We’re back! And it’s 2019. This time of year, a lot of people are talking about annual planning. I wanted to share today why I’m not annual planning, and what I’m doing instead.
Last year I went through a big process to set annual goals, something that I’ve done every year for about five years. My husband and I usually sit down together and we talk about our goals for the year, and we set and track them throughout the year.
What I found in 2018 is that my business and my personal life were moving even faster than I expected. There was a lot of flexibility throughout the year in what I was doing, but not a lot of flexibility in my goals.
By the time November/December rolled around, I looked at my goal spreadsheet, and I realized that the goals I had set in January weren’t necessarily relevant or even important to the things that I was working on at the end of the year.
It was time to make some shifts in how I set goals. This year, I am only planning in quarterly increments.
I read The 12 Week Year, which is a great book about goal setting. The main idea of the book is that when we set annual goals, most of the time we spend months and months ignoring the goals and then we really push ourselves to accomplish them when the deadline is looming.
I think that’s definitely true. This book made a lot of sense to me and I decided to give it a try.
I’ve tried a couple of cycles of 12 week planning on some smaller goals, and it really seems to work well. The shorter timeframe allows you to hyper focus for 12 weeks on a few set goals, and make progress towards those every single week, rather than giving yourself a really long timeline and really big goals, which can seem much harder to achieve.
For this year, I’ve set goals for myself for Q1 2019, and those are the ones that I’m going to be monitoring through a weekly accountability group, as well as monthly life dinners that my husband and I do together. I’m thinking that this is going to be a better and more flexible way for me to make progress and continue to review, see how I’m doing, and setting some smaller goals that I really figure out and really accomplish every single quarter.
My Goals for Q1 2019
I’ve only set three realistic, achievable goals for January-March. I wanted to be really specific and really set things that I knew I could achieve and that would make a big difference if I did.
Restart my SEO Lunch & Learns
So, the first one is restarting my SEO Lunch and Learn series. That was something that worked great for my niche marketing in 2018, and I kind of let it slide. I haven’t done one since last October.
I want to get back into those and develop a better process where I’m delegating more of the setup and it’s more sustainable for me to do that monthly.
Start a Blog-For-You Subscription
My second goals for the first quarter of 2019 is to look at starting a blogging service for my wedding industry clients.
I wasn’t expecting to offer this when I launched my niche in wedding SEO, but clients keep asking me when I tell them to blog, “Can you just blog for me?” I’ve heard it enough that I know there is interest. So, I want to explore that opportunity and see if there’s a way that it can work to set up a blogging product that I’m offering clients.
Start a Podcast
My third goal is not related to my niche or my business at all. My husband and I are starting a relationship podcast. I won’t be talking about that much here, but it is a big project on our hearts and I’m really excited about it.
In first quarter we’ll be launching that and making sure to stay really consistent, publishing every single week, and recording as often as we can.
Update: We already accomplished this one! The Confident Couples Podcast launched last week.
Those are my goals for first quarter 2019. I’d love to hear yours and if you’re planning annually or in some different increment too.