How many times have you made resolutions and then let them slide by February? Whether it’s a commitment to build your business or lose a few pounds, setting big, 12-month goals rarely works. It’s not because we don’t want to do the things we’ve resolved to do – it’s just how our brains are wired. Thinking about it like this – it’s easier to wrap our brains around walking a mile a day than it is to commit to walking 365 miles by the end of the year. So rather than saying “I’m going to grow my business by 12 percent in 2021,” why don’t you work on ways you can grow your business by 1 percent every month?
Quarterly goal setting and business planning is nothing new – in fact the 90-day planner has been part of The Growth Coach program since the beginning – but it’s especially relevant this year. Short-term planning allows you to pivot more quickly, take quicker action and avoid the anxiety of trying to figure out what 2021 will bring when you look at a 12-month plan. Planning in smaller chunks can help you find actionable ways to improve and keep you more regularly accountable for your successes.
So how do you get started?
First take a step back. Think about the progress you’ve made in 2020 and what that means for 2021, especially the first quarter. Are there things you postponed starting until “after the holidays” that need immediate action? Are there business decisions you’ve been avoiding making because you wanted to see how the vaccine impacted the marketplace? We’re not saying to make all of those decisions now – but it’s important to know where you stand.
Secondly, think about 2021 overall. If you were planning for the whole year, what sort of things would you be looking to do? Are you focused on business growth? Do you want to roll out a new product or service? Do you want to expand your staff? Are there culture changes at your company that are pressing?
Now think about just the next 90 days. What can you do today, tomorrow, next week and next month to work toward those goals? If you want to grow your business by 10 percent over the year, how can you grow it by 2.5 percent by April 1? What do you have to do now to make progress toward that goal? If you want to hire additional staff people in the spring, can you take time now to focus on those job descriptions, plan for recruitment, revamp the training if needed and create systems for onboarding? If you want a staff person to start in April, those pieces of the process need to be underway soon.
The point of short-term planning is to set challenging – but achievable goals – in a way your brain can process and with the understanding that you can pivot quickly as needed. It also allows you to assess those goals, hold yourself accountable and celebrate your successes more often, which will help drive you forward.
If you’re interested in this 90-day philosophy but you need help getting started, or if you know you’ll be more successful with a partner in your corner, your local Growth Coach can help: https://www.thegrowthcoach.com/find-a-coach.