As this year winds down, many of us are thinking of some personal or professional shifts that we'd like to make for the upcoming year. I thought it could be helpful to share with you a brief synopsis of what has worked in the past for me to plan for success for the year ahead.
As an Executive Coach and Corporate Trainer and also a wife, mom, daughter, and friend, using the tips I share below, below, I've been able to grow and accomplish quite a bit this year both personally and professionally, and I hope that what I share below is as useful for you as it is for me. I'll first share what I did that worked well for accomplishing my personal development goals this year and then secondly, I will share what I do that has worked well to help me grow my business and grow professionally this year.
1) How I Attained Personal Development Goals This Year
In the past, I found that I set too many personal goals and didn't set ample time aside to complete them, so some new things that I did in late last year and early this year that allowed me to successfully plan for my personal development goals and to implement them (that you can try if you'd like) are:
I scheduled just 30 minutes on the same day every week for the entire year to review the goals that I set for the year. Though I missed certain weeks from being sick or traveling, etc., on most weeks, I was able to adhere to this weekly designated timeframe. On certain weeks, I'd even light a candle and play classical music or instrumental gospel music in the background while reviewing my list. I used that time to assess how I was doing on my goals and take action on certain goals on the list as well. It was a super peaceful time for me. I labeled it in my calendar as my "Peace and Wisdom-Seeking Time" because the goals that I placed on my list contributed greatly to my peace and growth.
I spent about 30 minutes thinking about what were the top things I wanted to make sure that I did daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly this upcoming year. For example, weekly, one of those things I listed was that I wanted to go to sleep no later than 11 p.m. for at least 70% of the week. Monthly, one of the things I had on my list was to reach out to one specific mentor whom I care very much about. Quarterly, one of the things that I listed was that I wanted to reach out to coordinate a chat with at least one previous mentee (as I had lost touch with a number of people after getting married and having children and am finally getting back in the loop with certain folks). I tried to ensure what I listed for each timeframe was doable and definitely removed certain things from the list or adjusted the list based on what I learned was not as realistic to accomplish.
I also included on my goals list about one goal per month that was a one-time goal. For example, in one month, I had on the list to take a solo trip (Shout out to my husband for supporting making that happen!).
This process was a game-changer for my personal growth this year! Feel free to take whatever is helpful for you or someone you know to utilize from my personal development process.
2) How I Attained Business and Professional Development Goals This Year
This year, I was able to attain some major contracts and opportunities in my business, experiencing growth in revenue and expanding my impact in a wonderful way. I believe part of that has come from the annual strategic planning process that I've been doing probably for about 6 out of my 8 years in business. Every year, in December, I update a 3-year plan for my business. Here's how I approach it in a way that has been priceless to supporting both my business and professional development:
In December, I have an annual calendar invite for about 8 hours of strategic planning time for my business. This ensures that I'm able to reflect on where I've been and where I'm going annually and also provides me with time to schedule vacation time, professional development conferences to attend, and other priorities for the year in my calendar. This is the time when I get to stop, reflect, and assess how I truly want my life and business to look in the next year.
I only have about 1 - 3 realistic, valuable goals for each specific department in my business to increase my chances of meeting those goals. I used to overcommit to what was not as realistic to pursue. Though I still stretch myself in certain areas, I really take time to think about what would be most meaningful and valuable to my professional growth and to my business. The areas I set goals for include (among other areas): Certifications, Operations, Finance, Revenue, Marketing, and Time Management. These goals are just part of my 3-year business plan but a very important part of the plan. I often share the template for this 3-year business plan with my current business coaching clients, because it's been so helpful for my business.
A few years ago, I learned that I needed to set aside time monthly to review my 3-year business plan and to note progress on my goals or schedule time to take further action when it comes to certain goals. I also take time monthly to update and review my business budget and marketing calendar. I used to set goals for my business once a year and not go back to them. When I was doing that, though it was helpful to take time to reflect on my business goals annually, not only did I set too many goals but I had no accountability system in place for me to continue to re-engage with my goals. Setting aside this time monthly allowed me to consistently grow my business year after year.
One of the beautiful things about my making mistakes and learning new things is that I get to share these learnings with the people in my circle. I'm hoping that what I shared above is helpful for you or someone whom you might care about.
Feel free to share this with friends, family, colleagues, or anyone whom you think could benefit from the insights I shared above.
Regardless of how you plan for the year ahead, I'm excited about what the future holds for you!
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay