There are 21 days left in January. That’s 504 hours and 30,240 minutes. More than enough time to create your 2018 Goals, plan and this month’s to do list.
Now don’t be rolling your eyes at me. I’m not going to ask you to go on a 3-day strategic planning retreat. Can you give yourself an hour? Take .2% of the time remaining in January and plan your year?
I’m not going to bore you with 1,000 words convincing you that planning your year is a good idea. You’ve probably been seeing every hotshot out there providing you with the why’s and how of planning. I can tell you though, that my experience with business owners who don’t have a plan – well, they might as well head out in a boat with no map. You get the drift.
Let’s dive in.
Give yourself an hour with paper or your computer, laptop, tablet or cell phone.
If you created a plan last year, pull that out. (Hopefully, you can access that in a minute.)
Step 1 Write or review and edit your Vision
Your Vision is about you. We are not creating a business vision or mission statement that you hang in your business’s lobby or place on your website. This is about what you want for yourself, your lifestyle and for you in your business.
It shows the intersection of personal and work.
Think about where you see yourself in the next 5-10++ years. Think about your health, finances, lifestyle leisure time, passion and what you accomplish, do, be…
Over the last two years, I have transitioned my business to part-time as I decided to be semiretired. My vision statement reflects that and projects out more than the 5-10 years I just recommended. It’s fine to determine the time frame you want to focus on now. It all depends on your reality at this moment.
- Coach, write, blog and publish which keeps my mind active and engaged.
- Help Baby Boomer Businesswomen create success and satisfaction in a part-time business and semiretired lifestyle well into their “golden years.”
- Live a Long healthy, active life past 100 years with my life partner, socially engaged and playing badminton at a reasonable weight.
- Protect my time so that I maintain a well-balanced calendar. Travel extensively and enjoy retirement 100%.
- Always maintain my integrity.
Take some time to start drafting your vision. You don’t have to get it right the first time. Your vision will evolve. Try answering some of these questions:
- If you could have anything you wanted, what would that be?
- What do you love doing more than anything else?
- What is most important to you in terms each of the following parts of your life: health, spiritual, business or career, family, social relationships, financial security, and fun.
Your vision statement does not need to look like mine. It shouldn’t. No one is watching so just write it.
Step 2 Your #1 Goal for 2018
Next, keeping your Vision front and center, write your one key business goal for 2018.
- What is the most critical thing you want to accomplish in your business this year that will make a giant impact towards your vision?
Marylee’s First Try – 2018 Really Big Goal (RGB)
Here is my first stab at my 2018 RGB
- Streamline my “work” so that I still have a way of sharing my passion for business but generate a method to add passive income. With our travel schedule starting Dec 2018, I won’t have time for much 1:1 coaching through 2020.
How will I know I have accomplished this? That’s the problem – it is not measurable. What I wrote is the essence of what I need to do in 2018 so that I can travel freely in the following years.
Let me try again:
In 2018, create, sell and run a yearlong group program of at least five members which includes a live monthly group session, workbook, self-study activities and 1:1 coaching. Record the components of the program and produce a self-study program which I will begin promoting in September 2018 to launch early January 2019.
You’ve heard of SMART goals, right?
Once you have your goal written, compare it to each of these points to make sure you have it all covered.
I prefer looking at Relevancy first. Because if it is not relevant, then what’s the point?
In my example,
The program I run this year will become an online self-driven program next year targeting Baby Boomer Businesswomen moving into semi-retirement. Relevancy – Check!
Specific – Run one program. Create an online application from it. Promote and Launch. Check!
Measurable – Numbers and dates – Check!
Achievable – This is a hard one. Can I do this with limited hours this year? I would like to think so. Since I am using a living, breathing case study to create the new program, I think it is doable as long as I maintain consistent work each month. Check!
Time Bound – I have each type of activity that I need to complete for this project in my calendar. Check!
How does your goal measure up? Check it against each of the standards of writing SMART goals.
Step 3: Your WHY
I bet you’ve heard others talk about your Why. Your Why will evolve from your vision statement. Think of it as your Guiding Light. It is the heart and soul of why you do what you do. Your Why is the reason you get up in the morning and get to work. even when it’s hard.
Many of you will have a financial commitment as part of your goal. If that is the case, to get to the heart of your Why, you must keep digging deeper. You might say, “I need more money.” Or, “I need more money to pay my bills.”
This answer is one that suggests going out and getting a job. Really.
Dig in. Why do you want more money? I would venture to say that most of us want more money. But why? For what? What will an increase in our bottom line do for our life? What do you want?
Entrepreneurs have a calling for more. It can be because you want to help others, your family and yes, yourself. But Why? Each time you write the answer, ask yourself “Why?” again.
Step 4: Plan Your First Quarter
To reach your 2018 Goal, what do you need to complete this first quarter? Again, write SMART goals for this quarter. Here there probably will be more than one.
Next, break your 1st Quarter Goals into monthly steps and tasks. Again, this is an evolving document as you will need to add to it as you discover steps you need to take that you had not thought of before.
I use a spreadsheet to chart all of this out. Some people use a task app, some a calendar and some of my clients use Kanban. Whatever works for you. If you want a simple spreadsheet, contact me and I will share a Google doc with you.
What? We aren’t going to plan the rest of our year?
Nope! I guarantee you if you plan the entire year, it will change. You have your vision. More importantly you have your Why. Your Guiding Light. I rather you get to the meat of this quarter and do the work.
Next Steps To Do:
- Do something every day towards your RBG
- Ask someone to hold you accountable
- Keep an idea file for things you know you will need to do next quarter
- Put a reminder on your calendar March 15 to plan Quarter 2. Before you celebrate St Patrick’s Day.
Want a little help in figuring any of this out? I offer a free, no sales, Give Me a Break session where we can sort some of this out.
Schedule one today and I promise you will leave with a clear head and a firm grip on your next step.