goal planning

  • Everything you need to know about quarterly planning for moms in business

    9 tips on how to go about quarterly planning for moms in business.

    There’s nothing that makes me more excited than a good afternoon of quarterly planning. A clear list of priorities and activities to focus on for the next 3 months.

    That’s why at the start of every quarter, I create a quarterly plan to stay on track with my goals & continue crushing them. I love quarterly goals and plans because it is a short enough period to pivot if you need to. But it’s also a long enough period to take action and make progress.

    Instead of having 10 goals to work on at the start of the year, why not have 3 goals to work on at the start of each quarter? This process is also way less overwhelming for me, and makes sense if you want to make bite-sized progress consistently over time. 

    I call them 90-day sprints but basically, a quarterly plan is an implementation plan. It helps you stay on track to achieving your short-term business goals.

    Here are some of the amazing benefits of creating quarterly plans:

    • Help you stay focused with fewer goals to work on each quarter
    • Easy to pivot during the year if things don’t work out as planned after one quarter
    • Quarterly planning makes it easier to break down your goals into specific months and weeks 
    • Creating a 3-month plan will help you keep laser-focused on your priorities as you have a short amount of time to complete your priorities
    • It helps you get realistic with your time and whether you have overplanned your quarter
    • When done efficiently, it’s so much easier to start taking action with a quarterly plan, than when you are just working aimlessly 

    Before we get into the details on how to create a quarterly plan, I want to share a few misconceptions about planning that you should stop believing:

    • Planning is a waste of time – I could spend that time doing the actual work. It is a waste of time if you don’t use the plan to guide your actions
    • Planning is only effective at the start of the year. You can create a quarterly plan anytime of the year, as long as you follow through on it.

    How to create a quarterly plan

    Step 1: Brain dump

    Use a clean white paper and literally write down all the projects or activities you want to do for your business in the next 3 months

    Step 2: Circle out the 3 most important projects 

    This is where you will need to exercise your judgement, intuition and experience in selecting the projects that you feel are the most critical in getting closer to your goals. If you are struggling to decide on what to focus on, you could get some help from a coach to help you.

    Step 3: Block out your big rocks

    Got any important events happening in your personal/business/work life? Block them out on your calendar so that you map out your priority projects with these dates in mind. You don’t want to launch something big in your business a week after your kids birthday. Use your big rocks to space out your projects so that you have enough time to get things done without overplanning yourself.

    Step 4: Map out your top priority projects in a calendar

    I use a big re-writable calendar that I got from a local book store. You can get yours at amazon.com or use a digital calendar too.

    I love paper calendars, because I get to write everything out and see if my projects fit into my available time. It’s a great visual tool.

    Step 5: Write down your mile markers for each project

    Quarterly planning can be quite overwhelming if you don’t break up your goals into mini-goals. These are what I call ‘mile markers or ‘milestones’. What are those important milestones in your projects? Write them down and use them to map out when you want to reach them.

    Step 6: Create a monthly implementation plan

    Before the start of the quarter, create a weekly plan for each of the next 12 weeks. This way, you know what your 1 thing is going to be each week. You can use this free guide to get your weekly and monthly planning templates. You can then prioritize that one thing into your most productive business hours

    Step 7: Track your progress

    What doesn’t get measured, doesn’t get done. Therefore, track your progress with your quarterly plan on a weekly basis. If you are only working on 1 project at a time (and I highly recommend you do this instead), then track the KPIs that are related to that project

    Step 8: Plan out your social media content plan 

    Once you know when you are going to have major events/launches, you can then plan out your social content so that it is aligned with the seasons/ events in your business.

    At this stage, you only need to write down 12 weekly themes. At the start of each week, you can go into the details and start creating your posts, but you don’t need to do that now.

    Step 9: Take time to reflect 

    What is working and what isn’t? Can you do more of what is working and scale back on what isn’t working? Do you need to tweak the things that aren’t working and see if you can make them work? Do you need to pivot? These are all questions that you should ask yourself at the end of the quarter and do an honest evaluation of how well you have performed. 

    Remember to focus on the process, and the results will work out themselves. Don’t be too fixated on the results.
    Need help creating a solid quarterly plan for your business? Join my free community on Facebook by clicking on this link where we plan our business activities every month in a free live workshop. The workshop is exclusive to group members only!

    9 tips on how to go about quarterly planning for moms in business.

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  • How to stay focused on your business goals

    How to stay focused on your business goals and achieve them

    Setting goals is an exciting activity,  as it lets you think of how you can reach those stretch targets that you have set for yourself, way beyond what you think you are capable of achieving. The mistake I often see entrepreneurs making is that they don’t spend enough time thinking about the game plan in achieving these goals, and how to maintain focus. A game plan ensures that you stay focused on your business goals consistently.

    It’s so easy to get sidetracked as a business owner with all the shiny objects and tactics that are flung at us daily; a goal plan helps you to stay focused on what’s really important and aligned with your long-term vision. 

    Other common mistakes to avoid in goal setting and planning:

    Setting too many goals

    When you set too many goals, it becomes difficult to stay focused on a few key actions that will drive the biggest impact in your business. You may have heard of the 80/20 rule which simply states that: 20% of your daily actions are responsible for 80% of the results in your life. 

    You can apply this rule to business too. Instead of trying to do everything in your business, set one or two goals that you know will contribute to the 80% result at the end of the day.

    No clear game plan

    Setting goals is the easy part. Creating an action plan with timelines, milestones, reviews and mini-actions is the hard part. Before you start working on your goals, first set a clear game plan that is realistic and actionable, and stay committed to that action plan.

    Setting goals based on what other people are doing

    As a solopreneur, it is so easy to get distracted by what other people are doing. Especially the people you look up to. The truth is, the goals that they have set are totally irrelevant to where you are in your life and business right now.

    Don’t use other people’s goals as an anchor for what you should be doing. Instead, evaluate where you want to be in your business in the next 5 years and work backwards. 

    Mini tip: Think of the person you want to be and the lifestyle you want to have, and then set goals that are aligned with this. 

    Overestimating their short-term potential

    It is so easy to overestimate what you achieve in the short-term. This leads to goals that are completely unrealistic. And when you don’t achieve them, you could easily get into a downward spiral of no confidence in yourself or your business. Instead, overestimate what you can achieve in the long-term and then set goals that you know you can achieve in the next 3 months. 

    Mini tip: You can use the “good-better-best” framework to set realistic short-term goals. Your “good” target represents what you can realistically achieve in the next 3 months. And your “better” target represents what you can achieve as a stretch. Your “best” target represents what is totally out of your reach and what would be AMAZING if you actually hit that target.

    How to set your goals

    Be intentional

    My best tip for being intentional, is making time to work on your goals every single day even if it’s just 10 minutes a day. You can make a lot of progress if you set aside time and do this consistently.

    Be specific

    The more specific you are, the less mental space you will need to try and figure out what exactly you are working towards. I like to use the SMART goals framework. It is widely used in setting goals in the corporate and business world.

    When you are specific, this leaves very little room in veering off focus and getting derailed by shiny objects. For example, if I want to grow my business, 

    A non-specific goal is: Grow my business

    A specific goal: Grow revenues to $10,000 this quarter by focusing on marketing Product X through my social media channels

    The more specific you are, the easier it will be to create an action plan. An action plan will help you break down your goal into smaller, actionable steps.

    Prioritize your goals

    The fewer goals you have, the easier it will be to remain focused on achieving your business. I personally believe that one goal for each area of your life is enough to focus on for 90 days. If it’s a long-term goal, you can add another goal, but try to keep it at 2 goals at most. 

    How to maintain focus on your goals

    Time-block your calendar

    The main reason why people don’t make progress in their goals is that they do not take action on a consistent basis. Time blocking is one of the most effective ways to ensure that you take action on the things that are most important to you.

    Stop multitasking

    When you are trying to work on multiple goals and projects at the same time, your brain loses momentum. This also causes mental blocks that can end up slowing you down.

    Studies have also shown that switching between multiple tasks has a negative impact on your overall productivity and cognitive skills.

    Instead of trying to do many things at once, focus on the goal that will get you the biggest impact. Then go all-in on an action plan that supports your goal. When you are working on your goal, remember to schedule time in your calendar to work on it. Remove all distractions and focus on the task at hand.

    Use sprints to work out your action plan

    Using short time spans creates a sense of urgency in your mind. This ensures that you don’t drop the ball in taking action consistently to make progress towards your goal. I like working in 2-4 week sprints on a specific activity that I know will help me in making progress in achieving my goal.

    Focus on the action, not the result

    If you want to stay focused on your business goals, I would highly encourage you to change your mindset about achieving your goals. Instead of focusing on the outcome, focus on the action that will get you closer to the outcome. For example, if you want to make $10,000 in sales over the next quarter, instead of focusing on the $10,000 revenue, focus on the actions that you know will lead you to this result. These actions could include:

    • Creating sales funnels to increase your sales per customer
    • Creating a new product or service 
    • Being consistent with your social media strategy

    The more you focus on the actions, the less anxiety and overwhelm you will create for yourself, and the more likely you are to achieve your goal.

    You do not have control over how many sales you will make. But you do have control over how many potential customers you reach through your marketing and sales strategies. In that case, direct your focus towards the things that are in your control in your business.

    Here are a few other tips to help you stay focused on your business goals:

    • Remind yourself of your goals everyday
    • Record daily affirmation on your goals
    • Get an accountability partner
    • Review your progress on a weekly basis, and pivot as needed
    • Develop habits that support your ability to work on your goals often

    How do you stay focused and motivated on your business goals? Drop your comments below.

    How to stay focused on your business goals and achieve them

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  • How to plan for the month

    How to plan for the month ahead and achieve your business goals

    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.

    How to effectively plan in your business on a monthly basis and achieve your goals every time

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  • How to keep accountable to your goal plan

    Creating a goal tracking system is critical in tracking and updating your goal plan for busy moms

    Happy new month! I hope you are keeping safe wherever you are right now. A new month always feels to me like a reset button, a chance to reflect, refresh and renew my focus on my goal plan.

    I know that this is not the easiest time to think about goals, and plans with all the uncertainty about how the next few days, months and even year will turn out to be. While watching the latest episode of Moneyheist seems to be the answer to your problems right now, the world will still be waiting for us to conquer it after this pandemic is over…

    • Bills still have to be paid
    • Responsibilities still have to be met
    • Work from home will not last forever, and
    • The world as we know it will never be the same

    So while you still have the extra time to think about things, this might just be the perfect time to reflect on what you have achieved in the first 4 months of the year against your plans, and renew or refresh your short-term and long-term goal strategy.

    How to track and keep accountable to your goal plan. thisisrebeccakay.com

    These are a few things that you can do to look forward to this goal plan exercise, and make it easier to keep accountable to the goals that you committed to achieving this year:

    REMEMBER YOUR WHY

    Remembering why you made the commitment in the first place always helps in keeping focused to your goal plan. It’s so easy to get into a rut, or get so busy with the everyday hustle that you forget about the big picture and where you are going in your life.

    If you can confidently say “I am not doing X because it is not a priority”, then you probably don’t have a strong WHY, and you need to remove it from your goal plan or get a strong reason for pursuing it.

    ITS ALL ABOUT MINDSET

    I am a strong believer in positive thinking and affirmations. My favorite quote by Henry Ford says “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, either way you are right”.

    You are the only one who is holding yourself back. Feed your mind with positive thoughts and keep visualizing your goal plans, and watch how powerful this will be, in turning your thoughts into physical actions that you take everyday to reach your goals.

    CREATE A WORKABLE SYSTEM

    I have come to realise that it’s not only children who thrive on routines. Adults also thrive on routines. I have created a system to note down and keep track of my long-term and short-term goals, the actions that I need to complete for each goal and the date by when I need to have completed each action.

    I use a combination of software apps and my own goal planner to keep my goals organised and easy to access, track, change and update. More on this to come this month!

    REVIEW YOUR GOALS REGULARLY

    I have a copy of my goals on my vision board in my bedroom, and in my handbag. This makes it almost impossible for a day to pass without me coming across my goals. I would strongly advocate for a vision board, as it helps you to not only remember your why, but to create pictures in your mind that will fuel a positive mindset that you need to reach these goals.

    BREAK YOUR GOALS DOWN INTO WORKABLE ACTIONS

    A goal is just a wish if it doesn’t have an actionable plan. I like to break down my goals into action plans that I can turn into daily habits and routines. Check out my post here where I talk about the power of positive habits and routines.

    YOU GOT THIS!

    Remember that you are the master of your destiny, and only you truly have what it takes to get to where you want to be. But there is no easy way to getting there. No succesful person is succesful by chance, it took years of hard work, focus and GOAL SETTING & ACCOUNTABILITY to get there.

    Next week, I will come back with a post showing exactly how I used my goal planning system to keep track of my financial plans for Q1 2020.

    What are your “non-negotiables” when it comes to keeping focused and staying accountable to your goals?

    A goal without a plan is just a wish - goal plans this is rebecca kay

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