Achieving your goals

Rocks, pebbles and sand mindset

Have you ever found yourself struggling to achieve your goals because you just don’t have enough time to commit to them? Chances are, you’re doing things back to front.

Rocks, Pebbles and Sand is a simple, yet crucial, planning concept depicting that we’ll achieve more if we set our annual goals (or ‘rocks’) first, then our 90-day goals (‘pebbles’) and actions (‘sand’).

If we had a jar and first put in some sand, then added pebbles, then tried to put the rocks on top, not many rocks would fit. If you start with the rocks, we can fit the pebbles in, then the sand will filter through the gaps and we can fit more in.

Start with annual goals

For a lot of business owners, the day-to-day tasks fill up most of their day. In other words, their jar is filled up with sand, not leaving much room for the rocks and pebbles.

If they were to start with their annual goals and break these into 90-day goals, their daily actions will be driven by their goals. That means their daily tasks are helping to achieve their goals.


For example, if your annual goal was to increase sales by 10%, your 90-day goal might be to have completed training for the sales team. The sand might be designing a sales training programme, finding someone to deliver the sales training, and training each salesperson.

If you didn’t have the ‘rock’ of increasing your sales by 10%, it’s likely that your sales team would be too busy in their day-to-day tasks to stop and spend time undertaking training. If you didn’t have the ‘pebble’ of completing the training within 90 days, the training would be pushed to the bottom of the list for your sales team.

By structuring our planning and goals in the right order, we can more easily keep our focus on the things that matter the most. We can be very clear about the things that we are doing on a day-to-day basis, since they will be driven by those annual goals that we have set. Following the Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand mindset will help us achieve our goals more effectively.

Need help with achieving your goals? We can help!


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