This week I’ve been reflecting on how fast time flies. What an extraordinarily unpredictable and fast-moving year this has been. And now we find ourselves at the start of the final quarter. What are your plans for the last three months of this year and how will you ensure your business ends up where you’d like it to be? It’s easy to give up on planning when there are so many unknowns. How do you focus on what you can control and keep yourself and your team on track? Whether you’re just launching a new business, thinking about starting or in a growth phase, being intentional about these next three months will make it much more likely that you achieve your goals and end 2020 on a positive note.
“It’s not where you start. It’s where you finish that counts.” Zig Ziglar
What’s your plan for Q4?
The last quarter of the year is when some business owners want to slow down and ease off on planning, strategy, and goal setting. But this is no time to slouch! If anything, focusing on making the fourth quarter your strongest of the year, will set you up for sustained future success. This is the moment to not only make a plan to end this year on a high note, but also to think about your goals for next year. Now is the time to make concrete strategies to determine how you will achieve them.
The purpose of planning is to provide a route to your goals. You want to be focused on taking actionable steps and achieving measurable results. A regular review of your plan will help you calibrate your approach, refining it and learning as you go. It will also help you assess what strategies have worked for you and which need tweaking. You want your plan to be ambitious but also realistic and achievable.
If you look at your goals for this year, where are you against them? What are the concrete milestones that will get you there and how will they be achieved? There’s no point in chasing something you know is unachievable. Sometimes we may need to reset our goals. But don’t just quit! Can the timelines be tweaked or do you need some more help? Don’t underestimate the power of communication. Make sure you surround yourself with people who are working towards the same goals as you or that can support you in the pursuit of yours.
I wish you an enjoyable and successful fourth quarter. To help you on your way, here are my Top Ten Tips for Productive Planning:-
🌟 Goal. Every good plan needs to start with some sort of an objective. What is it that you want? Don’t get stuck chasing somebody else’s dreams. Make sure that what you think you want, you actually want.
🌟 Vision. Let’s add some details to your goal. What does it look and feel like? What are the consequences of achieving it? How will you feel when you achieve it? How will you know?
🌟 Why. It’s important to connect our goals with our true desires. Honesty is key here. What does your goal really mean to you and why is it so important for you to achieve it? What will it enable you to do?
🌟 Specifics. It’s great to be fired up and motivated but we need specifics to help us stay on track. What are the timelines? How big/small? How many? By when? The more detailed you can be, the more engaged your brain will get.
🌟 Actions. We know what we want, why we want it plus we’ve got some specifics ironed out. Time to break it down into concrete actions to be taken. The more detailed you can get the better.
🌟 Time. Deadlines are amazing things, even self-imposed ones. Put a date against each of your actions. Be ambitious but not ridiculously so. You want to push yourself and keep up the momentum.
🌟 Visible. You didn’t do all this work to file your plan away in a folder somewhere. Your plan needs to be seen. Not just by you but by others. Where can you put it so you’ll see it every day?
🌟 Support. Telling others about your plan can be hugely motivating. Apart from the accountability that comes from sharing, they might have resources and connections you hadn’t considered that might help you.
🌟 Monitor. Nothing keeps us motivated quite like ticking things off a list and making progress towards our goals. Regular monitoring of where you are against your plan will help you stay focused and on track.
🌟 Reward. Don’t forget to reward yourself along the way. Remind yourself of the progress you’re making and why your goal is so important to you. Mark the mini-milestones along the way with suitable celebrations!
It’s completely unrealistic to expect yourself to know everything or be able to do everything. Please be kind to yourself and if you’d like to talk through the choices you’re facing or any blockers in your business, let me know.
Lisa Zevi – October 2021