It’s that time of year again when all entrepreneurs are searching for ideas on how to set yearly goals for their business that are easy to accomplish. Just like preparing for a new project or launch, setting yearly goals can seem daunting.
When I’m creating a launch or project plan for my clients, I break the steps into small chunks. Planning for a new year is no different. What once seemed scary can seem manageable and even enjoyable.
Are you wondering why it’s so important to plan for a new year? Let me remind you that time passes quickly in the online world. We have to be purposeful in taking the time to set goals. If we don’t, we may realize that our business is in the same place the next year.
As an example, there are weeks in which I am not as diligent about making a plan for what I want to accomplish. I just focus on the things that come up in my business each week. Don’t get me wrong, those things do need attention. However, at the end of those weeks in which I don’t have a specific plan, I usually feel like I do nothing to move my business forward and wonder how I wasted my time.
On the other hand, when I take the time to write out a plan and set goals for a week, I feel so productive when Friday rolls around. I’m sure you’re like me. You would rather feel productive on Friday than wonder what the heck you did all week.
The answer to this dilemma is to start setting goals for yourself and your business. Start out big and then break those goals down.
Start By Dreaming About Your Yearly Goals
When working with my clients who are setting goals and making plans, I always encourage them to start with where they want to end up. It’s always easier to work backwards when making a plan because you know where you are headed. Likewise, it’s pointless to be making plans for next month if you don’t know what you are working towards long term. Once you know your long term goals, you can start to break things down into what you want to accomplish in smaller chunks.
So dream. Dream big! List your long-term goals for your business. List that thing that you really want but you are scared to put out there for fear of failure.
What is it that you would like to do in your business if you could do anything without having to worry about limitations? This may not happen next year, but you could be using next year to lay the stepping stones for accomplishing that goal in the future.
I would even encourage you to take a moment and visualize yourself living out that dream. If you can “see” yourself living that dream, it will make you even more determine to achieve that dream.
Then take a moment and write your long term goal on a piece of paper. Whether you choose to decorate the paper pretty or not doesn’t really matter, just get it up in front of you. Hang it somewhere that you will see everyday. By keeping it in front of you, you will remember on those hard days what you are working towards.
Even though you’ll have goals that you definitely want to achieve in the next year, you’ll want to keep those long term goals in the back of your mind so everything you do now is preparing you for what it to come later.
Set Yearly Goals
Now that you know you’re long term goals, what is it you need to accomplish in this next year to work closer to that goal? Don’t worry about how it will all get done, just write it down.
How do you want to impact the lives of others? Is there a income goal you have in mind?
Now ask yourself what needs to happen in your business to make sure those things will be accomplished.
- Is this the year when you will hire your first virtual assistant?
- Are you ready to create that course that you’ve been putting off?
- Is it time to go from 1:1 coaching to a group coaching program?
- Will you work on your marketing message and getting in front of your ideal client?
- How will you find new clients to meet your income goals?
Your business goals will not be the same as anyone else. And they shouldn’t be. Because your business is unique and so are you.
Now, you may be thinking that you don’t have time to do all this dreaming. Am I right? But you know the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” And it’s so true. So take some time one afternoon to focus on your business goals. Or at least start jotting things down as you go through your day.
The important thing is to get these ideas down on paper so you have something to work with as you begin to determine how you will spend your time and energy in the next year.
Break Down Your Yearly Goals
Now you are ready to develop your plan for the year. You’ve already done the soul searching by deciding what it is you want to accomplish in the long term and next year. Next, begin to break down those dreams and goals into smaller and actionable steps.
You will want to start by breaking your goals into quarterly goals. Ask yourself what you need to do in the fourth quarter to accomplish your yearly goals. From that point, move to quarter three by asking what you need to do in quarter three so you can work on your quarter four goals. Continue with that pattern until you have all four quarters planned out.
Once you plan for each quarter, I encourage my clients to hold the second, third, and fourth quarter plans loosely. There’s no need to really define the plans for those quarters until you are close to the end of the first quarter. By that time, you will know what will be accomplished by the end of the first quarter. No one has time to rework plans several times, so it’s better to simply set aside some time at the end of each quarter to finalize plans for the next quarter.
At this point, you will want to plan out each month in the first quarter. Once you’ve created a plan for each month, plan out each week.
You should start to see the pattern here. You’ve gradually worked backwards from your long term dream or yearly goal to create an actionable plan that feels doable. That dream that once felt impossible, no longer feels that way. You’ve developed a plan and broken it into bite-sized pieces that can be completed.
One More Thing
Now that you have your plan written down, you’re still not done. You still need to make sure that you accomplish those goals. As you work through each week, keep reminding yourself of that long term goal that you wrote down and tacked up. (You did do that, right?)
Depending on your personality, it may be helpful to create an award system for yourself after you’ve completed a set number of weeks or reached a milestone. It’s okay if you need an incentive to keep you motivated. Whatever incentive you choose, make sure it’s something that will inspire you to tackle the next weekly or monthly goals.
Have fun! It’s fun to dream, but it’s even more fun when you accomplish those dreams.
P.S. If one of your goals is to gain more time in your day because you’ve felt that 2019 was too crazy, fill out my website contact form and schedule a discovery call with me so we can dive into the details of your goals and figure out how I can help you achieve them. I’d love to chat with you!