We seldomly hear about goals after January. Let that sink in.
We often spend the later part of December and the first few days of January creating plans and intentions for our year. But after that, our goals, projects, and strategies seem to go out the window. We get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day and we find ourselves back at square one – just getting by with little to no intention.
But don’t worry, this isn’t a story of doom and gloom, there is good news here – there is a way to maintain those goals and continue your momentum throughout your year. I call it my Quarterly Planning Framework, but you can call it whatever you’d like!
My Quarterly Planning Framework comes into play four times a year, a few weeks before each quarter begins. It’s a space where we can pause, reflect, and put new ideas into action.
Here is when I recommend you sit down and have a quarterly planning date with yourself, your team, or your clients (or ideally – all three!)
Q1 Planning – December
Q2 Planning – March
Q3 Planning – June
Q4 Planning – September
Don’t be afraid to grab that pen that get a date on the calendar for each of these months, now! I suggest setting aside around 60-90 minutes for your session.
Let’s not rush into the next quarter without taking time to highlight accomplishments and win’s from the 3 months prior. Take some time to reflect on what milestones you have hit and celebrate them. Seeing progress you have made helps start the session on a positive note!
We cannot move forward while also leaving things behind. If there are important tasks or projects that were not fully completed in the last quarter, let’s take some time to jot them down and make sure they are prioritized in the quarter to come.
Let’s pick three major intentions that we would like to accomplish next quarter. These are big projects that generally take several weeks to complete. This could be launching a new service or product, releasing a new lead magnet, or hiring on an additional team member. Take some time to break down this intention into sub-tasks that need to take place in order for the intention to be accomplished. This makes your goals more attainable and action-oriented. Remember, that all of your intentions should be written out in SMART Goal format.
Outside of 3 major intentions, I also like to pick 3-micro projects to complete. These are generally quick wins that can really help move the needle. These projects require less time and effort but still are integral to your business. Some examples of a micro-project may be to update images on your website, release 3 new blog posts,
One of the best ways to measure progress is to have a set list of KPI’s or metrics. There are so many things you can be tracking in your business such as leads, conversion rates, website traffic, average value of sales, client turnover, social media engagement, positive reviews, etc. Phew! When it comes to tracking KPI’s – start small. You want tracking your metrics to be sustainable enough that you can update them monthly, that way you have a good picture of how things look when you review them during your quarterly session. During the session you can determine what metrics are the most helpful and even decide to add more to get a clearer picture!
Last but not least, it’s great to lay out your social media plan for the next three months. During this time you may choose to update your pillars, enhance your hashtag strategy, or decide to incorporate more video content into your feed. Take this time to determine your content themes for the next few months (hint, hint: align your themes with your 3 major intentions) so you have a focal point for all of the content you create.
Okay, great – are we done yet!?
Nope, not quite. The last thing that you will do after the session is create action behind each of the items in your rollover tasks, major intensions, and micro-projects. This means you need to assign a person (this creates accountability) and a date (this creates urgency) to the task and each of the sub-tasks beneath them to actually ensure progress is made. Add your notes from your meeting into your project management system of choice (Asana and ClickUp are my faves).
So if you were looking for a sign to get more clear on your goals and intentions throughout the year – this is it! Implement a recurring quarterly planning session into your business and see first hand how clarity and planning can make the world of difference.
Feeling overwhelmed and need a little guidance? Schedule a call today!
No one is you, and THAT is your superpower. Let's makeover your marketing strategy and grow your business, together.