With a New Year just begun, there is the opportunity to take stock of where you are at with your business, or in my case, business idea development. But while it’s important to regard your business highly and have an end of year review and plan for the next year, it is equally important to take stock of our own lives. Our personal growth sets us up for the maximum: maximum happiness, personal wealth, confidence in ourselves and our abilities. These all transfer into our business and impact growth and success there also.
Goals: Setting Up for Maximum Follow-Through
Setting up goals, to better either yourself or grow your business is something that should be done every year and reviewed every quarter (around 90 days), with a progress check-in each week.
Step 1: Articulate Your Goals
It can be hard to articulate what exactly it is that you want to be as an individual or where precisely you want to be with your business. However, the better you can articulate it, the better your focus will be. Without focus, your ability to achieve the vague idea you have set for yourself drops impossibly low, and your dreams will remain just that – dreams.
I recommend you take the time to play around with what exactly it is you want. It should be something that you really want for yourself. You’ll know it’s right for you if the thought of it makes you smile and you feel something similar to the excitable anticipation of a child on Christmas Eve.
Step 2: Break Your Journey Up with Pit-Stops
Once you have it in words, you have your goal. That’s great, all the best journeys begin with the end in mind. Now, to reach your destination. How are you going to go about achieving your goal? Breaking it down into manageable steps will help you on your way. Each step achieved is a victory, giving a positive boost as you go along. Allowing yourself moments to reflect on your progress and congratulate yourself is an important part of your journey and growth – giving a sense of amazement at your own commitment and hard work, lending itself to the motivation to continue onward.
Step 3: Check Your Progress for Extra Motivation
In order to reflect and manage your goals you need to write them down. Whether it’s a plain jotter to get you started, a year diary or a planner, so long as you have written them down, you are more likely to carry them out and have an accurate record of your journey. I know some people might prefer to type things out, but even though I consider myself a techie, I find that there is real wisdom in the words of all the motivational speakers I listen to on YouTube and on podcasts, who say that writing it down with pen and paper is a really good way to go.
There are so many options out there for recording your goal progress. Last year, I made the best attempt of keeping a planner/year diary I have ever done. It was a small, A5 planner with a soft, smooth cover and hardback bound. It was delightful, and I did use it often. However, it was a bit daunting to be confronted with the blank pages every day and properly keep track of where I was at with my goals.
This year, I was going to get the same again, until the Daily Greatness popped up in my Facebook feed. I clicked through out of curiosity and was delighted by what I found.
The reviews by life coaches and ordinary users alike all confirmed that this was an excellent planner. It helps to coach you through everything a real life coach would, with information on how to budget and manage your business finances among other business must-haves.
Once you have the first section of your planner or journal complete, it moves on to let you plan your week at an overview level before it begins, followed by a page to a day that prompts you with various questions (worded differently each time so it doesn’t feel mechanical) and a week review at the end of each week. The year is split up into quarters, which are long enough to complete a project within a bigger goal, but not so long that you feel lost in what you are doing.
What I Love About my Daily Greatness Journal
I love how it coaches and encourages you, the user. You are spoken to in the set-up as if it is just you and the author (Lyndelle Palmer-Clarke) having a private life coaching session. You are talked through how to get the most out of your new planner, maximise your goals and dream big. The author has absolute faith in you that if you commit to your dreams and work hard, you can achieve them, which is really encouraging.
She encourages you, noting that you may skip days but that she has confidence that you’ll be able to get back on track to achieve the life you want for yourself. The first thing that she asks you to do in the life worksheets at the start of the journal, is to write a letter to your future-self, detailing what you want to achieve in the next year. Seal it in an envelope, date it, and record in your diary to open it in a year’s time. Once you have done that and finished reading through the opening pages, she wants you to take the time to forgive yourself.
Take the time to forgive yourself: for all the failed business ventures, a lost dream, a broken relationship. She also encourages you to forgive those who have hurt you. An idea to do this is to write a letter that you never post, expressing that you forgive that person(s). Letting go of that pain in your heart lets you claim back your power and opens you up to being more creative and happy in your life.
You also work through a dream big page, a life mission statement, working through what your top personal values are so you can make better decisions, and a blueprint of your 8 core areas of life. The blueprint encourages you to think about where you are with it, where you would like to be, and encourages you to identify the areas that are holding you back from achieving that.
There are so many good ideas and sound advice in it, I would almost have to buy you a copy to show you! But as I can’t afford to do that, so I have added some discount codes at the end of this post.
What I Love About my Daily Greatness Business Planner
The beginning pages of the business planner are much like those in the journal edition. With one major difference. Yes, you feel like you are being spoken to one on one, but rather than by a life coach you get what is a veritable business boot camp.
Palmer-Clarke talks to you in an opening letter that is frank, grounded and affirmative in being with you on your new year’s journey in your business. She identifies the core areas entrepreneurs need to work on, explains why they are important, before giving more detailed advice on the four core aspects in the following pages. These four are: focus, organisation, personal growth, and finances.
Once you have read through those pages (which are a really good read) you move onto the “let’s get down to business” section. She talks you through many aspects, such as your vision and purpose, your Unique Sales Point (USP) and products, objectives and goals.
Not only does Palmer-Clarke explain what a Business Model Canvas is (this was new to me entirely) she goes over how to use it and supplies one within the planner. Other important aspects she coaches you on is how to make sure you set good goals, using your finance manager every 90 days, what a balance sheet is, profit and loss statements (aka income statement) and cash flow statements. If you are fresh to the entrepreneur scene like me and have little clue about any of these, Palmer-Clarke has your back.
Other useful things to have in your planner, which is likely to be with you most of the time, are your future vision goals for 1, 3,5 and 10 years ahead, a one page at a glance business plan summary and an overarching strategy for your marketing and social media.
Much like the journal, the planner has a blueprint for your business goals, challenging you on what they are, why you want them, what is limiting you and holding you back, and how you are going to achieve them.
Summary on my New Planning Duo
I love both very much and am super happy with my purchase of them. As they both have a year wrap up, with the journal having some appendices worth a good look, I believe that I am setting myself up for success with the help and structure that these two books bring.
They are undated, so you can start planning when you get it, and use it from the beginning of the next month, the next week, or the next day. You write the dates in, so it’s up to you when you begin your first 90-day block. I am starting mine this coming Sunday, one week into the New Year.
If you are looking to purchase either one or other (or both like I did!) of these books, here is a coupon code that I used to get 10% off my set. If you are reading this after January 2017, I recommend you search online for a discount code as there may be another of equal value. If not, I have included my refer a friend discount code that you can use, anytime.
If you experience trouble with the link above, just type in RAF5 in the discount box at checkout.