Hey friend! Today we are talking all about the New Year!
I don’t know about you, but I love taking time (generally in December) to sit down, reflect, figure out
what my dreams and hopes are for the New Year, and to plan out my entire year!
In this post, I’m going to walk you through my planning process, so you can tweak if for use in your own business as well!
The first thing I do is to go through a giant list of questions to help me to reflect and figure out what I should be doing my next year in business.
Got your copy of the questions? Fab! Let’s dive in!
So I take my list of questions which I have developed over time to reflect on the year and really pull the things out of me that I to think about for the New Year.
So grab your copy of the PDF, get cozy on your couch, get yourself a tea and then get in your best business reflection headspace possible!
Then walk yourself through each of the questions to decide what worked and didn’t work last year, what you enjoyed and what you didn’t enjoy about your business, what brought you closer to your goals, and which tasks just didn’t move the needle?
No one is reading your answers to the questions but you, so don’t be afraid to get honest with yourself.
So from your answers to the list of questions, you probablyyyy had a few ideas of new ideas or projects that you want to tackle.
List out all those new ideas and projects, folllowed by what would need to change in order for you to make that happen.
(This step is short and sweet…step 3 is where it starts to get harder!)
So you have about 57 new projects or ideas for the New Year, but you realize that as just one person, you can’t make it all happen.
Say in step 2 you wrote down that you want to:
Redo your website
Create a new paid offering
Run Facebook Ads
Start a Facebook Group
Show up more on Instagram Stories
You can’t do them all, and if you can, you probably can’t do them all well….
So it’s time to get super specific about which projects are worth your time by putting them to the test!
You have to narrow down exactly which ones are top priority!
Using part 2 of the New Year Planning Questions PDF!
You’ll put each new idea or project to the test by asking yourself questions like:
A huge indicator as to whether or not something will be successful is if people from your audience straight up asked you for something like it!
You’ll also ask…
“Do I already have the skills or education required to do this?”
If it’s going to take some time to learn a new skill in order to execute on that project or idea, you’ll want to figure out how long that will take so you can ballpark the length of time needed to complete that project.
Project length (5 days vs. 5 months) could also influence whether or not it’s top priority, at least for this New Year.
“How much will it cost me to create this? What’s the initial investment?”
And more importantly…
“What can revenue can you expect to generate through this project?”
Now, there are definitely projects that will not specifically generate income but are still very valid and important for you to be doing in your business, so a way to put those non-income generating ideas to the test would be to ask:
“What are the lasting benefits?”
A few examples of this would be creating free content to boost SEO and increase authority, building relationships and networking by attending online and in-person industry events, creating a free opt-in gift for email list-building, etc.
Even though they aren’t directly tied to income, they could still be very important for growing your business.
Then I like to ask:
“On a scale of 1-10, how excited am I to work on this?”
When you work for yourself, you don’t have a boss telling you what to do, so if you’re not excited about something, it’s going to be extremely hard to stay motivated to see it through.
You’ll also want to ask yourself:
“How does it fit with my brand? Would I speak about this thing authentically?”
From there, you can determine which projects you are going to do, and in what order, and which projects just didn’t make the cut for this year.
If you are still unsure which new ideas need to make the list, then my best advice is to get in touch with your audience!
There are a few different ways to go about this, depending on where you usually engage with your audience:
Post it on Instagram
You can use the poll feature on stories, or ask a question and have people DM you their thoughts.
Send a survey
If you’re like me and not terrible active on Instagram (here’s why, btw), and if you tend to engage more with your audience via email, then you can send out a survey using a software like Survey Monkey or Survey Sparrow. I just did this and the responses and feedback were crazy helpful and insightful!
Reach out 1:1
When I sent out my survey, I also included a link to a limited number of spots for subscribers to grab a 30 minute 1:1 chat with me where they could ask me questions, and I could pick their brain in return! It’s such a great way to see where your audience is at, and what could be genuinely useful to them.
Next is to figure out how much you expect or hope to make in the New Year revenue wise and what those revenue streams will be!
So take your current offerings, plus any new income-generating projects you have planned, and using this handy Business Math Blog Post to figure out what you can expect to be bringing in this year based on your type of offering, price point, audience size, and predicted sales.
The most important part of this step is to put your revenue goals where you will actually see them!
The first couple of times I planned for the New Year, I would diligently write everything down in a Google Doc, then completely forget to ever check it again. Months later, I’d realize I was no where near my goals because I never actually did the things I said I would, and I never ended up selling the thing I predicted sales for.
So put those bad boys somewhere where you will see them and follow through!
What I like to do is create a special board inside my Asana (the software I use to organize my calendar and tasks) which is just for quarterly goals and nothing else.
Then, at the beginning of each quarter, I go through and assign all the tasks related to those goals, revenue predictions, email list size growth, etc.
I also assign myself a task for the last day of the quarter to check in on those goals to see whether I hit it or not.
If I did, amazing! I check it off and do a little happy dance!
If I didn’t hit it, I can either decide it’s not actually that important and I don’t want to do it anymore, or to move it to the next quarter.
So there you have it!
That’s how I plan what I will focus my time and energy on working on in my business each year, and how I know exactly what I need to be doing when I actually sit down to start working each day/week!
As tempting as it is to get starting on the planning part, you can’t really do steps 2-4 if you haven’t taken the time to reflect and learn from what went down this past year, so don’t forget to grab your copy of my 2-part New Year Planning Questions PDF!
Wishing you all the best in the New Year, friends!