Woo Hoo! If you are following along with the Best Year Yet series, you now have your Master List of Goals & Projects, you’ve scheduled in your personal priorities and commitments and you are feeling excited about your vision for the coming year. Can I get a “Hell yeah?”
Now it’s time to move to a new level of clarity, by breaking your annual intentions into four quarters. In other words, it’s time to decide what your focus will be for each quarter of the coming year and then zero in, with laser-like focus, on the first 90 days.
By viewing the year quarter by quarter, and focusing only on the Q1, you alleviate the stress and overwhelm that can come from creating the Master List of Goals & Projects.
Here’s a helpful tip that makes completing your Quarterly Plan a bit easier.
Imagine, for a moment, that you have four buckets. Each bucket represents 1 quarter of the year. The first bucket is Q1 (January through March), the second bucket is Q2 (April through June) and so on.
As you look over your Master List of Projects, ask yourself three “What & When” questions…
- “What needs to happen first… in Q1?”
- “What projects will lay the foundation for success the rest of the year?”
- “What systems, team members and processes need to be in place now, to work efficiently throughout the year?”
Then, one by one, copy items from the master list into your quarterly buckets.
By going through this process, you will…
- Know where to focus your energy in each quarter
- Feel more in control of your priorities
- Be more strategic in your decision making
- Work more efficiently and effectively
- Know what resources and support you will need throughout the year
- Hold on to great ideas, without expending any energy on them right now
- Begin to attract the people and opportunities to effortlessly bring your intentions to life
It’s important to remember that your quarterly phase-based plan is not set in stone.
It’s an ever-changing road-map that you control and can adjust as your learn more, get more clarity on your vision, and perhaps see new opportunities that present themselves.
You are not done yet!
With your quarterly map in place, it’s time to narrow in on the first quarter of the coming year. You can do this by creating a 90 Day planning document with three-columns – one representing each month of the calendar quarter.
Reviewing the intentions you’ve set for Q1, ask yourself the three “What & When” questions to determine what needs to happen in month 1, 2 and 3.
If you are like most, your first month will be packed. This comes from your desire to get everything done NOW. Keeping in mind your capacity (time, team and systems) and spread your quarterly intentions over all three months.
Don’t do this alone!
Congratulations, by taking steps 5 and 6 of our Annual Planning process, you’ve taken a huge step to ensuring next year is filled with all that you desire.
If you have team, be sure to bring them into this process, just as you have in each of the previous steps.
If you are a solo act, find someone to partner with to ease the sense of aloneness and have someone to act as a sounding board for key decisions you’ll need to make.
We are here to help!
- You can join our Best Year Yet Facebook Community to receive support and ask questions.
Are you feeling anxious or blocked as you dive into this annual planning process? If yes, we’ve got your back.
During the month of December, we are offering private “Purposeful Planning Sessions” where we roll up our sleeves and help you craft a vision for 2019 and design a plan to make it happen. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. ;0)
*If you have not grabbed my Quick Start Guide To Planning Your Best Year Yet, you can do that here.
You’ll notice that we give you the option of picking up the blog series wherever we are, or starting at the beginning. My recommendation is the latter. By looking to the past to inform your future you will be better equipped to create a vision and a plan to make these next 12 months, your best year yet.