While there are several times throughout the year when it’s important to review and make adjustments to your strategy, plan and tactics for the year. There are two that are the most critical; July to see if you are on track and fourth quarter (December at the latest) to set your strategic foundation for the New Year. For those of you in the U.S., next week (Thanksgiving week) is an optimal time to start if you haven’t already.
So, before you start planning for next year let’s…
Reflect back on this year
Begin with blocking out a 1-3 hour chunk of time on your calendar so that you have sufficient time to thoroughly complete your reflection/review of the year.
When you reflect on this year, pay attention to your energy and notice what feels good and what doesn’t. For those that don’t feel good, simply make a note on a separate piece of paper and put them aside for the time being. If you didn’t meet your expectations, as a human being and entrepreneur, it is super easy to be judgmental about where your business is in relation to where you expected to be at this time of the year,
Being judgmental, however, does not help you set the stage for creating a new and different next year.
- Identify what worked well for you. It could be anything from staying what was working before and the strategy keeps you growing to refining to implementing something new that shifted your business towards growth. In the New Year, you will want to continue building on what worked.
- Identify your wins for the year. Regardless of size, every win counts. Often it’s the small incremental wins that, when added up, make the biggest difference and build the most momentum for you and your business.
- STOP and Celebrate! Yes, you read that right. It’s important to spend at least 68 seconds affirming and acknowledging yourself, your wins and what went well. In your celebration you increase your vibration and begin to build momentum for the New Year.
- Whether or not you had a written plan for the year, identify how on track you were in meeting your expectations (conscious or subconscious) for the year as follows:
- Revenues: Are you on track to meet or exceed your revenue targets for the year? What is the difference between your target and your actuals?
- Budget: Did you budget? If so did you budget for growth where you included marketing and personal/leadership development in your budget? Did your budget support or hold back your growth.
- Relationships (Clients, strategic/power partners, etc.): Were you able expand and improve your relationships in the direction that you wanted? Did you grow and up level your network?
- Marketing: Did you have a marketing plan or strategy that you followed? If so, how did it go? If not, what marketing activities worked for you and which didn’t? Is your marketing aligned with your business model?
- Business Model: Do you have a clear defined business model where you’re clear about what and how you do business? Did you expand, change or grow your business model (products, services, delivery methodology, etc.) to the level expected?
- Back office Operations: Did you add systems or engage service professionals. Did you improve or streamline any of your processes and were you able to do so to the level you wanted or expected so that you can do more of what you do best?
- Personal/Leadership Growth: What growth work did you do and how has it impacted your business.
- Other expectations:
There are a lot of factors that go into creating a realistic plan for the year; one that incorporates the most unpredictable variable of all, you. A realistic plan isn’t just about numbers and what you want to accomplish, a realistic plan takes into consideration your numerological year, your human design, your stage of business, number of behavior/belief changes necessary, etc. Now, was your plan realistic? Did you meet your conscious or sub-conscious expectations/intentions?
Whether you met, exceeded or fell short on your plans for this year, there were situations, processes, etc. that either distracted your or simply didn’t work. It’s important to acknowledge what didn’t work; however, if you go into the details and try and figure out why it didn’t work or why it was wrong, you risk creating more of the same in your new year. So, take a look at a high level. Was there a repeating pattern that has left you frustrated? For everything that didn’t work, there is the opposite; something that would work better; what is that?
As you go through planning your new year, have fun and remember to pay attention to your energy and the thoughts that come up for you as you go through this process. Be sure to share your thoughts, comments and questions below.
If you find yourself procrastinating or would like some guidance through the process, contact me here and we’ll schedule a time to talk.