Happy New Year,
It’s finally January and I’ve been obsessing over the last few weeks about setting myself clear goals for my online business for 2016.
Do you know that kind of frenzied clarity-seeking period?
In fact I’ve done this every year since I left my corporate job (where we all did it together as part of a team over several weeks in October – easy when there’s a crowd of you and a CMO waiting for a presentation).
Last year I created a huge paper planner visually mapping out my targets and goals for 2015.
And actually I’ve always thought I was pretty good at sticking to my plans.
(I managed to train and complete a triathlon last June for goodness sake, surely that meant I was good at this ‘sticking to your plan’ stuff?!)
Only by summer time I had realised two important things.
These two major things are the key to setting goals successfully.
Two major things I vowed I’d do differently for 2016:
#1 Setting only annual goals is a BIG mistake.
I created a great huge paper planner for the whole of 2015 – I mapped out 52 weeks.
Pinned it up on my office wall and covered it in post-it notes with all the things I was going to do each month between Jan-Dec 2015:
But… By July I felt totally disillusioned.
I’d completed no more than 30% of what I’d planned to do. (And everyone around me seemed to be steaming ahead with glorious creations, content and programs).
I did some ‘reforecasting’ – shuffled some post-its around a bit, dropped some ideas – and then felt a tiny bit better.
But then by autumn the same thing happened! I was behind, exasperated and frustrated.
It was about this time I read ‘The 12-week year’ by Bryan Moran.
If you’ve ever struggled to accomplish anything you set out to do and intended to do, then this is a must read.
The general idea is that you break the year down into four parts.
You start with your vision, work down to your 12-week goals that align with the vision.
And then you write out the exact tactics that you will need to do to achieve the goal.
There’s a lot more to it but what I noticed after applying this to the last 3 months of last year is that it really does change not only what you do, but also how you feel.
And when you feel on top of things, satisfied that you’re accomplishing your goals…. everything shifts in a positive direction.
This was a powerful lesson for me and one, which I’ve applied to my goal setting and planning for 2016.
Having successfully completed 12 weeks using this process (and having failed miserably trying to plan out a complete year) I cannot recommend it enough – especially if you are trying to build a business on your own or with a small team.
And the second lesson?
This is so simple and so effective that once you’ve tried it you will not look back.
So, one of the principles of 12 week planning is creating a weekly tactics list which lead you a step closer to your overall goal.
Now this weekly tactics list needs to be short!
It’s not a list of to-dos.
It’s a list of strategic things you wish to accomplish that particular week.
I discovered a brilliant hack to help you stay on track.
Try and think, what’s one place you look at multiple times a day? That lives in your pocket? Is always with you…
Yes easy, your phone.
Now try this.
Open up your favourite note taking App; write out your top 3 plans for the week.
Take a screen shot (press and hold ‘home’ and on/off if you have an iPhone) then make that screen shot your ‘lock’ screen.
Every single time you pick up your phone, you’ll see your priority list for the week.
#2 Keep your weekly goals front of mind at all times
I do mine in SWAG to create beautiful images out of my task list, just because . . .
Here’s to your amazing business plans for 2016, may you be happy, healthy and successful in reaching your dreams – I look forward to helping you achieve great things with your online business.
One more tip – if you love a paper planner, try the Daily Greatness Business Planner, this is another beautiful but practical and strategic way to get all your greatness down onto paper and its laid out in 12 week chunks wohoo!