I recently wrote about the importance of goal setting for the growth of your business. However, goal setting in only one part of the success formula: Planning is the part of the formula where you take action.
Although they seem similar, there is a real difference between goal setting and planning, which can be explained like this:
Planning is the act of breaking down a goal into small, doable tasks. When you set a timeline to complete each task, you are on the road to successfully achieving your goal.
Planning requires you to be very specific in creating individual tasks and to be realistic in setting timelines for completing each task. Here’s a simple example:
I am creating one new YouTube video on skin care tips each week.
- Write a script by Monday at 9 pm
- Collect necessary products/tools/props by Tuesday at 1 pm
- Set up recording area and lighting by Tuesday at 9 pm
- Practice script with props by Wednesday at 1 pm
- Record video by Thursday at 9 pm
- Send raw video to editor by Friday at 10 am
- Create posts to announce video for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter by Friday at 5 pm
- Write video description for YouTube by Saturday at 10 am
- Upload video Sunday at 10 am
- Post video announcements on Sunday:
- Instagram at 10:15 am
- Facebook at 2 pm
- Twitter at 6:30 pm
Once you have a list of tasks associated with your goal like this, you can schedule these tasks into your planner each week.
The important thing to remember: Goals are set with an eye to the future (monthly, yearly, lifetime) while keeping the present in mind; Planning includes the hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly activities that get you there.
Tips for Successful Planning
- Set aside a specific time each week to review your goals (and perhaps create new ones) and to plan the activities that will help you achieve those goals.
- Use a planner (see my post from a couple of weeks ago for some good ones) to keep track of your tasks.
- Go through your planner and block off time for personal things such as appointments, yoga, grocery shopping, dinner outings, etc.
- Review last week’s goals and tasks. Carry over what didn’t get done but still needs to be completed. Note: if you’re carrying over the same task week after week, you may need to reassess the goal associated with that task. If it’s a low-priority or long-term goal, then carry the task into this week or leave for next week; if it’s a high-priority goal, then make sure you focus on it this week to see some progress.
- Create weekly goals that support your larger goals (remember to be specific and make them measurable)
- For each goal, list the activities that need to be done this week and note by what date/time each needs to be complete.
- Schedule specific times for all the tasks you listed for each goal. If you aren’t responsible for a specific task, attach a name to whoever will be completing it.
- Keep your planner with you at all times, and get in the habit of checking it often as a reminder of your to-do list and so that you can quickly make adjustments, if necessary.
- When you complete a task, check it off your list or make note of it in the calendar – and pat yourself on the back! You are on the road to successfully achieving your goals!
What will you accomplish this week?
In the comments below, tell me one of your goals for this week and three steps you are going to take to get there – I might have a surprise for the most creative response!