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Time for quarterly planning


A little while ago, I would never have opened an email with that as its title, so congratulations if you’ve been brave enough to double-click!  I’ve shared with you before my natural aversion to planning.  However, it’s now become a foundational pillar of my business and how I organise myself and, if I’m honest, I do quite like it ??.

So, if you have a similar natural aversion to planning or you’re not quite in the planning groove for your career / life / business, this week I thought I would outline how you can do quarterly planning and share what planning I’m up to right now at the beginning of
Q2 2021.

Annual goals

First of all, it’s important to have some annual goals.  I create my annual goals in December each year.  I follow Michael Hyatt’s methodology which, in terms of my annual goals, means:

  • No more than 12 goals in the year
  • My goals are spread across my life “domains”, e.g. business, physical, marital, financial, etc
  • The achievement milestones are spread across the year (so not all in one quarter – this was a revelation for me!)

For 2021, I have 10 goals – 5 relate to my business, 1 relates to self-development, 3 relate to health & fitness and 1 to my relationships.

Some of these goals are achievement based, e.g. completing Couch to 5k, and some of these goals are habit based, e.g. to do 2 yoga sessions per week.

If you don’t have any annual goals as yet, spend some time thinking about what you’d like to achieve this year.

Quarterly goal setting

There are 5 key steps to your quarterly goal setting (again following Michael Hyatt’s methodology) and these are set out below:

Step 1: quarterly review

The first part of setting quarterly goals is to look back at the quarter that’s just gone.  This is really important so you can engage with your successes. 

NB You can still do this even if you didn’t set yourself any Q1 goals. 

Ask yourself “What were my biggest wins in Q1?”?  Remember, they don’t have to be career related. 

For me, this year, my Q1 wins were:

  • Launching and running the Get Clear on Your Career online programme (and loving it!)
  • Being on track with revenue targets
  • Getting more than one-quarter of the way through my “walk 1,000 miles” target
  • Maximising my social connections (through walking with friends) despite lockdown

Step 2: analysis

It’s then important to analyse what went well last quarter and what could have been better.  Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How far did I get?
  • What worked well?
  • What didn’t work?
  • What will I keep doing?
  • What will I improve?
  • What will I start doing?
  • What will I stop doing?

This enables you to tweak what you do each quarter to ensure constant improvement.

For me this quarter, a big one is to start scheduling my online yoga classes so that I turn up live rather than relying on catching up on replays.  This has not been working!!

Step 3: check in with your annual goals

Next, check in with your annual goals. 

Do you need to revise, remove or replace any of them? 

At the moment, I’m on track with all my annual goals even though I have tweaked how I’m going to deliver some of them. 

For example, one of my goals is “to launch 3 digital courses this year”.  In December, I thought that would be 3 launches of the same Get Clear on Your Career programme.  I have now decided to launch that only twice and to launch a different Strengths course in the summer.  I’m still on track with my goal so no tweaks needed yet.

Step 4: set goals for Q2

Choose no more than three major goals that you want to focus on this quarter.

Mine will be:

  • Launch the online Strengths programme to run 1 – 18 June 2021
  • Complete Couch to 5k
  • Embed my 2 x yoga per week habit

Step 5: set yourself up for success

Now it’s time to open your calendar and productivity tool, then diarise the major events and deadlines that will help you complete these quarterly goals.

IMPORTANT STEP: diarise your own rejuvenation time.  None of the other stuff gets done without this.

Some milestones for me this quarter in order to start running the Strengths Programme on 1 June: I launch a Strengths Facebook group on 12 April; start marketing the programme on 4 May; and run a challenge from 17 May.

Your goals

I hope that this has got you thinking about your quarterly goals.  I’d love to hear what your goals are for Q2 and how you will keep yourself accountable.

Happy planning!!!

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