It’s great to plan – but don’t forget to DO!

It’s the start of a New Year. The time we set our business and personal goals – and make resolutions to do better!

And if you’re a sucker for pretty stationery (like me!) you’ve probably bought a nice, shiny planner and have spent a fair amount of time over the festive period writing in goals, tasks and projects for the months ahead.

This year I'm using the Lush Planner from aabe creative.
This year I’m using the Lush Planner from aabe creative.

I love planning. The excitement of new ideas. The feeling of endless possibilities and challenges.

And that’s so often my downfall – I spend too much time planning and not enough time doing!

Or I pack so many things into my plan that I haven’t a hope of achieving. And find myself at the third week of January feeling stressed and demotivated with a to-do list that’s off the scale.

So how do you create a plan that’s both exciting and do-able?

Be realistic

When setting your goals and creating your plans it’s vital to include a reality check.

  • How much time will you really have to spend to make your goals happen?
  • Can you really fit that into your current schedule?
  • What will you have to give up to make it happen?
  • Are you willing to make that sacrifice?

Be honest. There’s no point in kidding yourself that you can be active and effective across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest in 30 minutes a week.

Be ruthless

Take a look at your planned actions and assess how much they will really contribute towards your goal. And then trim them like crazy!

It’s much better to do a few things well than stretch yourself so thinly you end up doing nothing properly.

Look for activities which are not showing results or which you don’t enjoy or which take far too much time and energy.

Give yourself permission NOT to do something you dislike – the world won’t end if you decide to drop wedding fairs or blogging. You’ll need to do something else to make up for it but nothing is compulsory.

Remember why you are in business

There’s no point exchanging the 9-5 and a regular salary for 7–7 and a yo-yo income unless you get something big in return. And if one of your main motivators was to spend more time with your family then make sure you have that family time scheduled in. What’s more important – building a big Instagram following – or spending time with the kids?

Top tips for setting business goals and creating plans that will actually work

Build habits

Now you have a plan that’s realistic you’re much more likely to stick to it.

And one of the keys to successful doing is to develop good habits. Create set times for your different activities. Keep to your schedule until it becomes second nature.

This is a biggie for me this year – creating a do-able, sustainable schedule for regular activities that becomes embedded in my routine.

I’ll also be looking to drop a bad habit or two – like “just checking Facebook”!

My goal for 2017

My big goal this year is The Great Swim – a mile swim in Lake Windermere.

I find it much easier to achieve my business goals if they are linked to my personal goals so I’m planning my business around this. I have some business goals too, of course.

I’m going to be doing a lot of swimming practice – which is time consuming. So I’m putting together a plan that allows me to go to the pool 2 mornings a week plus Sunday afternoons.

I’m investing in tools to help me save time and manage social media and I’ll also look to outsource more to my admin assistant so I can concentrate on client work. And I’ll do a couple of hours at the weekend (previously 100% work-free time) to work on developing this blog.

Whatever plans you make, just be sure they are working for you and that you put them into action.

Here’s to a successful and fulfilling 2017!