Greater Than Business Podcast – Episode 029
This is episode 29 of the Greater Than Business Podcast. And today we are going to be talking all about how to plan for success. So obviously it is the new year and we are all probably thinking that this year is going to be the year that we're going to do all of those things that we've been putting off and this will be the year that we will have that ultimate success. And I want to just kind of pump the brakes on that for two seconds and just say that yes, this is going to be a great year, but you do need to put some plans in action and motion in order for that to happen. And what I want to encourage you to do today is sit down, pull out your planner, pull out your calendar, and really think about the goals that you want to achieve this year and then put them on paper, get it scheduled into your year.
And I mean sit down and do a full year plan. Obviously things can change sure. Of the year. But what I want you to do is think about all of those big things that are happening in your business this year and how they're going to fit into your calendar. And the biggest thing that I want you to do is also prioritize your time in your calendar as well. So sit down, pull out your all of your planning materials, get your highlighters, get your pens, and let's get planning. So in order to plan for success, the biggest thing that I say you need to do firstly is plan out your personal time and your vacation time and all of those days where you are going to be pulled away from your business and you will not be doing business tasks. Now obviously you might not have that full list now, but if you can just get a good start on the first quarter and at least get that nailed down, then you will be on the right path for the rest of the year.
So what I want you to block off is any time that you want off. So for me, the first thing that I do is I pull out my kid's school calendar and I take a look at all of the days off that they have. Because if my kids are home, ideally I don't want to be working. So if I don't put those days on the calendar, the next thing I know, I have 16 conference calls booked on a PA day there. That's what they're called here. And if I have my kids home and I'm stuck on conference calls all day, that is not an ideal situation. So what I want to do is make sure that I have those on my calendar so that I see all of those vacation days or school holidays, March break, um, spring break, whatever other holidays you may have for your children. But I want to make sure that I get those on my calendar and those days blocked off so that I know not to take on any additional business tasks on those days.
And if I should decide to work on those days, then I'm open to do whatever I want to be doing. But at least I won't have phone calls, conference calls, meetings, um, places I need to be, things like that. So that is my number one priority. And then the new thing that I'm starting to do this year is actually book off vacation time. Now this is new for me. I have never actually booked off vacation time before. Usually if I take vacation it's a one day a year and that one day is generally my birthday and I try to not work at all on that day. However it always seems that something comes up and I'm still working on my birthday. So um, that is something I'm working on and that is a priority that I've put in place this year to actually have a vacation and actually have a vacation where I'm not bringing my computer.
So so far this year we have it planned for March and we are going to go away to Vegas, my husband and I finally for our long awaited and overdue honeymoon that we have never been on and we've been married for over 10 years. So we are going to be going on this vacation and that is the first thing that I put down in my calendar when I started looking at planning. So I wanted to make sure that I had that week off. I am making sure that I'm letting all of my clients know that I am off that week and I am full off, full stop not working. You will not be able to get a hold of me that week. So as you can tell by the anxious tone in my voice, it is going to be really hard for me to completely unplug. But it is something that I really, really, really have to be doing.
So that is my number one plan that I've put on my calendar for this year is that vacation. And then what I'm working on now is scheduling everything around that vacation. So this is something that's really easy for you to be able to do in your life and in your business is just sit down and really consciously look at your calendar and think of all of the time that you might want to step away from your business. And then what I do is on my, I have a big huge whiteboard calendar and I'll basically go through and I will cross off all those days so that I know, okay, those days are all done. And then if I've got way too many Xs on my big huge calendar that I might need to go back and adjust a couple. So there's obviously going to be some room for juggling here.
So I always do it in pencil first in my main calendar. And then obviously if I, if it's solidified and it's actually a plan, then it goes in as pen. But if it's just kind of like a nice to have day off, then it'll be in pencil for now. And then I reevaluate this monthly, quarterly, and weekly. So I'll just go in and kind of make, take a look at my week and make sure that everything makes sense. And I've noted all those days that I wanted off and I know why I wanted those days off. And then obviously if I'm looking at my calendar on a Sunday and I see that I have a Friday booked off, but, um, say my mother in law comes in, picks up my kids, then obviously I might not need that full day off anymore. So things like that, you just kind of, you go with it as you are planning.
But anyways, what we want to talk about now is planning for success. So that is how I make sure that I prioritize my time, that I'm not allowing my business to overrule everything in my life and I make sure that I put down my personal plans first, my life plans first, all of the non negotiables first. They're all in my calendar before I start planning launches and all of those things that I want to get done in my business. So then what I do is I sit down and I think of what is my biggest business goal for this year. Then I make sure that I put that in my calendar and I like to work on cycles of 13 weeks at a time. So this is something that I learned from Natalie McNeil. She has taught me, um, how to plan and a way that she does it is in what she calls sprints.
So she does a 12 week cycle and then takes the 13th week off as kind of a reward. So what I do is I definitely plan 12 week cycles, but that 13th week, sometimes it doesn't line up correctly with my vacation time. So I will usually use that as kind of just a slow week in my business. And I also make note of during those 12 weeks, if I have a week off or a couple days off, then I will kind of allow that 13th week to be my buffer week. So anyways, what I do during these sprints is I focus on one singular goal in my business. So I generally have four goals a year. And usually they're all not necessarily completely different goals. They're usually all kind of aligned, but it depends on the year. It depends on the business, depends on where I'm at.
Um, but what I do is I try to make sure that I prioritize which goal is my main goal and I will make sure that I am working my first and second quarter towards that goal. So not necessarily both quarters, usually just one because obviously 12 weeks is one quarter, so I will make sure that I get that on my calendar ASAP. So if it's a big launch that I'm looking to do, then I want to make sure that I am prepping for that launch as soon as possible and that I am scheduling realistic expectations around that launch so that I can make sure that obviously it's successful, but yet I have enough time in order to be able to do everything that I want to be doing. So that is how I kind of schedule those things and put them into my calendar. I make sure that I'm always, always, always doing three tasks per day. That will bring me closer to that goal. So I'm going to talk about this more in next week's episode because next week's episode I am actually going to give you a full look at what a week looks like in my business. So I'm going to break it down day by day what I'm actually doing in order to push myself towards these goals. And so that I know that no matter what I'm doing in my business, I'm always taking like positive action forward. So
I kind of use a couple different systems here for planning, but it, it all ends up working out to be the most beneficial for me. And if you're looking for more resources on planning at the bottom of the the show notes page, there's a way for you to opt in to get all of our planning resources. So if you have not yet checked that out, I highly recommend it. The resources that we upload there are changing constantly and we always add new stuff. So if you don't see or what you're looking for, keep an eye on it and we will make sure that we update it. Or as always, send me an email and let me know what resources you're looking for and I will try my very best to get them created and uploaded onto a site. So basically
that's, that's kind of it for the planning side of things, like there's obviously ways that I will go in and plan in depth a launch and all of that kind of stuff, but I wanted to give you just kind of an overview of how I plan and why I plan and how it's always with the goal of obviously being successful, but that it's always looking after whatever the big picture is for my business this year. So obviously number one, I always make sure that my life is on my calendar first, so vacation days off, kids days, things like that. Number one is life is on your calendar first and then none. Number two is that business goes on your calendar. And as I said before, I'm going to give you a detailed look at my week to week next week, but I just wanted to let you know that I, I usually will work each week itself is within a 12 week sprint and at the end of that 12 week sprint, I make sure that I have at least one of my big business goals completed or at least a huge chunk of it worked towards during that time.
And then that will refresh quarterly and obviously I will revisit my planning. I do it on obviously the beginning of the year. I do it at the beginning of the month and I do it at the beginning of the week and I do it at the beginning of each quarter. So that may sound like a lot of planning, but that is something that I put on my calendar and I make sure that I know that at the beginning of the year I have a day set aside to plan. At the beginning of each week, I set aside a day to plan and the day that I set aside to plan is Sunday and usually there's not a full day because obviously Sundays are Sundays and I'm doing things with my kids, a family running around, not working, but I'll usually make a point of sitting down at some point with my calendar looking at it and saying, okay, well what's on my calendar for this week? What needs to be moved, what needs to be prioritized, what is a non negotiable?
And I will basically put that down. Now the other thing that I just kind of want to quickly quickly touch on is the fact that I also batch all of my days throughout the week. So Sunday is my planning day and then Monday has a theme, Tuesday has a theme, Wednesday has a theme, Thursday has this theme, Friday has a theme, you get the point. So that is something I'm going to be talking about next week, but I just kind of wanted to give you a little sneak peak of how my week two week breaks down. So basically obviously I will have those planning days put onto my calendar and sometimes they are bigger days than other days, but usually the main like just kind of weekly catch ups are on Sundays and it's only for about an hour if even that, and if it's at the beginning of the month, then sometimes that Sunday planning is a little bit more detailed because I'll just kind of do a quick glance at my full calendar and make sure that everything makes complete sense at the time.
And then I will also do that at the beginning of a quarter just to make sure that if something big has changed in the business, like I've opted to not launch, then obviously I'm going to need to put that into the calendar correctly and take account for that. So I think that's everything that I wanted to touch on today. As I said, this episode was just kind of a quick glance at how I plan and how I plan for success. And then I'm always taking into account that I want personal time to be prioritized, that I want my business to be as successful as possible, but I also don't want it to completely control my life and that I allow myself the space to be able to plan. But once you guys listened to next week's episode, you're really gonna get, uh, an idea of how I'm able to push forward in my business.
Well, I am busy and making sure that everything kind of gets done and that everything that I am working on is always working towards a goal in some aspect. So I don't just kind of sit down in front of the computer and just hope that things work. Like there's always a plan behind everything that I'm doing and everything that I'm working on, on a day to day basis. And it's always taking me towards one of those four main goals that I have in the year. So I hope that this episode has been beneficial. As I said, at the bottom of the show notes page, you can opt in and get a whole bunch of goodies. Um, they're always being updated. So just keep an eye out and we update that section all the time and hopefully we will have something good for you or when you get there.
And I think that's everything. I really just, I wanted to kind of give you guys a nice quick light episode for the beginning of the year and I hope that you guys had a fantastic, fantastic new year and that you are prepped and ready to go for the coming year and that I, I just really, really hope that this is the year that you get the success that you want in your business. And I hope that I will be able to help you in some small way. So until next week, I hope that you enjoy yourself and you can wind down from the busy holiday season and I can't wait to talk to you soon.
Greater Than Business Podcast – Episode 029