I can’t believe we’re on the last quarter of the year – and, I know, it felt like it was yesterday that we’re popping champagne by the fireplace watching the ball drop at Times Square on the TV.

Now, when that ball dropped, I was still in my full-time job. And I did very little planning for any business goals. I guess my goal was just “start my own business” – which, to be totally honest, it’s not the best goal to have. At all.

I didn’t have any guidelines or things to accomplish – I didn’t have a way to measure my success. Making some money and people are looking for my services is not a good enough goal for a  profitable business. A growing business even.

It was June, I wrote down where I wanted my business to be in 10 years. Yes, 10 FLUFFY YEARS! Now, if I want to get there, I need to start acting MEOW!

Then I started to work backward – where I see my business in 8 years? In 5 years? In 2 years? A year from now?

Once I reached the “One year from now”, I started my plan. So, I want :

  • 😻 Serve X clients paying me an average of Y a month.
  • 😻 I want to start a DIY series for creatives just starting their business – because I know I need some guidelines for, pretty much, everything other than my books.
  • 😻 I want to hire someone to help me with workflows and social media eventually (I’m terrible at social media)
  • 😻 Up my blogging game while giving people USEFUL information
  • 😻 Have an assistant
  • 😻 Donate 50% of my profits to a rescue group every quarter.

You see, now I have a few tangible goals. And from the goals, I’ll work backward to the steps I will take to get there. Every quarter, I can review my goals.

And from my goals, I extrapolate to actions/projects that I will need to achieve. And I break them down by quarter.

Why quarter, you might ask? I don’t have an answer for that. Working in finance, we always look into goals and metrics every quarter – it was something I felt comfortable doing.

Listen, while having business goals are great – mine are always tied to personal goals as well. I did start my business to 1) make a positive impact in my community, and 2) time flexibility/freedom. My business goals are tied to achieving the freedom and the positive impact – you can see them on the donation, content creation and outsourcing what I’m not good at.

This process also helps me see what is working and what is not working. My instagram add was no bueno, but guest blogging was very good for visibility. I can use this metric to work on my future goals. It’s this simple.

At the end of Q3-2019, I did review the goals I set in June. Certain things, I did big strides – I’m developing a whole DIY Bookkeeping system, starting thinking about other ways I can serve my tribe (Think… A DIY BK class, Financial Coaching and so much more!) and, others, not so much (read: little profit due a last minute big business purchase; and needing to make the system I developed live).

I don’t want to sound too “woo woo” – but here we go… I do believe in intention. I do believe in the power of our thoughts. I do believe in asking what we want to the universe. Personally, once I take the thoughts and dreams out of my mind they become a little real. Once I roadmap how I’ll get there – it feels it’s possible. When I believe I can accomplish it (because why not?) – then I know I can do it.

Heart-to-heart now – we change, our dreams changes and out goals changes. The Roadmap, the 10 year plan might not be the same today as they were yesterday. That’s why I tie them to my personal life – it makes it easier to be flexible and navigate any change of focus. And I tie my personal goals to my values – those will most likely never change.

Going back to “woo woo land”: I did accomplish most of my goals because I believe in them and because I put in the work to accomplish them. It’s simple like that. I try to practice what I call “detachment attachment”: I’m working my plan, doing what I feel I should do to accomplish the ultimate goal. I’m not 100% attached to the goal I had in mind – but I want to get the results – even if the road is not the same.

My mental process in a nutshell: ultimately, I’m happy with the results I will get from the action and energy I’m putting in. Even if the results are not what I expected – it’s a lesson learned and I move on to the next. Because of my bigger goal.

My goal setting process breakdown:

  • Think Big Picture (10+ year plan)
  • Think of where you want to be before "Big Picture" (8-5 years)
  • Do the step above a few more times (4-2 years)
  • Get to a short term plan (1-2 years)
  • Think about what you need to do today to get to the short term plan
  • Break down the actions in quarters
  • Start working on it - with diligence

My review process breakdown:

  • Check my financial goals (sales and expenses) during my weekly "Money Dates"
  • Every month, look into the goals you had for the quarter and how far along you are
  • Also see what is working and what is not working (and why)
  • At the end of the quarter - compare your actual results to your goals
  • What worked, see what it was, and how it worked. You can keep this process for the future
  • What didn't work - see why - was it a lack of focus, was just not the best action plan? Look deep so you can change and make it work
  • Rinse and Repeat

I always have in mind if my plans and goals changes, I’ll adapt my short terms goals to them. When I was living in NYC my goals were different than now that I’m living in Colorado. And it’s OK. 

As a good ol’bookkeeper, I do love processes and checklists. So, I created this small worksheet so you can start planning your goals! Click here to grab it! And let’s go planning!