So, you know how September rolls around and you start thinking about planning for the upcoming year? Then before you ever get a chance to write down any goals or even make notes — BAM! — you’re knee-deep in the holidays. All your planning and strategizing dreams are in the toilet until January — when you should be acting on them!

This is why I love the middle of the year for getting a jump start. I know, I know. You’re saying, “I’m way too busy right now to think about next year.” I get it. But I promise, if you take this opportunity to lay the groundwork for some small planning sessions throughout the remainder of the year, instead of trying to cram in a big one later, you’ll be more successful in developing your goals for next year BEFORE it arrives. Which will give you more time to reach your goals next year to grow your business, increase your profit, work less — all of the things. We’re going to walk you through three quick planning sessions over the next five months, so let’s get started!

Mini-Planning Session 1

OK, you’re officially in your first session. Let’s ensure you schedule at least two more. Get into your calendar right now and block off 45 minutes in August and 45 minutes in October. This should be enough time to develop your goals and get everything in writing so you’re ready to start crushing them on January 2! You might want to block off one additional 45-minute session just in case you don’t get everything done, or even just to review your goals and be sure you’re heading in the right direction.

Assess Where You’re at This Year

Do some quick math and see if you’re on track to meet — or exceed — your goals for this year. If not, take some time to review the goals you’ve set. Are they SMART goals. See our earlier post to learn more about this goal-setting method. If they’re not SMART, how can you re-write them to ensure you succeed before the fat man comes down the chimney?

Use This Year’s Knowledge to Shape Next Year’s Goals

Looking over your results thus far and thinking about where you’re likely to round out the year, ask yourself the tough questions. Was this too much for me to handle? Were my goals for this year too easy? How much do I want to grow my business next year? In three years? Five years? As you answer the questions above, make detailed notes for your next mini-planning session.

I suggest keeping your notes on the wall in front of your workspace, so between now and August, you can make additional notes as you think of them and also to reflect on the notes you’ve made to make sure everything rings true. You’ll need them in August when we pick up right here.

Want more help planning for your business success? Our one-on-one coaching services guide you through every aspect of your business looking for inefficiencies, new ways to approach things and how to make more money while investing less of your time. We drill down on what’s most important and help you shed the overwhelm that comes with trying to do all of the things. You should only be doing the ones that will get to the heart of your bottom line. Book a free 15-minute strategy call to see if this is right for you.

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