6 Steps to Planning Out Your Year

How do you plan for your next year ... oh yeah, and during a pandemic?

We don’t need a pandemic to limit us from what we want to achieve in 2021.

While next year will bring inherent challenges, we can still envision a productive and fruitful year ahead. But how should one go about this endeavor? Here are six considerations for putting together your 2021 plan.

1. Use History as a Guide

What worked last year? What didn’t? Use your past as an indicator of your future. Not one of us could have predicted Covid, however, we all had to change direction quickly and learn a new way to adapt. How would you do things differently and what would you repeat in 2021? What were your favorite moments of 2020, and least favorite that you won’t repeat in 2021?

2. Work Backward Using a Little Math.

If you’re in sales or a business owner, do you have a quota or personal financial goal you would like to attain? Suppose your goal or quota is $1 million for 2021. If your largest sale in 2020 was $50k and your smallest $2k, this would mean your average sale is $26k. In order to achieve this goal or quota, you will have to have closed 38 deals in 2021, or 3-4 deals per month. Take a look at how you performed 2018-2020. How many appointments did it take to close 3 deals? Maybe it was 3 on average. This means you should have no less than 9-12 appointments per month. And how many calls/emails did it take to secure a first appointment? This will indicate how many dials you will need to make on a daily/weekly basis to achieve your goals.

3. Set Up a Spreadsheet or Tracking Within Your CRM

Know your numbers! Keeping track of your efforts and progress is the surest way to stay on track with your financial and productivity goals. If you have no way of tracking this, use this week to set up a system of tracking. Your company may have a way of tracking sales and commissions, but keeping the numbers yourself are far more powerful and give you control and an early glimpse of your progress. The top performers almost always know exactly how they are performing at any given moment.

4. Outside of Work Goals

Work-life balance continues to be a big topic, and working from home is an easy way to trap yourself in work 24/7. Take quick stock on how you are feeling in each of these life areas. Rank yourself (1 being lowest, 10 being highest). Anything 2 or under, make a priority and a plan for 2021:

  • Health

  • Work

  • Spirituality

  • Creativity

  • Relationships

  • Money/Financial

  • Home

  • Self

  • Purpose

  • Fun

If you feel that something is holding you back from progressing in any of these areas, consider making a plan to meet with a life coach or counselor to help guide you forward.

5. Make your Plan and Work your Plan.

Once you’ve established steps 1-4, create a plan for 2021. This can include blocking out time, creating specific goals, or setting up milestones for progress. You should be able to articulate the plan and refer to it regularly.

6. Find an accountability partner.

Many times we stick to the plan if we’re held accountable. Share your 2021 goals/plan with a mentor, friend, spouse, colleague, and even better, have them share their plan with you. You can hold each other accountable for achieving and celebrating milestones.

Let us know your best tips for planning out your next year!

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