At the time I am publishing this edition of the newsletter, it is the beginning of July. That means that 1/2 of this year is over and another 1/2 of this year lies ahead. It’s time to reflect on the past and plan for the future. Easier said than done…
What Has Happened So Far?
Some people start every new year setting BAGs (Big Audacious Goals) for the next twelve months. One year is a very long time. Just like with the New Year’s January resolutions to go to the gym every day that fade out by February, many BAGs start to peter out after a few weeks.
Do you write down your goals on paper, with an app, or on a spreadsheet? When is the last time you reviewed your annual goals? If you went back and checked them today, what would be the result? Are you where you wanted to be now that one-half of the year has passed?
However you originally wrote down your annual goals, doing a thorough review will be very helpful as you prepare for the 2nd half of this year.
What Is Your Best Timeline for Goals?
Yes, I set annual BAGs, but I have found that realistically, setting quarterly goals works much better. There are thirteen weeks in a calendar quarter; enough time to achieve a goal and not so much time that you start to forget those goals. The first of those thirteen weeks is a great time to review the past quarter and plan out the entire upcoming quarter, including the tasks and activities you will need to achieve each goal.
As I said above, you can go analog with pen and paper, use an app, or use a spreadsheet; the point is to use the method(s) you are most comfortable with and to be consistent.
Personally, I combine analog, digital, and apps. I have used aBullet Journal since August 2015 to track and document my personal and business lives, and I have customized it for my needs. I love using different pens and pencils to write things down by hand, which helps me slow down and think.
I also live by my Google Calendar. Every app I use and everything I do is integrated with and scheduled on my GCal; I can see each morning what I have planned to do for the day, and I can access my GCal from all of my Macs and iDevices.
My primary project management app is Trello. I’ve had a Trello account for several years, but I have only recently really started using the app for all of my personal and business projects. I think I’m in love. I have scheduled a future blog post for myYour Business Your Brand Creatively website soon.
My team and I manage all of our content marketing and social media marketing projects with CoSchedule. The app has features and benefits perfectly scaled for a solo business like mine. I wrote a blog post about CoSchedule last year.
What Goal Areas are Important to You?
Most productivity experts recommend that you set goals in six different areas in your life:
- Health: Everything else you do is possible if your health is good.
- Wealth: Setting clear personal and business financial goals will keep you on track for building short- and long-term financial security.
- Relationships: Growing, maintaining and improving the primary personal and business relationships will also lead to growth and improvement in all other areas on your life.
- Personal Development: What are the personal and professional skills you’d like to develop or improve? What will you need to do over the next quarter to grow those skill sets?
- Social Life: You know the old adage: “All work and no play makes Jack (and Jill) a dull boy (or girl). Achieving a good balance between work and play actually will help you achieve your goals at a higher level. Entrepreneurs especially often have a hard time stopping work to enjoy the other parts of their lives, making it all the more important to set having a robust social life as a separate goal.
- Business: Notice this goal is last on the list. This is on purpose to help you recognize that there really is more to life than working all the time. However, it is important to set 2-3 subgoals that you would like to achieve in your business over the next two quarters.
Achieving The Goals You Have Set for the Next Quarter
Now that you are reviewed the last half-year and planned out the next half-year, it’s time to F.O.C.U.S. (“Follow One Course Until Successful”) and then work every day and every week on the tasks and activities that will ensure that you achieve your goals!
Ready? Set? Go!