How to ignore the chaos and plan for a productive 2020

Posted by Derek Mason

15th October 2019

It might seem too early to start setting business goals for next year, especially at a time of such uncertainty in the UK. But as business owners it is important that we minimise the impact of political uncertainty as much as possible and stay focused on the things that we can control.

And taking time to map out what you want to achieve in 2020 will mean you’re ahead of the curve. It will help you to stay on track over the ten weeks that are left between now and Christmas. And you will find you can achieve a lot over the course of the next 70 days.

I am lucky, in that my financial year starts in October, which I use as an opportunity to plan the following year, ahead of when most people naturally would. And the reason that I recommend that you do your planning now too is that I believe it will have a positive impact on what you can achieve.

Planning now means that you can review the previous three quarters and assess what you have already achieved this year. If you have already hit your goals, then this is a good time to set new ones. And if you haven’t hit them, that means you can work hard to get there in the remaining part of the year.

My process for setting goals is similar each year, but I have honed it over time. This is one of the benefits of reviewing what has gone before. You can keep what is working for you, and get rid of anything you’re doing that isn’t paying off.

Here’s the process I use:

  1. Set big goals for the year
  2. Break your goals down into smaller steps
  3. Take action

I have written about this before, but I think it bears repeating, because I know that so many people do not do this. And I know that it has been a key part of my success, so I urge other people to set big goals for themselves and their business.

  1. Set big goals for the year

It can be helpful to have a change of scenery for this, to help you to think about what you want to achieve over the next twelve months, both in life and in business. Getting out of the office will help you to think bigger.

  1. Break your goals down into smaller, actionable steps

Once you’ve set your goals for the year, list out what will need to happen for you to get there. What are the steps you need to take each day, each week and each month to ensure you hit those big goals?

In the same way that you can’t turn up for a marathon and expect to get round it if you haven’t put in the training, you won’t hit your goals if you don’t take the regular actions needed to get you there.

  1. Take action

It is easy to write your goals down in your notebook or on your computer, and then forget about them. One of the best ways to avoid this happening is to put the smaller steps you’ve identified into your calendar or diary. And put your main goals list somewhere where you can see it, so that you keep your goals front of mind.

My final tip is to take a leaf out of the top sports people’s books and visualise what you want to achieve. You can guarantee that ahead of his sub-two hour marathon, Eliud Kipchoge had repeatedly visualised his success. And we should do the same.

If I can further help or advise you with productive goal setting, please do get in touch. And if you need assistance with the structural elements of an upcoming project, please send an email or call the office.

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