Strategy And Accountability In 2023 (3 of 4)

By Mo Bunnell

What's On My Mind


This series is a LOT.

​I'm sharing so much and excited it's impacting this amazing community we're a part of.

​If you need to catch up...

WEEK ONE walked through my annual review process at a high level. It's the most important thing I do each year.

WEEK TWO showed you my actual example of the look back part of my review, including the grades I gave myself across all life domains in 2022.

(My Mom thought that D I gave myself was a little harsh...)

Now things get really interesting.

​This week I'll show you how to look forward.

​How to take your long term goals and convert them to short term actions.

​And, most importantly, how to convert those short term actions into metrics you can 100% control.

​I call these future-focused metrics leading indicators. They'll be your scoreboard to know if you're on or off track.

​Best yet–and I've never done this at scale–I'll show you my actual look forward plan and leading indicators so you have a practical example to create your version.

​OK, first, let's revisit the goal of the remaining sections.

​(Remember, we're starting from a point where we have clarity on the prior year. You can see that HERE.)

​With last year's good and not-so-good evaluation behind me, I knew where I wanted to focus this year.

​Here's what I actually wrote in the remaining sections...


First, let’s look back. Here are my metrics from 2022.

*** Note to reader: I probably should have put this in the prior section, but it came out of my fingers here. Since you’ll write these reviews for yourself, you don’t have to be “perfect” in format. The process reveals the right thing at the right time.

Don't be intimidated by the numbers. It only takes me about 10 minutes a week to estimate my time and input it into the above spreadsheet. All the numbers above are calculated–the spreadsheet does the work so you can see the insights.

I'll show you the super simple weekly input view below–the above is a roll up of my year on a quarterly and annual basis.

Remember this:

is time. We don't get more of it.

You have to know how your time is going to know where your life is going.

Once your system is set up, tracking time takes very little effort and provides the most important insights you'll get in life. ***

​So here’s where I want to be in 2023.

​Shoot for about 1800 hours working. This is essentially last year minus the crazy extras I put into Q1 that almost killed me. Breaks down like this:

• Running BIG = 175 hours, close to the same as this year.

• IP = 25 hours, focusing most of this developing our new smaller, mindset-focused GrowBIG Training. Will work with the team on this to get help.

• BD = 550 hours, about 10% less than I did last year. Our team is ready to take on more.

• Book 2: 250 hours, including writing the manuscript, and getting through the copyedit phase. The Snowball System took 388 hours to do these, but it’s twice as big as this second book will be and I wasn’t as fast of a writer then. I’m also including about 25 hours of interviewing senior leaders here, so 225 hours or so on writing and copyediting. This might be a bit short, but I think it’s close. Good news: I can find any additional hours needed during the summer.

NOTE: I have to find 6 hours a week starting at the beginning of February for this! This is what I’m most worried about as the time has to be in 3+ hour chunks or I can't get into Deep Work writing mode. I don’t want to kill myself writing this book on weekends like I did with The Snowball System. Need to work with the team on this!

• PreBD = 200 hours, close to this year. Podcast is faster and easier now and I’ll fill in that gap with YouTube training filming and oversight. I can leverage the new book's writing process into our weekly GrowBIG Playbook newsletter too. Drip out snippets of the great content I’ll be creating. Leverage!

• Delivery = 600 hours, 200 less than 2022. This is a little more than my run rate in Q4 2022 which should be offset by a little more travel time in 2023. Should be doable.

*** Note to reader: Strategizing and writing that small piece above took about 45 minutes.
It looks streamlined in final form, but it was REALLY hard to make the tradeoffs I needed. Stressful, but important!

My first estimate by bucket added up to 2,300 hours, which wasn't going to work for me this year, so I had to figure out what to subtract to get it right.
As I write this, I'm still worried about finding enough blocks of writing time to finish my second book's manuscript. I have it on my list to talk with the team about this and get their ideas. More trade offs will need to happen than I've made in January.
Once you get your blocks of time allocated, you can input weekly and review every few weeks, no less than quarterly. You can still get off track over a few weeks, but never more. No more lost quarters or years.
​My point: Spending less than one hour a year on how you'll spend your remaining ~2,000 hours is well worth it! ***


*** Note to reader: In this section, we start to summarize.
Specifically, you want to write in the things / behaviors you want to hold yourself accountable to over the year.

Next week, I'll show you how to pull this into a weekly reminder ritual. It's easy and powerful!

I like to start this section with three words summarizing the year—bonus points for rhyming or alliteration.

NOTE: I decided not to have a word incorporating my work this year because I LOVE my work and think about it all the time anyway. This year I wanted to have a reminder to focus on other things.

Choose your three words to emphasize what you want. This is an important part of your strategy. ***

​2023 Themes = Fun. Fitness. Family.

​Then, remember these things throughout the year...

​Never do delivery alone.

  • Show our clients how great our team is.
  • Have a strong colleague with me for everything sizable.
  • Work this into everything we do, including the things I’ve been doing alone.

​Run all logistical things through Darla and the team. They are so much better than me at this.

  • I can only be the impactful expert (crazy creator?) I want to be with her and the team overseeing all implementation.

​Scale with the team.

  • Have a go-to person for random "be helpful to our past clients" calls so I can find book writing time.
  • Have Alexa and Maggie take many initial calls. Need to come up with a "If This, Then That" algorithm so it’s not ad-hoc. Create this with the team.

Put fitness first.

  • Ask myself each week (Y/N question in my tracker): Did I put fitness first? This means getting out of the warm bed and working out first. Hard!
    • In any one day this seems like something I can skip. I need to think of it over the course of a year. Skipping a 30 minute run in the morning isn't skipping one 30 minute run. If I skip that every week, it's missing ~1,500 minutes of running a year. That's the difference between being in good and great shape. Systems thinking > Sporadic thinking.
    • Shoot to get a Yes on this 40 of 52 weeks.
  • Do workouts first thing in the morning when possible to make sure it happens. Something always comes up when I don’t put fitness first.

Keep investing in BIG’s future.

  • Our team has already saved me tremendous time, letting me focus on higher value work.
  • This HAS to take a step further in 2023 to let me invest in Book 2 and our other future endeavors.

*** Note to reader. As you look forward, convert your goals into leading indicators.

Mine for 2023 are:

  • Time goals in the buckets I mentioned above. This is a work quantity leading indicator.
  • Three weekly Most Important Things (MITs) that grow the business. This is a work quality leading indicator.
    • Note pairing a quantity and quality leading indicator is very powerful.
    • If you want to dig into MITs more, we have a complete and free course HERE.
  • For fitness, I'm shooting 180 High Intensity Training minutes per week. (See LAST WEEK for more on how I arrived at this. HIT minutes for me are the # of minutes I exercise in a workout where my average heart rate is > 130.)
    Since this has a heart rate / minute minimum this one metric has 
    both a quantity and quality aspect. I've found I'm getting in better shape at 180+ HIT minutes/week. I didn't hit this last year and I need to this year.
  • For fitness, I'm adding a simple Yes/No question: Did I prioritize fitness when I needed to this week?

    I've found Yes/No leading indicators REALLY motivational. It hurts to have to answer No in a week–and that "I let myself down" feeling gets me back on track the next week.

    I'm shooting to answer this with a Yes 40 of the 52 weeks this year. I'm 2 out of 3 so far this year after already hitting this metric this week.

I'm tracking a few others things, but those are the main ones.
​Do this as you select your own leading indicators:

  1. Tie them to your strategy. I highly recommend tracking your time, even if it's only on your single-most important long-term strategic focus. It'll keep you on track.
  2. If you have more than one leading indicator, consider pairing a quantity and quality metric.
  3. Yes/No metrics are the strongest. They force you to focus.

Here's the weekly input view with the first 2 weeks of this year filled in. First the work side.


And here's the fitness side.

You can see I’m out of balance on fitness in the first two weeks…more work and less fitness. But…good news, as I’m writing this in the middle of week three and will work about 60 hours and travel, I’ll still be able to hit about 200 HIT fitness minutes, including four great workouts. Next week will be a strong fitness week too, so I’m getting back on track. There’s hope! ***


*** Note to reader: This section is purposefully short, pulling in the main thing to remember from each life domain throughout 2023. Next week I'll show you how I pull this into a short weekly review. ***

Spiritual: Keep focusing on ThinkingOS and reminding myself what’s important.

Physical: Put fitness first or I’ll break myself. 180 HIT minutes a month. 40 weeks of Yes/fitness first.

Relationships: Keep investing!

Rest and Recreation: Keep to the system that I found worked in 2022. That means I have to say No to some things to stay focused on what's important. (This will be hard for me: remember, life is short.)

Vocation/BIG: Work with our amazing team so I can do what I’m great at and avoid what I stink at.

Economics: Keep investing and stay the course. Let’s have another great year at BIG. Mr. Market will turn from voting machine to weighing machine soon enough, and before I need it to.


*** Note to reader: This is usually my shortest section. It wraps things up and looks to the future with optimism. Our best days should always be ahead of us. ***

Despite crappy health headwinds with Becky's cancer and pneumonia, this has been a great year in so many ways.

  • Our family is stronger than ever.
  • BIG is stronger than ever.
  • Our momentum is stronger than ever.
  • And...hopefully...Becky’s cancer, COVID, and pneumonia battle is nearly behind us...helping our health get stronger.

It’s time to get STRONGER in 2023.


​We're nearly to the end of this article in our series.

​One last thought before we pop up a level and close out.

Make this process your own.

I was catching up with one of my favorite clients of all time (Hi Mike P!), and he was sharing how he's modified the process to fit his life.

​His changes:

  • He goes through the process with his wife, combining their plans into one. Brilliant!
  • They added a 7th life domain: developing their children. Love this!
  • They added annual travel planning into their process–specifically what, where and with whom.
  • And lastly, they incorporate a combined "social Protemoi list" to write down their favorite friends they want to focus on in the coming year.

I loved hearing these hacks!

​Every one of them is important, and by doing the process together, they'll be on the same page, all year long.

So good.

​OK, time to pop up a level and wrap this article up.

​We covered how to look forward, converting your long term strategies into short term actions and metrics.

​The key to long term strategies: Be visionary. Be bold.

​The key to short term actions and metrics: Focus on what you can control and keep yourself on track.

​The strategies without the accountability is a dream.

​The actions without the strategy is busy work.

​By doing the most important things every day, every week, you'll put yourself in a position to succeed.

​This process has kept me on track for years.

I'm amazed at the results.

​I've felt a strong feeling over the past few weeks–this overwhelming feeling of things getting easier.

​Like the universe is helping me, my family, and BIG to be successful.

​It's overwhelming at times.

​And as I look back over the last few years, I feel that "rolling downhill" feeling results from this process.

​Continuing to focus on what's important.

​Without remorse, cutting out what's not.

​Continuing to evolve to add more value to all I meet, to be more helpful.

​One last question.

​Hit reply and let me know how all this new content is landing with you.

​One things for sure.

I hope it's it's helpful...


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