It's time to plan your 2021 life and business goals! Throughout the month of December, I will be sharing the 3-part panning system that I use to prepare myself and clients for Q1 and the year ahead. While this year may have been fraught with pain and frustration, I promise you that next year will be full of great joy and achievement. How do I know that? Because, as Florence Welch sings, "it's always darkest before the dawn." Those words have resonated with me this year as I settle into the usual routine of goal setting and daydreaming.
I want you to be as diligent about a yearly planning session as I am. We all know how important it is to be intentional about goals, both personally and professionally. I have fine-tuned my own process over many years. I'm excited to share it with you in the hopes that it helps you move forward into a bright future.
I know that our feelings at this moment are a little paradoxical. December is usually a time of great celebration with friends and family, but the next weeks are going to be quite different. That is why now, more than ever, it's beneficial to focus on the excitement of the fresh start we will be granted in 2021. While many of the same difficulties will still exist, we now have the power to direct our energy and attention to setting goals in hindsight of our experiences over the past 10 months. This is a real gift. Let's get started!
The Idea Brainstorm: I bet you would love to arrive in January with clarity on precisely what to focus on in your business. To gain that vision, we must go through a dumping and pruning process of ideas. I like to keep a running list of great ideas that come up throughout the year. Do you have a similar practice? If not, now is the time to get those big dreams down on paper. I'm talking about all the crazy ideas you have for your business... want to launch a campaign with Lady Gaga? Going to invent a product that ends all wars or help someone make the perfect cup of coffee? You should also consult your Client Value Journey to make sure there are no gaps to fill. If so, those missing pieces will become tasks. Get it all down on paper. Do you feel excited or overwhelmed?
Create Groups: Now it's time to group like with like. Go through each idea from your idea brainstorm and see if you can put a label on them around a certain topic. You will begin to see some patterns. The idea is to formulate topic groups around the similarities that you see. This part is key because it helps to bring your big ideas into focus. Are some of the ideas you listed action items for a bigger goal? I find it helpful to categorize action items into groups by color using a highlighter. This is a quick visual way to see how all the tasks fit together. At the end of this process, you should be able to see a few "buckets" of tasks. These will become your BIG goals.
Ruthlessly Prune: Next, it's time to narrow it down. While you may be looking at a big number of goals now, I have found that it is prudent to only choose 5 goals to tackle in a year. Sounds like a tiny amount of goals to pursue, right? The truth is that when our goal list gets unruly, we feel overwhelmed and don't accomplish as much. If you're feeling like a naysayer, I would suggest starting with 5 goals and adding more once you've accomplished the first five. Give it a try!
That's it for Part 1 of the goalsetting system. I'll be here on the blog again next week to share the second part of this process and let you in on my Top 5 goals. I hope that you'll find this way of thinking about goals and tasks as helpful as I have. Now, let's take action!
Need help creating your 2021 marketing plan? Let's talk. I am a Marketing Growth Strategist and virtual CMO. I create and manage sales-focused marketing strategies and love helping entrepreneurs grow and scale their businesses. Let's schedule your free 30 min discovery call where I'll share tangible, tactical advice on how you can create or improve your marketing plan. Book Now.