Goal planning has never been my jam. I love the supplies. Shopping for a planner, colorful pens, markers, and stickers. But the actual planning and executing part has eluded me. Until I discovered EOS. 

What is EOS?

EOS stands for Entrepreneurial Operating System, developed by Gino Wickman. It’s similar in concept to something like Scrum or Agile. According to the EOS website, over 190,000 businesses use the system worldwide to achieve their company’s vision. After seeing it in action with one of my clients and experiencing how well it works, I am inspired to EOS-ify my life goals in 2024.

The Entrepreneurial Operating System is broken into three main parts: Vision, Traction, and Health. Then, you implement various tools and meetings to gain clarity on direction, deal with issues as they arise, and make progress towards your vision. 

For my use, we’re going to focus on Vision and Traction. 

Some Quick EOS Definitions

V/TO- Vision/Traction Organizer, a document that covers core values and core focus, including a 3-year picture, 1-year plan, and major goals

Rocks- Rocks are goals, special projects, and priorities. Each Quarter, you set Rocks that should be accomplished in the next 90 days. Rocks are broken down into Milestones. At the end of the Quarter, you judge whether the Rock was completed. 

L10 Meeting- The L10 stands for “Level 10.” You rank a weekly meeting from 1-10 in effectiveness, the goal being that every meeting you have should be a 10. There is a specific format for the L10 that is followed religiously. The format includes reviewing metrics, discussing issues, and communicating across teams. 

Scorecard- Each department has a scorecard with metrics that are tracked weekly. For a business, typical scorecard metrics might be Weekly Revenue, Social Media Engagement, and New Clients. 

EOS Model from the EOS website

Benefits of EOS

Having EOS when I worked in television would have been super helpful. Not just for the ability to effectively manage launches, client requests, and giant projects like social strategy for live award shows. But also for creating an atmosphere of proactivity vs reactivity. 

EOS can take a disorganized, haphazard approach to business growth and turn operations into a well-run machine. It can take daunting projects and make them doable. It gets everyone in the organization rowing in the same direction and, most importantly, forces you to prioritize.

I’m naturally very creative, and though I’m extremely strategic in my thinking, I often struggle with the taking action part. Goal planning has always felt boring to me. I have many ideas yet get overwhelmed with all the tasks involved in accomplishing specific goals, leading to procrastination. 

However, one thing I do love is a makeover.

As Dionne says of her best friend in Clueless: “Cher’s main thrill in life is a makeover, okay. It gives her a sense of control in a world full of chaos.” Reframing goal-setting as a makeover makes me actually want to get down to business. 

Alicia Silverstone Makeover GIF by filmeditor - Find & Share on GIPHY


Why Creative Types Should Try EOS

So why not makeover my 2024 by using EOS for my personal goals? Namely, the creative ones that resist the allure of steady progress and would rather lightning bolt into my existence like a cartoon eureka moment.

Many creatives and artists have spoken about how the work is to just do the work. The idea of an artist sitting around all day, boozing and adrift in reverie may work for the fantasy notion we have in our heads of what it means to be an author, poet, painter, or designer.

But even Picasso had a schedule. And he was one of the most prolific artists of all time. Michelangelo, though epically talented, was given a deadline for the Sistine Chapel by Pope Julius II after stating the project would be finished when it “satisfies me in its artistic details,” making Julius II the world’s first ever EOS Implementer.

Part of what made these artists successful was a keen sense of focus, a desire to be paid, and the lack of modern-day distraction. Sometimes I think I would be better at goal planning if I lived in another time period, without the temptation to watch makeup reviews on YouTube or spend hours going down Fragrantica rabbit holes. But let’s be honest, I’d probably find the equivalent by hanging out at the local apothecary. 

Applying EOS to Our Goals

So, where do we start? Well first, we need to know where we’re going. 

Keep in mind that I will not follow EOS protocol to a T. EOS is the inspiration, and I’ll be taking bits and pieces of it and applying them to my personal goals.

For a full, deep dive into how to use the EOS methodology for your business, check out the book Traction or their YouTube Channel. And while I know I might ruffle some EOS-enthusiast feathers, no matter what method you choose for goal setting, it has to work for you and you alone.

Let us begin with the V/TO

This is where we figure out what we want for the future. We need to create a 3-year picture.

*One giant caveat: I change courses and directions frequently. I used to think that meant I was flighty and non-committal until I learned I’m a Manifesting Generator in Human Design. 

That means I will follow a path as long as it feels good, and if I need to move on, I do. Even if I have yet to reach the end or see it through. Sticking with things that no longer feel aligned simply for the sake of sticking with them drains my energy and makes me miserable.

I could very well change my mind about what I want. My V/TO might change. For now, we will run with it. 

PLUS. I am a big believer in letting the Universe fill in the details. I like having an idea of what would appeal to me and then letting things unfold. I want to balance my trust in the Universe with making new habits FUN.

The 3-Year Picture

3-year picture:

  • To grow the Talk To Me Baby audience 
  • To write and publish poetry
  • Exercising and maintaining a healthy body
  • Moving out of Miami
  • Embracing freedom of expression

Next, we focus on grounding the 3-year Picture into measurable, actionable steps by asking “What would that look like?”

What would that look like?

  • 100,000 downloads for the podcast
  • Publishing some work in a literary magazine
  • Getting to my goal dress size
  • Figuring out places I might like to live
  • A new sense of style 
  • Bringing my full self to the table unapologetically
  • Not shying away from sharing my opinions, no matter how they’ll be received
  • Being vocal and owning my voice

The 1-Year Plan

Ok, so those are the long-term goals. Now, I’ll focus on goals that will get me closer to the 3-year picture. I’m not going to focus on all of them. For example, moving out of Miami, I will largely delegate to the Universe regarding when, where, and how. I know when it’s time, I’ll be led. That’s not precisely EOS protocol, but it works for me.

1-year plan:

  • Increase Talk To Me Baby audience
  • Writing poetry, essays, and articles consistently
  • Be more expressive
  • Drop 2 dress sizes

What would that look like?

  • Consistent promo content for the podcast  
  • Consistently email my email list
  • Cross-promotion opportunities with other podcasts
  • Taking the SEO course I purchased
  • Join a writer’s group
  • Begin a writing practice
  • Attend/speak at poetry readings
  • Post new poems, pieces, articles regularly on my website 
  • Set better boundaries with work/not forgetting to prioritize my personal projects
  • Clearly communicate what I want and hold steady
  • Start Dopamine Dressing
  • Source and buy new clothing pieces that speak to me
  • Prioritize my passions and learn more about them
  • Add in 1 cardio session per week 
  • Wake up earlier to accommodate working out and writing practice

Turning your “What would that look like” list into Rocks

At this point, we can figure out Rocks for the Quarter. In the Entrepreneurial Operating System, a Rock is supposed to be above and beyond the day-to-day of your job. It might require new habits, processes, planning, and focus.

All of the above in the “What would it look like” section could be accomplished by the end of 2024. However, I can’t just start doing it all at once. It’s unrealistic to expect that I will be able to begin forming new habits, adding new projects, and completely revamping everything right this second.

This is where the EOS methodology is essential. Prioritizing is going to save you from rushing in and burning out. We break down those tasks into potential Rocks to complete each Quarter. 

Some of the ideas above will be ongoing, so I want to get on them now. And frankly, some of them are easy. For example, I already work out 3x per week. Only now, I’ll do one cardio session and two weight training sessions. 

The consistent promotion of my podcast is an area I’ve been struggling with. I record an episode weekly, but sometimes I forget to tell people about it. Lol. The same goes for my email list. I haven’t quite figured out how or what I want to email. 

The SEO course is also a priority because SEO is a long game, and starting it now will help me get more exposure for my content and writing. 

All of these priorities need to begin taking place now so that they can pay off later (Wow, listen to me sounding so together! Does it seem like I know what I’m doing? Cool.)

My Q1 Rocks

For Quarter 1 of this year, my Rocks are:

  • Add in 1 cardio session per week
  • Consistently promote podcast
  • Send 2 emails per month for my list 
  • Take the SEO course I purchased
  • Go to one writers’ group meeting

Ok, now let’s Milestone these suckers.

Not all of these Rocks require milestones because some are very straightforward. We will look at the Rocks that require multiple steps. You start by looking at the steps needed to take place and by when.

Consistently promote podcast:

  • Determine a promotional plan for each episode, due 1/12/24
  • Build workflow for creating assets, due 1/12/24
  • Decide on set promotional days, due 1/19/24
  • Start implementing consistently, due 1/26/24

Consistently create 2 emails per month for my list:

  • Decide the topics/themes for the 2 monthly emails, due 1/26/24
  • Set dates to send out the emails, due 2/2/24
  • Determine when they need to be written and programmed into Flodesk, due 2/2/24 
  • Block off time for writing and setting up the emails every month, 2/9/24
  • Send out first email, due 2/14/24

Now, I’m not gonna lie. Creating the milestones gave me the heebie-jeebies. Not because I can’t get this stuff done. But because I want to get it done NOW. 

I should already be sending out the emails and promoting my content for the podcast. These tasks are not hard for me. I did this for a living for 8+ years for a media company where we published over 250 pieces of content a month.

This is a small fry comparatively. Yet, I know I will get overwhelmed if I give myself too much to do. Be the tortoise, not the hare.

Tracking Progress

We could also create a Scorecard for things that I want to track. Some of my “metrics,” for example, could be:

  • Number of weekly workouts
  • Number of writing sessions
  • Attending 2 writers’ group meetings per month

I don’t have an L10 with myself per se, but I track my workouts in my weekly planner. I could add the writing sessions and writers’ group meetings when I get to it. 

For future quarters, I might want to track pitches I send to other podcasts to have me on as a guest or submissions to literary magazines. But for now, these are good to go with plain old pen and paper.

EOS-ifying my 2024

I can already see how my first Quarter will shake out. 

By the end of February, I should consistently promote my podcast and write emails to my list. 

Between mid-February and March, I can take the SEO course and implement what I learn. 

The pre-EOS Emily would have attempted to also start the SEO course simultaneously. But the post-EOS Emily knows there are other hidden tasks like implementing whatever this course tells me to do, which will require time, energy, focus, and patience. 

Plus, I still have client work, dinners to make, choir rehearsal to attend, cats to pet, new music to discover, outfits to put together, bread to bake, fragrances to sniff…being human means taking in many sensory experiences.

The challenge will be balancing my Rocks with moments of inspiration. Sometimes, I get into a mood and tackle a bunch of things at once. When I focus, and the energy flows through me, I can get more done in a day than most people can in a week.

It’s just how I’m built. I also know that some weeks are extremely draining for me from a work perspective, and I’ll have to find ways to replenish my energy to focus on completing the Rocks. 

One thing I love about EOS is that it fits into my life philosophy. The great Lauryn Hill said it best: “Don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem, baby girl…”

EOS-ifying your life, prioritizing Rocks, and getting them done makes you feel like a GEM. 

Here’s to a great 2024.

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