3 Monthly Practices to Meet Your Business Goals
When it comes to setting business goals, the process of scheming and dreaming is the fun part of the process. Being able to meet your business goals comes down to having a solid structure in place for your months, weeks, and days so you’re consistently working on your priorities.
With your 12 Week Year Plan set up, now you need an ongoing focus on your goals — starting with some monthly practices.
When you first start planning on a quarterly basis, you may find there’s a bit of a gap between your plan and how you’re executing that plan. Having monthly practices in place help to ensure that you can keep your plan on track before things go horribly awry, and you’re sitting at the end of the quarter thinking “OMG, what happened?”
Deal with Your Life Priorities First
Listen, boss, I know you like to work. Work is one of your favorite things to do, and I get it. But failing to account for your life priorities in your plan results in needless stress, epic meltdowns, and plans that simply don’t happen. (Totally speaking from experience here!)
At the end of each month, take time to look ahead at what you committed to in your 12 Week Year Plan and then ensure you carve out time for your anchor activities and commitments. This may be activities for your kids, vacation, surgery, travel or pretty much anything else that you need to make happen. Figure out what those non-negotiables are, and get them on your calendar first.
As part of your life priorities, you’ll want to take into account any other personal items that need to happen, such as going to the gym, yoga class, meditation, personal appointments and so on. Getting these worked into the plan and put into your calendar ensures that they’re going to happen and that they’re not skipped over in favor of work.
Finally, ensure when you’re reviewing your personal priorities be kind to yourself and realistic about what can happen in this 12 week period. If you want to be lazy in the summer and enjoy lots of time off, adjust your plan. Or if you’re like me and the winter months seriously impact your mood and motivation, work that in too. Accounting for these seasonal cycles as part of your goal setting and execution helps you be more productive — and ultimately happier about what you’re working towards.
With the life priorities out of the way, you want to check in on your business priorities. You want to recalibrate as you do so that you can adjust your plan and the activities you have committed to.
For example, if you have booking one new client a month as a priority, but you booked three in the first month of the plan, then you’ll need to adjust. Or if you booked no clients in month one, you’ll need to adjust accordingly.
Then, you want to look at your entire month, and be realistic about any client priorities and deadlines. What do you need to deliver in that month? What big client projects do you have to dedicate time to?
Getting clear about your commitment to your clients serves two purposes:
- You know exactly what you need to do, which helps keep those projects on track and supports you to set aside time to dedicate to that work.
- Prevents you from over-scheduling yourself and leaving you zero time to work ON your business.
Speaking of working ON your business, as you’re looking at your month, you need to schedule blocks of time into your calendar where you work on your business goals. This could be finding new clients, creating packages, pricing your services, working on your onboarding, marketing or anything else you have in your plan. The secret to this is that you actually put aside time before the month starts so things don’t get derailed with client projects.
Ideally, you should be setting aside one day per week to work on your business, but I realize if you’ve not been doing this, that’ll seem impossible. So, start small, maybe with a two hour a week block and then increase it each month. Over time, you’ll quickly see the connection between putting aside this time for doing your own work, and you’ll want to commit more and more of your time to these projects.
Review and Reflect
At the end of each month, you need some time to review and reflect. This is less of a structured exercise and more of you taking 15 to 30 minutes to integrate what happened in the past month.
This may seem indulgent, or even unnecessary, but if we don’t take time to do this, we’re missing out on opportunities in our business. If we’re always rushing off to accomplish our list for the next month, we’re not learning or celebrating in the ways we should be on this journey.
How you do this is up to you, but I like to ask a few key questions and then just sit with them or journal on them. The how of doing this isn’t what’s important, but rather that you actually do it.
Questions you can ask yourself:
- What should I celebrate from the past month?
- What did I learn in the past month?
- What worked well?
Schedule a time on your calendar at the end of each month (I like to do this the last business day of the month) to review and reflect. Open up your calendar now, and set a recurring event to do this every single month.
Integrating these three monthly practices will help you meet your business goals and do it in a way that’s doesn’t mean your business is last on your to-do list. To help you with your monthly planning, I’ve included a monthly checklist for you in the Get It Done Toolkit. You can get this FREE toolkit below.