Marble cover! 

It’s the layout of the planner that is what I like best about it.  Each day gets its own page starting at 5:00 AM and finishing up at 9:00 PM—perfect for me because sometimes I have to teach an early class.  The appointments are on the left and the to-do’s are on the right, so your whole day is right there on one page.  There is also a spot to prioritize your top three to-do’s which is always helpful when you have lots to accomplish in limited time.  Taking the time to determine your top three to-do’s the night before (as we mentioned in the rules of time blocking) can provide some serious structure to your day and ensure that you are always achieving your most important tasks before tackling other items of less importance.

You can check out free downloads of a day’s page here to test out how the planner might work for you.  Another great free download is the Monthly Goal Progress page—I use this to make sure I’m on track with my larger goals and tasks that can’t be completed in just one day.  And, the Food & Exercise Log or Weekly Meal Plan pages are helpful to hold yourself accountable to your workouts and healthy meals.

What big tasks or goals are you trying to accomplish right now?  Are you having trouble getting started?  Planning out your time to accommodate your top priorities is the first step to actually achieving them.  A simple check-list isn’t going to cut it.  Time block for what’s most important and stick to your schedule.  Setting yourself up for success means having the right tools—whether you get a Day Designer or use the calendar on your phone or computer—find what works for you and stay consistent in your efforts.  Who knows?  You might find that you had time to run your business and write a book!

On Friday, I’ll share a new cosmetic product that I’m using every day—and it’s not from Trish McEvoy.  Crazy, I know!

Until then, stay on your toes!

Day Designer

The Dark Side of To-Do Lists

Are you as into your to-do list has I’m into mine?  There’s something so satisfying about checking off those to-do’s.  That sense of accomplishment makes you feel great about yourself.

But, have you ever stopped to think about whether the line items on your list are the “right” to-do’s.  Are your to-do’s really helping you reach your goals?  I mean, how many times have you already done something only to write it down on your list so you could check it off—100% guilty!  You know you do it too.

The problem with to-do lists is that creating them doesn’t usually take into account what you need to prioritize—or what you actually need to accomplish.  The dark side of to-do’s lies in their format which gives equal weight to each line item.

I bring this up because there are a lot of things that I want to accomplish this year and I only have 24 hours in a day just like everyone else.  So, the only way for me to get more done is to work smarter and prioritize.

How am I going to get more done?  Two words: time blocking.

The concept of time blocking is pretty simple.  You create blocks of time to get your most important tasks completed first and then everything else gets done at the end of the day.  Each night you also set aside a block of time to plan your next day and ensure your top priorities are actually tasks that will help you reach your broader goals.   Planning the night before means that these top priorities are just in fact that—top priorities not just line items on a list.

If you get to the most important stuff first thing, you’ll actually get it done.  You won’t run the risk of being sidetracked or getting tired in the afternoon and not finishing the things that are most important.

To work smarter you’ll have to build a better to-do list by making your to-do’s things that are actually important and help you accomplish your goals.

To continue this discussion about working smarter, in my next post, I’ll discuss multi-tasking or rather the myth of multi-tasking.

Until then, stay on your toes!

Why I Stay Organized with The Day Designer

I love technology.  Anything that can make my life easier or more efficient and eliminate paper and clutter is tops in my book.  Except…my planner.  I tried to embrace my iCalendar.  All the syncing and the iCloud was great, but I was missing appointments or showing up late—A LOT.  And the constant alerts were kind of annoying.  I also had to carry around a separate notebook of “to dos,” ideas and events.  So, I went back to the planner.  But not just any planner, Whitney English’s The Day Designer.

There are several other brands of planners out there and you should check them out to see if they might work for you.  I have determined that the Erin Condren is a little young for me.  If I was in college, it might be perfect, but I’m a business owner and need to carry around something a little more sophisticated.  The Simplified Planner by Emily Ley was a little closer to what I was looking for, but it is more focused towards new moms or moms with young children, of which I have none.  But check them all out…because it’s most important to find something that works for you and use it to help make your life more organized.

Back to the Day Designer…I love The Day Designer.  You can get a version of it at Target, but if you’re serious about keeping your schedule, goals and “to-dos” organized, you’ll want to spring for the Flagship Edition ($59).  If you amortize that across the year, that’s less than $5.00/month to keep your schedule together—totally worth it, if you’re as busy as I am!

But it’s the layout of the planner that is what I like best about it.  Each day gets its own page starting at 5:00 AM and finishing up at 9:00 PM—perfect for me because sometimes I have to teach an early class.  The appointments are on the left and the “to dos” are on the right, so your whole day is right there on one page.  There is also a spot to prioritize your top three “to dos” which is always helpful when you have lots to accomplish in limited time.

In the spirit of setting goals that you’ll actually work to accomplish and taking risks in 2017, take a look at how you schedule yourself and keep yourself organized.  It’s that one small change that can have a big impact.  Maybe switching to a paper planner, like The Day Designer, will help you out.