It’s that time of year again. 2021 is coming to a close and if you haven’t started planning for 2022 already, it’s time to give it some thought. Taking the time to think about this past year, get some closure, and then create a considered plan for next year’s goals can set you up for success.
Rather than a quick pass however, this will involve simple steps that need your time and attention:
To move forward, you first have to look backward. Make two bulleted lists: What worked well last year? What didn’t? Ask your colleagues, employees, and clients for feedback. Keep it simple. Ask ‘What do you love about my service/product/working here and what can be improved?’ You may have a view of the P&L statement but getting an outside perspective can help you get a different view of things that is just as valid. Once you have figured out where you stand and what you’ve learned, you can get a better idea of what you want to accomplish in the coming year.
Don’t just set goals for 2022, prioritize those goals. That will help you where it makes the most sense to put your time, money, and energy. What will make the biggest impact on the success of your business? Marketing? Software? Website? Employee onboarding? Whatever you decide, ranking your goals in order of importance helps you figure out where to put your efforts and energy. Keep it visible so you can see those goals every single day. Always ask ‘who else can do this?’ because it doesn’t always have to be you. In fact, giving others a role in goal achievement makes everyone more accountable for the success of the business.
Test out the goals by asking for feedback from others. Mentors, advisors, employees, partners, and colleagues, all can help you fine tune and even provide new ideas. Diverse points of view should be something you embrace in all aspects of your business, including planning.
What didn’t work or isn’t working well? Can you take action right away on those things? Then do! Why wait to fix something once you know it’s a problem? Once you manage those immediate issues, move on to the long-term items. Take the feedback and see what adjustments you can make. Ask those same folks a few months down the road if they have seen progress.
Once you’ve got a clear set of goals for 2022, it’s time to align your actions and put some things in place to hold yourself accountable. You can keep it simple and create a calendar with milestone dates to check your progress. If you’re not getting it done and meeting your goals at these checkpoints, it’s a sign that you need to step back and figure out why and what you need to change. These goals shouldn’t be rigid. Expect to adjust throughout the year because priorities change, and businesses evolve. If you aren’t going to do this check-up monthly, make the commitment to do it quarterly.
Rather than totally closing the door on 2021 – bring the lessons learned with you into 2022. When someone is thoughtful about getting some closure on last year, and creating clear goals with well-defined actionable steps for next year, they are dedicated and excited about achieving in the coming months, and will be energized by the possibilities and motivated for success.
That person should be you.