Issue #2 - How To Achieve Your Goals With Quarterly PlanningOct 01, 2022
Welcome to the 4th and last quarter of the year!
You have exactly 3 months left to achieve the goals you set at the beginning of this year.
Today I am going to show you how to increase the likelihood of you achieving those goals through quarterly planning.
Planning is one of the most profitable habits you can develop. Yet most people never plan. This is a huge mistake and one of the things that keeps a lot of people from achieving their goals.
As smarter people have put it - “If you are failing to plan, you are planning to fail.” and “If you don’t have a plan, you’ll become part of someone else’s plan.”
Things Don’t Happen By Chance...
If you haven't tuned in to the seasons of business - Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, this is my invitation to do so.
Splitting your year into quarters will allow you to:
- Break big projects into achievable tasks
- Get the right things done
- Assess progress and effectiveness over time
- Course correct when needed
- Schedule downtime to rest, relax and recharge
How To Plan A Quarter
What you do in any given quarter will be determined by your goals for the year, where you are in relation to those goals, and what needs to happen for you to achieve those goals.
The following is a four-step approach to planning your quarters:
Step #1 - Develop Awareness
The first step in the process of planning a quarter is developing awareness of where you are at. To do this take some time (I recommend scheduling 2 hours) to take a look at your goals for the year. Then assess where you are in relation to those goals, and think through what needs to happen over the next 3 months (Q4) to achieve those goals. Make a list of everything that comes to mind.
Step #2 - Prioritize & Clarify
When planning a quarter you don’t want to fall into the mistake of creating a huge list of projects that are goings to overwhelm you and leave you feeling discouraged when only 3 projects get done. Rather, you want to pick the projects that will make the highest contribution towards your goals and focus all your efforts on those. I personally like to pick 3 - 6 BIG projects.
This list might look something like this:
- Migrate website from WordPress to Kajabi
- Update outdated modules for my flagship program
- Update marketing strategy, create systems & processes, and team to support it
I put all the other projects on a separate list called “radar”. If I have extra time during the quarter, I will start working on those. But my focus is on completing the 3-6 big projects that I know will move the needle forward.
Step #3 - Plan
Once you are clear on the projects you will take on for the next quarter, the next part of the process is to plan out each individual project.
To do this, you want to get clear on the scope of the project (what it is), when it needs to get done, what success looks like, and what needs to happen to achieve success with this project.
To get clear on the above, I like to run each project through my version of the SMART framework:
Specific - What is the project?
Measurable - When does the project need to be done? And what is a clear metric we can use to know when we’ve achieved success?
Achievable - Can it be done in the next 3 months? Do we have the resources to complete this project?
Relevant - Will this project have a high contribution to my goals?
Tasks - What are the individual tasks that need to be done to complete this project?
Step#4 - Schedule & Asses Progress Over Time
If you’ve followed every step, you should now have clarity over what projects are going to move the needle forward, what each project looks like and how each project will get done.
The last step is to schedule the different tasks for each project. I personally do this on a week-to-week basis when I plan out my week on the weekend.
My process for doing this is simple:
- Review each individual project
- Asses progress based on completed tasks and due dates
- Schedule tasks for the week
That’s how I plan my quarters and make sure that the right things get done at the right time.
Now it’s your turn to plan your quarter and make Q4 count.
Want to dive deeper?
There are 2 ways in which can help you:
1. Want to learn how to monetize your ideas, skills, and passion? Get started here.
2. Want me and my team to help you? Apply for one-on-one coaching here.
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Written by Abraham Casallas
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