Are you tired of the chaotic whirlwind that entrepreneurship can become? Ready for a simplified, calm take on goal-setting?
Our business changed dramatically when we started implementing processes to set goals, make plans, and actually check in on them, rather than just flying by the seat of our business pants. Which, in case you were wondering, are definitely NOT corduroy pants. Ew.
We’ve created a set of goal-setting pies (mmm, 🥧) that help us set long-term goals AND short-term goals that feed into those long-term goals. There are four different goal-setting pies, each with a different time frame, and a different purpose that starts out very broad and gets more and more specific as we go:
- We start with Yearly Planning – The 20,000ft View
- Followed by Quarterly Planning – The Roadmap
- Then Monthly Planning – Shift to Execution
- And finally Weekly Planning – Granular Task Scheduling
Let’s dig into each one of these and share with you HOW it will contribute to a greater feeling of calm in your business!
Start Goal-Setting with Yearly Planning
Yearly planning IS the first goal-setting pie and it’s arguably the most important piece to start with.
You want to start by setting your vision and financial goals for the year
This is the 20,000-foot view of your business from above. When we do our yearly planning, we carve out about 3 days at the beginning of the year (or before the year even kicks off) to imagine broadly where we want to steer our businesses. You don’t have to wait for a new year to start to do planning for the next year, feel free to start TODAY.
A few things we like to focus on that should help you with a yearly planning meeting…
🖼️ Theme of the Year – Is it a growth year? A more calm year? A year to invest in your skills and learn new things?
🍂 Seasonality of the Year – What are the rough dates for your big projects? When are your launches?
🧳 Personal Time of the Year – When do you want to travel? Are there days/weeks/months you are planning to take off?
🤑 Financial Goals of the Year – What’s the total revenue you want to make in the next 12 months? How does it break down by project? How does it break down by month? How much profit are you expecting? What’s the high-level budget breakdown?
For the financial goals, we’re also taking a closer look at our projects and imagining what initiatives need to be created to actually make our revenue goals come true.
This is the overall view of what you want your next year to look like. Don’t skip this step, it’s what sets the tone for the rest of your goal-setting pies!
Quarterly Planning to See a Path to Completing Goals
We like to meet for a half day once a quarter to chat about project planning and big-picture content creation for the next three months. There are two broad categories that help at this stage:
Prioritization Stage and Review Stage
🧮 Prioritization: What projects do you want to prioritize for the upcoming quarter? What milestones and deadlines will help you stay on track to hit your quarterly goals?
We’ve found that if we don’t prioritize projects and plans at the beginning of a quarter, all our tasks and todos tend to pile up in a bit of a business car accident. We want you to AVOID a pileup of tasks and todos, which is why you prioritize ahead of time!
👩💻 Review: Look at your previous three months and adjust your bigger vision accordingly.
Maybe a marketing initiative didn’t go as planned or you decided to shift your strategy with new information. A quarterly meeting is a great place to reflect on how your previous plans came to fruition. It’s 100% okay if you didn’t hit your quarterly goals, this is the time to review and adjust so you can get back on track!
Quarterly Planning is also the goal-setting pie where you check in on your content strategy
It’s important to think about what content channels you WANT to be spending time creating for. Just because everyone is jumping on TikTok doesn’t mean your business needs to be on TikTok. If anything, quarterly planning is the perfect time to start a new content experiment and then reflect on the previous one to see if it’s actually working!
Questions to answer in your quarterly content planning time:
- What content channels do you want to CONTINUE using?
- What content channels do you NOT want to prioritize?
- What do your email newsletters look like for the upcoming quarter?
- How did your email newsletters do last quarter? Any standouts?
- Is there anything new content-wise to experiment with?
Think of your quarterly meeting as a great way to check the pulse on the yearly goals you set. This way, you can actually see progress and gain motivation.
Monthly Planning is Where You Shift From Strategy to Execution
Every single month we sit down and have a 2-3 hour meeting where we check in on the progress of our projects, deadlines, personal goals, financial goals, and take the overall temperature of our business.
Every month is a chance at a fresh start for your goal-setting
The top of a new month is this kind of natural restart, so it’s always a good time to recommit to your priorities.
If you want to exercise more, or spend more time with friends, or go to bed earlier, or have more date nights, etc. these monthly meetings are the perfect time to check in on life, business, and ensuring that everything you’re doing month-to-month is helping you reach your goals.
Weekly Planning is Where The Goal-Accomplishing Action Happens
Pick a day of the week that works best for your schedule and block off 1-2 hours to get SUPER granular on your tasks and todos.
We like Sundays, as it gives us a nice springboard into the week. We’ve tried weekly planning on Mondays, but for us, it never felt quite right (almost like we started the week off a day late).
What we plan each week (please steal this!) 👇👇
- What content/project are we working on this week?
- What are the metrics we need to track (email subscribers, website traffic, etc)?
- How is our latest biz experiment going?
- How are our life priorities doing?
- Do we have any customer issues we need to take care of?
- What (boring) maintenance items are on the docket (life or biz)?
- Weekly budget meeting (expense review) and forecast check-in
Feel free to add any other items to your weekly planning that fit your life and business. When we’re in a busier season of life, we often have 2-3 meetings per week to stay on the same page and avoid being overwhelmed.
Spend 6% of Your Working Hours on Planning Each Year
We did the math and we spend roughly 100 hours working through the various stages of our planning pies every year.
Out of the 1,500 (ish) working hours available each year (261 weekdays * 5.5 hours per day), we’ll gladly spend 6% of that time to improve our chance of hitting all our goals.
You may work less days and less hours per year. You may work more hours and more days per year. Whatever amount helps you live a calm life and run a calm business is the RIGHT amount!
Know where you’re trying to go, but be willing to evolve.
One of the core values of our business is evolution. We believe in designing businesses that can support who you are now but also who you’re becoming. As your needs and your life change, be willing to adjust your goals accordingly.
A final note on Goals vs Systems
This concept comes from James Clear and his best-selling book Atomic Habits (aff link). In the book, he talks about how goals are the destinations we fixate on, but the true magic lies in the journey itself—or the repeatable systems we craft in pursuit of those goals.
It’s the small, consistent actions—the systems—that actually pave the way to the outcomes we want. By focusing on the input rather than the output, we can enjoy the process AND put our time towards things that will get us to our ultimate desired destination.
If you don’t consider yourself a planner or a goal-setter, we hope these goal-setting pies will help you bake (HEYO! 🥧) planning into your business so that you can make better progress toward your goals!