We’re spending this month slowing down, reviewing the past year, and dreaming up what we want 2018 to look like. It’s important to set aside time to reflect on your business and review your year.
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of always creating, moving, growing but after months have passed you realize you’ve gone down a path you don’t want to walk down.
We don’t want that to happen to you so we decided to share a little brainstorming exercise with you.
We wanted to share how to review your year and how to plan for the next year so we can all make 2018 the best year yet!
If you’re curious about our own 2018 plans, be sure to sign up for our email list!
How To Review Your Year & Plan For The Next Year
How to review your year
When you first start to review your year, you’ll want to ask yourself certain questions.
You can’t move forward without looking at where you came from, so it’s important to spend time reviewing 2017 in its entirety.
Here is a list of questions to ask yourself:
- What products/services did you create in 2017?
- What do you want to do more of?
- What do you want to do less of?
- What worked?
- What didn’t work?
- What were you happiest doing?
- What were your finances?
- What stressed you out the most?
- How do you feel about the last year overall?
These answers don’t have to necessarily be all business based. Maybe you want more freedom and you want to spend less time working. Maybe you want fewer clients so you can spend more time with your family.
There are no “right” answers to these questions, but you need to answer them honestly.
Create short term and long term goals
Now that you’ve reviewed your year, it’s time to start creating some short-term and long-term goals.
Andrew and I like creating both short term and long term goals because it keeps us accountable yet feeds into the life that we desire to live.
We first create our long-term goals (for example, this next year we want to double our revenue but we also want more whitespace in our lives and not work around the clock).
After you’ve created your long-term goals, you can break it down into short-term goals so you can take the steps you need to take to achieve these long-term goals.
In our case, we’re breaking down each quarter of the year and how we can work toward doubling our revenue while creating more whitespace.
The tactical steps for our long terms goals means refining our sales funnels for our products and making sure we’re continuously growing our audience to drive to the current products we sell.
Your short term and long term goals may look different than ours. The point is to think about the life you want to create and make sure your goals are in line with that lifestyle.
Related post: How To Set Priorities For Your Business
Plan for the next year
Planning for the next year needs to happen in tandem with creating an action plan, which we discuss more below.
We like to ask ourselves these questions as we’re dreaming up what 2018 could look like:
- What are your financial goals for your business?
- What new products/services do you want to launch (if any)?
- How will you reach your financial goals?
- What can you do in the first 90 days to get closer to your goals?
- How will you grow your audience in 2018 (blogging, YouTube, Facebook Lives, etc)?
- What will your marketing strategies will you focus on to promote your products/services?
Answering these questions is critical to your success as a business owner. As the saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail.”
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Create an action plan for how you’ll achieve those goals
Now this is where the magic happens. Nailing down your goals is a crucial step to reviewing your year, but if you don’t create an action plan for how you’ll actually achieve those goals then you won’t get very far.
If you want more whitespace in your life, you’re going to need to set up systems and processes for your business to run without you being attached to it.
This may mean investing in programs that help automate tasks. This could also mean you need to outsource some tasks so you can focus on what you do best.
We like to plan out our short-term goals in 90-day chunks. From there, we create an action plan for each of those goals and what we need to do each week in order to move forward.
Creating an action plan will help you recognize the people and systems you’ll need to invest in to achieve your goals.
If the people and systems you need to invest in gets to be too pricey for you, you may need to reconsider some of your goals you have.
Identify how you’ll measure the progress for these goals
What measurements will you use to check in on your progress for your short term and long term goals?
When throughout the year will you revisit your goals and see if you’re on track or if you need to pivot?
Sometimes we make long-term goals and then we realize halfway through the year that we need to pivot.
That’s totally okay!
But. You need a process in place for you to continuously be revisiting your goals, checking in on your numbers, and revising what works and what doesn’t work so you can continue to move forward.
Related post: How We Fit It All In As Business Owners & Still Have A Life
This is so necessary but often a step that’s overlooked when planning for the next year.
Please, if you do anything, leave whitespace in your year.
This means not cramming 17 new product ideas into the first 90 days of the year.
Give yourself a chance to breathe and not be doing, creating, giving, sharing every week of the year. You can increase your reach without sacrificing your time and energy.
Because life will happen. And some project will get pushed back or delayed for reasons out of your control. Or your kid will get sick. Or you’ll get sick. Again, because life will happen. There’s no escaping it.
You’ll appreciate the whitespace in the future, so you can either catch up on work that was missed or take some time to relax and admire the fruits of your labor.
We have a few new project ideas up our sleeves (New theme! Upgraded social media templates! Services!) but we also want to spend the year refining our current products and sales funnels so we can also enjoy the whitespace.
Hope this helps you while you review your year and can’t wait to see what 2018 brings! And if you want more details about what we’ll be working on for 2018, sign up for our email newsletter!