Raise your hand if you have ever found yourself transferring goals from one list to the next. *sheepishly raise my hand* I have done this more times than I care to admit.
Planning has always been a relaxing outlet for me. I love sketching out garden layouts, meal planning, creating schedules, and setting goals for my business. However, in the past, I would write down a loooonng list of goals with no plan or framework on how to achieve them. Six or twelve months later, I’d mark off only a few things and transfer the remaining 67+ goals to a new list. I had this unspoken expectation that simply writing down goals would make them happen. Needless to say, that strategy didn’t work out for me. 😉
Now, here’s a fact: you’re 42% more likely to accomplish a task or a goal if you write it down. However, that number increases exponentially when you create a solid plan to reach your goal.
Quarterly planning is a proven framework that has allowed me to reach my goals consistently. So, what is quarterly planning? It’s the process of setting 5-10 goals to accomplish within a 12 week window that aligns with your overarching plans and vision for the entire year. This allows you to be laser-focused on 1-2 areas of your business. You get to move forward with clarity, purpose, and direction.
Here are my 7 favorite benefits of quarterly planning:
1. Clarity and Focus
With 5-10 goals to focus on, you can say “yes” or “no” easily, knowing if something aligns with maintaining your business or reaching your predetermined goals.
Quarterly planning creates automatic accountability. Those 5-10 goals that you set are all due at the end of the quarter. When you accomplish them, it’s time to celebrate! Yay! If you don’t reach those goals, you need to be able to explain why you didn’t. (We’ll get into this more on another day.) I recommend having a weekly meeting with your business partner, spouse, industry peer, or business coach to keep the ball rolling. Abby Grace has an amazing framework for a Monday morning meeting. I use this framework within my own business.
A lot can change in a year. Both in life and business. I know a year has never gone exactly how I expected. Planning in 12 week chunks gives me the flexibility to adapt and change as needed.
4. Increased Productivity
Analysis paralysis is real. When your goals are written down, then broken into clear and actionable steps, it takes the guesswork out. You have a very clear picture of what needs to get done. On those days when overwhelmed and not sure what to do next, pull up that list of steps and take them one at a time. Progress is progress and you’ll be amazed at how quickly it adds up.
5. Improved Decision-making
Looking at the next quarter should give you a firm understanding of what your schedule looks like and what the season holds. Projecting what the next 90 days look like is much easier than projecting the next 365 days.
6. Better Financial Management
You’ve already determined what you need to bring in for the year. How did you do financially this quarter? As expected? What a win. A little behind? You’ll adjust accordingly in the next quarter. Above expectation? Let’s celebrate!
Do you feel the need to do allllll the things? Like right now? I use to think if I couldn’t mark off every. single. item. on my list, there was no point in trying. * passively starts another episode of Frasier while snacking on cherry tomatoes* But here’s the beauty of quarterly planning, you get to focus on a few goals. You’ve added those 187 to your Tello Dream List to tackle in another quarter. Trust me, they’ll still be there for you later. But for now, they can happily wait on your Trello board with no judgment.
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