Action plan wisdom

Okay, January is almost over. Are you still on track for your annual goals? Did you burst out of the gates and grab a commanding lead? Or are you anything like me, still reading over your goal list, trying to get comfortable with the idea of such huge growth?

Like most years, I asked my four kids to write down their goals for the year at the end of December. Three of them complied, one didn’t.

Instead, Zaria, the youngest one, said in a very defiant tone, “Stop listing and start living!”

In other words, “You people can piddle around with your to-do lists. I’m actually going to do something.”

She kind of has the goods to back it up. This is a child who’s gotten straight A’s all through school, started acting when she was four, modeling at five, and singing at six. At age 10, she’s the youngest 7th grader in her school (she skipped the 2nd and 5th grades).

And she already has designs on going to Julliard or Yale.

The thing is, she thinks everyone does this stuff. She thinks she’s normal, and just goes about her business in a matter-of-fact, unassuming way.

We should all be so straightforward and confident, hey?

So what does this have to do with you and me? Why should copywriters and business builders listen to the advice of a 10-year old?

Well, I think we probably do spend too much time making lists, and not enough time actually carrying out the plan.

Let me suggest three things to do, two things to avoid, and one action item.


  1. Write out your goals and keep them where you can see them.
  2. Keep track of your numbers.
  3. Tie an emotional purpose to your goal.


  1. Obsess over your goal list.
  2. List too many goals. I’m going with only one this year, the amount of money I want to make. Keep it simple.

Action item: 

Do something every day to move forward toward your goal. Realize that you still have 11 months to go, and start making daily progress.

That’s it. And with the carefree, confident attitude of a 10-year old aspiring Broadway actress and recording artist, start living!

What is your biggest goal this year? What are you doing each day to make it happen? I’d love to hear from you. Leave me a short note in the comments.

Steve Roller

Author Steve Roller

I'm a business coach, author, copywriter, world traveler (33 countries on five continents so far), and professional speaker. In addition to helping companies get more customers and make more money, I help other writers create profitable businesses. I offer one-on-one coaching, professional copy critiques, and live, in-person business-building workshops. When I'm not writing, coaching, or speaking, I enjoy nothing more than hanging out with my wife and four kids and planning my next adventure.

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Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Terr says:

    This post summarizes an essay I’m writing: When we’re that young, we’re literally too ignorant to realize why we “can’t”! We’re too unfettered with all of the b.s. that gets in our way as adults. When children want to do something, they do it!

    On another note, I’m sure this young lady will continue to soar and assume that everyone else should as well. May she continue to have high standards for herself and for everyone else around her!

    • Steve Roller says:

      Exactly! Kids have a way of just forging ahead and not worrying about what’s possible or not. More and more I’m finding it’s teachers, guidance counselors, and other well-meaning adults who put the brakes on kids’ dreams (I’m seeing this right now with my two sons who are in high school).

      Thanks for the good wishes for Zaria, Terri. I’ll keep you posted on her progress (probably occasionally through this blog).

  • tosenkarski says:

    Right on track. I hope to push Live on my website by February 1st.

    Way to go Zaria. Keep dad on his toes.

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