It’s time for a new year which means new priorities and new goals. You may be thinking about what you want to do this year, and how you’re going to accomplish your goals. One of the best ways is by creating a yearly work plan or a yearly goal plan. To get started on it, we’ll walk through some steps that will help keep you organized and focused on the next 12 months of work:
A bit of honesty here: I didn’t set my goals for the New Year until the middle of January I took 2 weeks off over Christmas and completely stepped away from my business to get some real rest. Goal planning is one of my favorite tasks to do in January, so let’s get started.
Review the Prior Year
First, I look back at the following year. 2021 was unpredictable and full of challenges and I want to look at the year intellectually, emotionally, and physically. Some questions I ask myself:
- How many web design, SEO, content marketing, web hosting projects I took on?
- How much money revenue did I earn? And what part of the business did I earn that revenue?
- What type of Training, Education, and Courses did I purchase and what did I learn?
- What overhead did I have–any I can trim back on for the next year?
- Where did I spend my time and money marketing and what worked and what doesn’t?
- What did I truly enjoy?
- What do I want to work more on?
Dive into Your Statistics
I LOVE statistics so I try to pull as much statistics as I can to determine what type of year that I had. I look at revenue, profit, website traffic, conversion rates, social media engagement, where my leads came from, etc. The more data that you can pull the more you understand your business.
Review The Prior Year’s Goals
I also take some time to review the prior year’s goals. I consistently hit about 75-80% of my goals. I look at what goals I did achieve and how I did it. Was my marketing on par? Was I selective with the clients I took and those that I turned away? Why didn’t I achieve some goals? Did I lose interest or change direction?
I have one goal I’ve had on my list every year to take a training course I bought. I bought this course and 2 years later, I haven’t taken it yet. I’d love to take it but I’ve lost interest as other priorities have come up. It’s okay to not have made that goal as long as I’m realistic on why it was not achieved.
Most People Don’t Achieve Their Yearly Goals But You Can
I have to say that I’m floored that I read a statistic that says, “92% of people don’t achieve their goals.” You can achieve your goals though. How do you do it? Let’s walk through some actionable steps to take to make and achieve a yearly work plan.
Brain Dump Your Ideas
Brain dump all your ideas. Start by writing ideas down in a notebook or Google Doc of all your ideas.
Qualify Your Goals
The next step is to qualify your ideas and see what makes sense for you, personally or business-wise. This means that some of the ideas might not be possible given time constraints and others may just not fit into what you’re trying to achieve.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What do you need to go on this journey?
- How much time, money, marketing, and energy is needed to achieve your goal?
- Is it available for me now or will I have to wait until next year? If so, how can I scale back my expectations of the first few months of the goal?
- Is this goal measurable and tangible?
- If I achieve it, will there be a clear indication that I’ve done so?
- Can someone else help me with this goal or do I need to complete it alone?
Keep Your Personal Goals Separate From Your Business Goals
Keep your business goals separate from your personal and health goals. I consistently see people adding health goals as part of their business goals and I recommend not doing it. We, women, are hard on ourselves if we don’t meet weight or body image goals. The feelings around this can derail the other goals. Keep them separate and you’ll see more success with your business goals.
Write the Goal Down
Writing down the goal can help you achieve your goal. You become 42% more likely to achieve your goals and dreams, simply by writing them down on a daily basis. I write my goals down and then look at them every few weeks to see if I’ve achieved any of them, met part of them, or need to work on them.
When you write your goals be strategic and set SMART goals.
Set SMART Goals
A great way of making goals more strategic and powerful is to use the SMART mnemonic. SMART typically stands for:
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
- R – Relevant (or Rewarding).
- T – Time-bound
Use this acronym to set goals that are specific and challenging (but not too hard). For example, one of my goals for 2022 is to create 4 Elementor website templates to sell.
S: I decided to get even more specific to say that I’m going to create 1 Instagram template
M: I created it and listed it for sale on my website
A: This is attainable to do
R: This is a rewarding project.
T: I have it scheduled to complete Q1 of 2022
I can complete the SMART acronym for all 4 Elementor website templates that I have planned to create.
Be Passionate About Your Goals and Committed to the End
“You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.”
Don’t create goals for the sake of creating goals. Only write down ones that you are truly passionate about and want to do to be successful. Remove any that don’t fit what your really want to do.
Break Your Goal into Actionable Steps and Place Them in a Project Management System
Think about what steps it will take to get there. This can be a daunting task, so start small and work your way up. I like to use project management software ClickUp (Asana, Trello, or Google Sheets also works) to keep my tasks organized.
I break down my tasks into lists of action items that I need to do and assign dates that will work with my other customer commitments. If you want to achieve something by a certain date, put it in your calendar. This will help remind you of what’s important and when it needs to be done.
What to Do if You Get Stuck
If you find yourself stuck and not moving on a goal, I recommend breaking the task down even further into subtasks. Part of the struggle is feeling overwhelmed trying to complete your goal. It happens to me often and I go back into my project management system and break down the goal into more manageable subtasks.
Batch Days to Get the Work Done
Another way to get work done is through batch days. I have batch days at least once to twice a week to get through my goals for the year, marketing tasks, and admin tasks. Blocking of 2-3 hour chunks of time helps me to work on my business without the interruption of emails, social media, or my phone. I close my email, put a do not disturb on my phone, and don’t check social media during this time. I focus on the tasks at hand to allow me to focus on what needs to get done in my business whether it is administrative or something on my annual work plan.
Be Flexible and Give Yourself Grace
With Covid and life always unpredictable, be flexible with your goals and plans that allow you the time and ability to be able to do them. Don’t overcommit but keep yourself moving forward. Allow yourself a little grace when you get off track. It’s okay to step away for vacations and some time off. Everyone gets a feeling of burnout and give yourself permission to step away and rest.
You Can Achieve Your Yearly Work Plan
I hope this article helped give you some ideas on how to create your own yearly work plan. These tips are meant as general advice, so please tailor them to fit your specific goals. I’d love to know if you found this helpful and whether you reach your goals.