NOTE: This post has been migrated from my graphic design site, Gainesville-Designer.com.
Happy end of March! How are you doing on your new year plans? Have you completely fallen off the goal wagon yet?
As many of you probably did, I made resolutions of all sorts. My business is the focus of my life currently, so that is where I focused the majority of my thought. But just a week into March, I realized that I wasn’t getting much of it done any more! I did have the foresight when creating the list in December to keep the goals broad and break them down into pieces that would help me achieve each goal. However, just creating the goals and thinking about how to tackle each does not actually get them done.
Would you say your goal is to lose weight by the end of the year, and then make no structured plan to actually accomplish it? Of course not. Even buying that pair of running shoes or talking in online fitness forums does not actually accomplish anything.
What I was forgetting was to actually identify & plan how to implement the tiny steps needed.
- Where would I need to go to accomplish them?
- What tools would be important in this process?
- Which comes first: my clientelle work, or work towards my goals?
- And, I couldn’t just assume I would take small steps in my spare time each week, I need to actually them schedule and prepare ahead of time, so when would I begin these tasks?
After revisions, and now having created a beautiful spreadsheet on Google Drive, my own personal resolution list looks like four quarterly objectives for the year, with 1 to 2 small actionable steps per week that I can primarily achieve from my home office. Each week has a particular focus so that I cover all my bases monthly and nothing gets ignored.
As my business grows, and my skills grow, my goals may adapt, so I am only going to plan out one quarter’s worth of weekly steps at a time. Regarding preparation, I will be looking at the next week’s list on Mondays to see if I need to order any materials, printing, or tools. My rule of thumb for when to act is to begin the steps on Monday morning and work until I am done. Some weeks this may be easy and done by Monday afternoon. Other weeks, especially if I am relying on the involvement of other people, it may be Friday afternoon before I’m finished. Of course, there may also be equally important client work that needs quick attention, but maintaining my business and growing it is my number one priority, in order to succeed at this long-term.
I look at the list almost daily now, as I decide which new clients to take on, alter my project schedule and consider which personal projects will push me toward my future goals. I recognize that this may not be a system that will work for everyone, nor is planning this in depth always easy. What I want you to take from this is:
A structured plan is important to actually accomplish things in life and business.
Tell me, what goals have you created for your business this year?If you don’t have an action plan for growth, it’s high-time to build one! We’ll come back to that process another day though.