I know this is arguably the toughest year that most of us will ever face in our lifetime: work from home, social distancing, away from friends and maybe even family, homeschooling for us moms, and the list goes on. With all the uncertainty around us, it’s easier not to plan for the month and go with the flow… But as you may have heard the saying “Fail to plan, and you will plan to fail”!
With 2 months to go until the end of the year, the temptation to slow down and ease into the new year couldn’t be greater. Not all is lost! A lot can happen in just 60 days of consistent work and a solid plan. So this post is about how to plan for your most productive month, every month.
1. List down all the things you feel you want to have or achieve in the upcoming month
This can be both personal and business-related because we can’t talk about your business life and ignore your personal life. The two are interrelated. How your personal life is doing will affect how you show up for your business. So do a mind-dump or brainstorm of the things you want to achieve in both your personal and business life.
2. What’s the one thing you want to achieve. Put a star next to it. You can choose one thing for personal and one for business
Out of all the things you have listed, what is the one thing you want to achieve in your plan for the month? Draw a circle around it. Try and have at most 2 items circled, but if you can stick to 1, even better!
The one thing that you want to achieve should be related to your overarching goals for your business. In my 1:1 coaching program, this is usually part of a bigger goal-setting exercise. It’s usually a breakdown of my 90-day plan into something that is much more achievable and aligned to my overall business goals.
3. 3 activities to enable you to achieve that one thing
Choose 3 activities or mini-projects that you will solely focus on for the month. Anything on your weekly or daily schedule that is not closely related to these 3 activities will go to your wish-list (what most people call a to-do list).
We want to ensure that you are focused, and focus only comes when you are a minimalist. This way you can execute way better on a few goals than if you try to execute on all the things.
4. Attach a performance metric to your goal
There needs to be a number attached to it so that you can track progress (Remember the SMART goals acronym). As you plan for the month, try to have a monetary number that you can keep in mind whenever you are working on your business. Then review your progress against this metric on a weekly basis. Examples are revenue target, number of subscribers, number of active enquiries or leads, etc.
5. When are you going to work on these activities?
We can have all the plans, but the area where I find most of my clients struggling with is the execution. Before you start the month, take your schedule out and map out the time blocks that you will commit to working on your business.
Check if you have enough time to work on the activities and if it’s realistic. If it isn’t then you might want to relook the activities you have noted down. Reduce them or make your business more efficient so that you can save time and get more done in your business.
6. What do I need to change about what I do daily (habits) to help me have the highest chances of achieving this one thing?
You now have your plan ready, you know exactly what you are working towards, and you have committed to a time when you will work on your business every single week.
Now it’s time to do some self introspection and check if there are any habits you need to start or stop, to help you get to the answer.
One of the habits I have worked on, is getting my morning routine more consistent. It makes a world of a difference if I can get 1 hour of work done for my business before I start working on my day job. What are the habits you need to work on as you plan for the month?
7. On a weekly basis: Review what went well and where you fell short
Don’t forget to check your progress on a weekly basis, and reprogram based on what is working and what needs to be improved.
If you are struggling to keep consistent, get an accountability partner who will check in on you and ensure that you keep your promises to yourself.
How do you plan your month to get the most out of your business? Drop your comment below.