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2024 is about to knock on your door, and if you’re anything like us, you might be wondering where in the world did 2023 go?! I know we’ve been harping on you to get your 2023 financials in order, make sure you are in the right accounting system, and, also, ensure you have a support team in place to help you reach your goals (ahem, may we suggest ourselves!) But what about setting the goals themselves? What about crafting a plan to achieve them? Where do you start? Where do you stop? How do you make sure it gets done?  

The Secret Sauce to Goal Setting! 

To be 100% honest with you, I have never been a big goal setter or long-term planner until a few years ago. Sure, I always had aspirations and visions for “future me”, but writing them down? That always felt very daunting… but now I know that it doesn’t have to be.  

Growing up my dad always told me to write down my goals, tape them to my mirror, and look at them every day. I think I did this a total of two times growing up. Each time I felt silly and overwhelmed by the process. I had never dissected these feelings until I set out to write this blog post and let’s just say hindsight is 20/20. I think the reason I always felt averse to setting goals was because they were just lofty ideas that lived on a page. There was no tangible plan to get there. No wonder my 8th grade goal of “play volleyball in college” felt unattainable.  

I know now the power behind goal setting isn’t just setting the goal or writing it down. The magic lies in mapping out the plan to achieve that goal and breaking it into bite-size, digestible pieces.  

A couple of years ago, our company pivoted how we operate internally. We self-implemented EOS® (the Entrepreneurial Operation System) and goal setting on a schedule was a huge part of that implementation. If you are not familiar with EOS®, we highly encourage you to check it out! But for now, stay with me and get a glimpse into how I learned to successfully plan for the future!  

But first, a quick note before we dig in… goal setting and then going on to achieve said goals can be a stressful and not always a successful process. Sometimes you get off course, you struggle, you lose your way, and you don’t achieve what you set out to do. And that royally sucks, we’ve been there (unfortunately). But, sometimes failing is how you learn best or, on the contrary, the universe’s sign that the path you were on was not the right one for you. So, if you ever find yourself in this spot, stiff upper lip and try, try again. Review, improve, and courageously move ahead.  

The Art of Crafting a BHAG: Big Hairy Audacious Goal👹  

Ever dreamt of lounging on the beaches of St. Tropez while running your kick-ass business? What about scaling your team to a group of 50 rock stars? 🡸 That my friends, is a BHAG. It’s a vision of where you want your company to be in 10-15 years. So, let’s create your BHAG… 

    1. Visualize it. Spend an hour or two really thinking about what this looks like. Imagine your day, your team, your responsibilities, your earnings. Write it down, include every last detail.
    2. Break it down even further. Identify key drivers that must be true to make the vision happen. From annual profit to team size to departments you may need to build. Use these to craft an even clearer vision of what this destination looks like.
    3. Step back and assess. Let it all soak in and be 100% honest with yourself to ensure this is what you really want. Don’t just pick it because society tells you this is how you have to grow. Craft your unique vision. Or as trusted industry thought leader Jason Blumer of Thriveal phrases it, ask yourself, “Do you want what that means?”  

          From BHAG to Action: The 3-Year Plan 

          Now that you have visualized and spelled out your BHAG, let’s reverse engineer a 3-year plan. Think about where you need to be in three years to be on track to achieve your BHAG. Dive into the specifics: revenue, team dynamics, processes, and more. Warning: this part might require a spreadsheet to get a clear picture of the revenue and profit metrics you need to attain to get to where you want to go.  

            The Annual Checkpoint📍 
              Break down your 3-year plan even further to identify your goals for the upcoming year. Where do you need to be at the end of the upcoming year to ensure you are on track for the next three? This is where the rubber meets the road. Define clear, actionable steps to reach these annual milestones. 
                Quarterly Sprints🏃‍♂️ 

                  Segment your annual goals into 3-month sprints. This makes your goals more manageable and keeps you focused on immediate, attainable tasks. 

                    Calendar Your Success📆 

                      While planning is a big part of the battle, it doesn’t work without execution. And the key to execution is to make sure you set aside time to do the work.  

                      If you have never gone through a planning process like this before, we recommend setting aside at least 2-3 days to get really clear on your BHAG, 3-year strategies, and annual plan. Updating these in the future will usually be less time-consuming since you’ll have a base camp to start from. So, friends, head to your calendar and schedule time for these key activities:  

                        • Annual Planning Session: a dedicated 2-day session close to your fiscal year end to review the past year and plan for the future. 
                          • Quarterly Check-Ins: a day each quarter set aside to regroup with the team, assess your quarterly progress and adjust as needed. 
                            • Goal Execution: time set aside on your calendar each week to work on your goals.  

                              Launching into Space with a Map🗺️ 

                              Remember the days of printed MapQuest directions? Just as you wouldn’t embark on a road trip in those days without a map, you wouldn’t navigate your business's journey without a clear plan either, would you? It’s time to set aside much needed time for goal planning. If you’ve already done this, high five🙌! And if not – we expect you to be heading to your calendars ASAP after this very persuasive and motivating blog post.😉   

                              A Final Note…  

                              I know it’s almost December and already a crazy time of year, so if you’re feeling overwhelmed about finding the time to go through this exercise, take a deep breath. You don’t have to do it all at once, and you can start in January, or heck even February! Just get it on your calendar now. The key thing here is to start. 

                              And bonus! If you want to dive a little deeper into how we go about our annual planning, tune into a 30-minute webinar Alexis & I (Taylor) are hosting on December 14th! You’ll also have the opportunity to ask any questions then!   

                              Hope you enjoyed the read & hope to see you on the 14th 

                              ✌️Peace out, loyal readers! 

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