It’s the start of a new year and if you are all set, hitting the ground running awesome!
But if you are feeling overwhelmed and disorganized and not sure where to start this post is for you.
I spent all this week working my clients through the steps I outline below. Regardless of how prepared they were before our call, they each found the process helpful in clarifying their next steps and removing the stress and pressure that comes with setting goals.
Name your 1-3 big goals for the quarter. (There is always an outlier or two that have 10. In that case, I suggest putting them in order from most important to least important and picking your top 3.)
Now write down your goals and ask for each one:
Why this goal? For example, if your goal is to get in shape, why do you want to get in shape? This matters because it will determine how you go about achieving that goal. It might be because you want to get off a particular medication. Or it might be so you can do fun activities with your kids.
Is your goal specific, measurable, and something you can reasonably do over the next 3 months? The goal of getting in shape is so broad that knowing your why will help you clarify the goal. Get in great shape becomes lower my x level by y points so I can get off of z medication. Or take a 20 mile backpacking trip with my kids.
What’s your strategy? Find out what it’s going to take to get off the medication. Or decide how you are going to get in shape to walk 20 miles with a pack on your back in 3 months. There are plenty of resources out there for you to find out how – the point is that now you are asking a very specific question and so you can create a very specific strategy.
What are the steps? You’ve identified your strategy for getting in shape so what are the pieces that go into it? If it’s hiking 20 miles you aren’t going to start there. You are going to work up to it. You are going to start hiking locally and then do a few longer hikes on the weekends. You are going to cross train. You are going to make some dietary changes to give you the energy you need.
What can you schedule now? Now put your longer hikes in your schedule. Put your gym workouts in there too. If you are going to be making changes to your diet you may have to cook and shop differently and it may take more time. Put that in there too.
You can do the exact same thing for your business. For example let’s say you want to grow your email list. Growing your email list is a good goal but why? Maybe you are developing a physical product you’d like to sell. That why is going to influence how you go about growing your list. I want to add 100 people to my list every month via Instagram.
Then you can put a strategy together for using Instagram to grow your list. Don’t know how? Do some research and figure out how others are using Instagram to grow their list.
Finally, break your strategy into smaller tasks that you can calendar and face one week at a time.
You have clarity.
You have a manageable action plan.
You’ve taken the time to think it through.
You can tweak, adjust, or even pivot later but you have your starting point, your destination, and you’ve picked your means of travel.