You want your dreams to become a reality, but creating a plan to make it happen ends up looking a lot like a treasure map. The confusion on where to begin, let alone how to make it actually show up on your calendar and in your planner stops you before you even get started. I’m here today to tell you that planning yearly goals for your business’s success doesn’t have to feel like throwing spaghetti at a wall.
My personal success each year is 100% related to the fact that I take the time to cast my vision on paper, and then break down that goal into action items. Planning my yearly goals makes the chances of actually achieving them skyrocket.
Well, let’s dive on in and get the step-by-step, page-by-page instructions on my system to planning out your yearly goals and move from chaos into confidence in this area of your business.
Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast
What I’m going to walk you through today is a workbook directly from the Academy. It’s the exact system I teach and use myself when planning yearly goals for my business. Before you jump in, I want to suggest that you take the time to listen to episodes 69.1 and 69.2. These episodes about the power of immersion with Stefanie Gass are a great foundation for this process.
Set Yourself Up for Success
I want you to make sure you set yourself up for success with this. Block out a minimum of two hours, more if possible, to really think through this process. Get into the right mindset, in my workbook I have included a SOAP Bible study from Jeremiah 29 for this purpose. Clear your distractions, silence your phone, meet your children’s immediate needs, and have some drinks and snacks at hand. Then grab your notepad and pen and let’s go, momma!
Step 1: Dreaming
Take a quick 3-5 minutes and write down your 1 year, 3 year, and 5 year goals. If you are a big dreamer, you can put down a 10 year goal, too. What would you do if failure wasn’t an option? Where do you want your business to be?
Step 2: Focus on Why
Dreaming is just the start, next we need to start to really focus on the reasons for those goals. So the next step in planning your yearly goals is to answer these questions:
- Why do I need my business to grow?
- What will the money do for my family?
- How will I grow closer to who I’m meant to be by growing this business?
- How will I grow God’s kingdom or how will I make this planet a better place with my success?
- How will I give back?
It’s important that you get clear about where you have been called to serve and to grow. You may not have a full idea of it yet, but you need a starting point. When I first started this business, I didn’t know I was called to run the Academy, but I did see it in my mind. I didn’t know what it was going to be called, but I knew the topics I would cover. You just need to have somewhere to start.
Step 3: Focus on Who
After you have an idea of where you are going, you need to focus in on who you are serving. Knowing who you are serving will help guide you as you plan things out. So for this step, I want you to really think through these questions:
- Who am I helping?
- What am I helping them with?
- What three areas will I serve them consistently?
- What problem am I solving for them?
- How will that problem I am solving be able to create more financial freedom for my family?
Make sure you have taken sufficient time to really think through these questions and get laser focused before moving on to the next step. The next step for planning yearly goals is the actual planning part.
“After you get clear on your focus, then you start planning. You start at the end and work your way backwards. This is where all your progress is going to happen.”
Step 4: Start Planning
After you get clear on your focus, then you start planning. You start at the end and work your way backwards. This is where all your progress is going to happen. Here is where you go from dreaming of your goals to knowing the actual tasks that will end up in your work block to move you from where you are to achieving your goal.
This is the process:
Big Picture –> Three Major Stepping Stones –> Action Items –> Quarterly Workflow –> Work Block Tasks
Now let’s break each of those down
Choose the Big Picture
What is your BHAG? This is what Blaine calls it, “Big Hairy Audacious Goal”. I say it needs to be a “Big Hairy Audacious Scary Yet Attainable Goal”. Look back at your one year goals and pick the big one, the most important one.
For example, when I started Systemize Your Life, my BHAG was a monetary goal. Your goal doesn’t have to be monetary. Just write it down on a sheet of paper.
Brainstorm Stepping Stones
Take another sheet of paper and list all the ways you can think of to reach your goal. Write every idea you have that could get you there. This is super important. Get all those ideas out of your head and on to paper. Keep in mind this is not the time to vet your ideas, it is just the time to put them on paper.
Now go through the list and cross of any instinctual “no” ideas. After you have the ideas on the page, read through it and if there are any that you think, “No, I don’t want to do that,” just cross them out. Don’t overthink it.
The final step of this part of planning yearly goals is to circle three items on that list. The first one you circle will be the very last thing you would need to do to complete your goal. Then choose second one and the first one. These are your stepping stones.
For my goal, I needed to have my big course. Before that, I knew I would have to have my podcast and to grow that. That was my second stepping stone. I also knew that I would need to launch a few small courses in the mix. Those were my three.
On another sheet of paper, write at the top “Stepping Stones” and then create three sections labeled with a big 1, 2, and 3. In each section, write a list of all the things that need to be done to accomplish each stepping stone.
For my stepping stone of growing my podcast, I had these things listed: get on other people’s podcast, do some podcast pitching, start my Facebook group, and coaching. I worked hand-in-hand with my coach to grow my podcast. If you are super stuck and lost, reach out to a coach or mentor. If your house and personal life are in such chaos that you have no idea how you would fit growing your business into your day, join the Academy and let me help you get some systems in place. Dive deep into learning, stop making excuses, and get out of your own way.
You may be wondering why I didn’t give you four stepping stones that neatly line up with the quarters of the year. Here is why. Once you give yourself more than three things, studies have shown it is too much. I don’t want you to have more than three big things that you have to accomplish to get you to your big, hairy, audacious goal. So let’s break these three stepping stones down into quarters.
Take out another sheet of paper. From left to right, write out your stepping stones in three columns. Then underneath draw four boxes that take up the entire paper, for each quarter. Next, draw arrows from stepping stones to the quarters. How long do you think it will take to complete each stepping stone? If you need 6 weeks or 4 months, it’s ok. Take the time you need. This is to give you a gauge and idea of the overarching steps you are taking.
For my goal, my course (the Academy) launched in Q4. I launched a little mini course in Q2 and Q3. Then I specifically worked hard on the podcast in Q1. Even though it was only three things, I had plenty of work for the year. I worked really hard and in the end, I met my goal.
Work Block Tasks
This is the last step of my planning yearly goals system. For this part, take four sheets of paper and label them Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4. But here is the catch! Do not fill them all out right now. Too many people get bogged down in the nitty gritty. Instead, focus just on the first quarter.
On your paper, draw three segments. There are three months in each quarter and you need a section for each one. So your quarter one sheet will have sections that say tasks to complete in January, February, and March. Before each quarter, fill in what tasks you plan to complete each month. Check with your papers from step 4 to help keep you on track.
Congratulations! You just planned your yearly goals!
You now have a vision and a roadmap for reaching your Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal for your business. The next steps are all right there on your sheets of paper. Plug them into your workflow and make the most of your work block! Slowly but surely, your BHAG will be met.
We would love to hear about your BHAG and to cheer you on, so head over in the Facebook group and share what you are working on in your business this year!
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I get stuck with planning my yearly goals?
We can help! Head over to the Facebook group and ask questions there. If you have a like-minded friend, get them in the Facebook group too. Now you have a person in real life that you can talk to in the future.
If you are stuck with clarifying your goals, check out my priorities workbook to think through what really matters to you. Does the thought of time management that have you stuck, then check out my time blocking workbook. Are all the things keeping you stuck? Then the Academy is your answer.