As the winter season comes to a close, it’s an excellent time to do your winter reflection and spring planning.

Next week at AW, we will be wrapping up our winter session, then resting for a week. For some, that will mean actual vacations, but for others, it will simply mean a week of not thinking about your goals or making commitments. Then, just when you are missing the structure of our program, the spring session begins. 

A Word on Cadence

Over time, we’ve tested out every cadence, and we’ve learned that 12 weeks of steady work, followed by a one-week rest period, is optimal. The way businesses, including ours, break up the year doesn’t always align with Mother Nature, but it’s pretty darn close. Which is why I appreciate that cultures throughout time have celebrated the change of season through equinox and solstice celebrations. It was a time to put down their tools, celebrate, reflect, and look ahead. 

As we head into this reflection, remember that most people who set goals forget about them two weeks later. I’m not just saying that; the statistic from the University of Scranton cited most often is that 92% of people who set goals fail to achieve them. However, data from the American Society of Training and Development confirms that with a plan, accountability, and a consistent weekly check-in, we are able to flip that statistic around to a 90-95% completion rate. The point is to do your reflection, and if there are areas where you didn’t accomplish what you wanted to, apply what you learned to the spring. Make a plan, build accountability into your plan, and see what a big difference it makes. 

Winter Reflection Questions

Did you accomplish your winter goals? If you did, well done! Now, dig a little deeper. What worked really well, and what was more difficult than you expected? If you didn’t, why not? What was challenging? Did you run into some of the more common challenges? Was it that you procrastinated, or did you lose focus? Was it a lack of accountability, or did you change your mind about the importance of the goal? Did you make any progress towards your goal? If you made progress, acknowledge that. A lot of times if we don’t complete a goal, we discount the progress that was made as not being enough or what was intended. Think progress over perfection, and take the small win as something you can build on next quarter.

Were your quarterly goals aligned with your 1-year goals? If so, this is a great time to assess whether your approach is the right one. Should you make a similar goal for the next quarter, or do you need to pivot? Think about how the results of the first quarter will inform how you allocate time, energy, and money in the next quarter. On the personal side, I wanted to incorporate one winning habit each quarter. So now that I’ve nailed my hydration habit, I’m going to keep at it, but add in another winning habit for the spring.

Spring Planning Questions

  1. Flash forward three months from now. It’s the end of June. How are you feeling? What are you doing? Where are you? Get as detailed as you can. Write as if it’s already happened. 
  2. Considering where you want to be at the end of June, what are your top 1-3 goals or priorities for spring? You don’t have to restrict yourself to personal or professional goals. It’s simply the three biggest rocks or priorities in your life right now. The places where you need to move the needle. 
  3. Are your goals specific enough that you could definitely say you did or did not accomplish them 12 weeks from now? 
  4. How can you build accountability around your goals? There are a lot of ways to build accountability around your goals. The first level is holding yourself accountable, and the easiest way to do that is through tracking, which you can do by hand, with spreadsheets, or with a variety of apps. The next level is finding an accountability partner and organizing a regular meeting. Then, of course, if you want a robust and proven program, we are here for you. This time of year we offer private coaching. If you’d like to join a small group, you can join the waitlist here

Make Your Spring Plan

Once you’ve answered the spring planning questions, don’t stop there. Write your spring plan. One sheet of paper will do. It doesn’t have to be complicated. We have a simple 1-page planning tool you can find here

The energy of spring makes this one of our favorite times of year. Business-wise, it is also when we do our most detailed quarterly planning. That’s because it’s when we create and build out the back end of our fall and winter programs and marketing. Traditionally, fall and winter are our busiest times of the year. We are enrolling, doing workshops, and doing tons of planning and placement calls. We also like to work less and travel in the summer, so we have to be diligent in the spring to set up for a more easeful transition from a slow summer to a jam-packed fall. All of that takes planning! 

When You Need Help Planning

Over the years of working with and hiring accountability coaches, we realized that there was one skill we couldn’t teach – strategic thinking. This is especially important to our program because it’s how you translate vision into concrete goals. Then how you approach a goal and break it down into manageable steps that you can follow through on. All of our coaches have to be excellent strategic thinkers because all of our programs start with a solid plan. If you’d like help with planning your spring, check out our quarterly planning sessions. This is your opportunity to meet with one of our coaches and have them help you plan your quarter. Whether you are excellent at planning or you dread it, accomplishing your goals starts with deciding what you want and how you are going to get there. We can help you map that all out in a digestible way that is well worth the investment. To learn more or sign up, click here.

If you like to honor the changing of the season, the end of one thing, and the beginning of something new, we encourage you to do these reflection and planning questions now or to carve out time in the near future. Maybe on a Sunday morning while sipping on a hot beverage!