Tag Archive: plan

FirstQuarterFilesWe all know that the end of the month of March means the end of the first quarter. At this point with three months of the year gone, it’s moving swiftly and it’s not going to stop. Now is the time to take inventory to see where you are.

At the beginning of the year you had the opportunity for a fresh start. You probably felt pretty good right about then with the chance to start something new, take on new things and maybe even determined to focus on not letting things get away from you like you did the year before. Where are you right now? Look at what you set out to do at the beginning of the year and compare those things to what you’ve accomplished so far. How close are you? If you’re not close at all, of course you have to ask why. Maybe you got off to a good start then lost control somewhere along the way.

Whatever the reason for not being on track, you’re at a point in the year where it’s time to take a short break and use this time to assess where you are. If you’re not on track, you have to ask yourself the tough questions to find out what the reason is. Were there obstacles that got in the way or things that you weren’t prepared for? It might be that fear is in your way or that your limiting beliefs are in control. You may not know how to get where you want to go or you just haven’t done what it takes to get there. Get to the bottom of things and then ask yourself who it is that you have to be to get to the point of accomplishment. After you figure that out, determine what you are going to do to get back on track.

The first quarter is just about done. If you’re not where you want to be or not positioned to end your year the way you envision, it’s time to get into action. Now! It doesn’t take long to finish your assessment, determine who you have to be and then what you’re going to do to move forward. Map out your plan and figure out what you need to support you and get you through to the end. Think about the any obstacles that might show up at some point down the road and how you’re going to deal with them if they come up. Tighten up your plan, set up something for accountability and get back to work!


The First 100 Days

How you start each year sets the tone for it. So how did your year start? Did you set your goals? Is there a plan in place to carry them out? Are you committed to them? Maybe your year didn’t start off like that and if that’s the case, you started the year without any focus and without preparation. Honestly, that’s the way that about 92% of people started their year. Statistics show that only 8% of people actually achieve their goals every year.

If you happen to be among that 92%, it’s not too late to get the ball rolling. In my experience, I have found that many people end up not only starting their year without any goals, plans or commitment, but they also end up making excuses for why they haven’t taken on what they said they would, and they regret not having taken action.

The first 100 days of the year is a crucial period and your entire year rides on it. When you look back 100 days into the year, which will be April 10th, what will things look like for you? Will you be well on your way to the income that you want to make in your business this year or another goal that you’ve set or will you just have an excuse for why you haven’t started to forge the path toward the summit?

Excuses and regret won’t get you anywhere, but getting focused definitely will. Just knowing your goals doesn’t have any value at all if you don’t reach them. You can’t get results without execution, and expecting better results, or to get to the next level is ludicrous at best. Doing things the way that you’ve always done things will have you sitting in the exact same place you started, continuing a vicious cycle.  The only way to get where you want to get is to get focused, create your plan, commit yourself to it and go for it. If your execution is in play you perform and continue to get better and over time can master greater feats than those before you now. So right now, what do you need to do to get focused, set your goals, create the plan and commit to carrying it out through to fruition? The ball is in your court and the clock is ticking. 100 days into this year are you going to have excuses or results?


Annual Report. Graph. Diagram. Chart. Analisys.Planning is a key element in the business world.  As a productivity expert, I have witnessed entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and small business owners increase their productivity by regularly planning to achieve the big picture, and as a result, increase their bottom line. Larger companies have done it and so can the solopreneur.

Now, I know that you might be one of those people who cringe when they hear the word “plan” or at the just the thought of having to create one.  I’ve heard so many people say that planning takes too much time or even that it’s a waste of time and because they believe that, they don’t plan.  They end up winging it through their days, months and the year attempting to accomplish the things they want to, which is really like rolling dice.  The truth is that planning will actually save you time, guide your actions and help you accomplish what you set out to do.  There is power in the process.

Let me share a few facts with you…

  • Statistics show us that every minute that you plan saves you ten in the execution of the plan
  • Planning can increase your productivity level by 25%
  • Planning facilitates achievement of goals, helps make good decisions, define opportunities and possible threats and helps reduce risk and prevent loss

…and, did you know that planning gives you a return of ten times on the investment of your time and personal energy? Something that might surprise you too, is that it really only takes about 10-12 minutes to plan your day.

If you are one of those people who does cringe at the thought of planning, those key points I just mentioned should help you start to see planning in a different light. Are you making the mistake of developing your products, services and strategies based upon what you think your target market wants, instead of asking them what they want?  Planning starts with not just knowing who your target market is, but knowing and understanding beyond the shadow of a doubt what they want.  This step is simple, but key to the process.  If you don’t know what your clients want, it makes it hard to connect with them and hard to deliver the value that you bring to the table.

Once you’ve determined what your tribe wants, it’s time to create the vision to give purpose, direction, and motivation, and then develop a strategy that drives that vision.  Once you have that strategy, you can create your plan and execute it. This can be challenging, and honestly it’s where most people drop the ball. Putting the plan into motion involves looking at the strategy and breathing life into it by creating an action plan.  That plan has to clarify the intent, determine broader steps and how results will be measured. It also has to break each step down into projects and then ultimately, into detailed work plans and tasks. When you understand your strategy and how what you do plays a role in your overall success.  When you do, you impact your bottom line in a positive way with the ability to reach your income and business goals.


Football2The end of March is upon us and it’s also the end of the first quarter. Time is flying by so quickly it can literally make your head spin. At this point with three months of the year gone, it’s time to see where you are. Are you in possession of the ball?

In football, specific rules govern what happens at the end of each quarter of the game. The rules affect team position, possessions, timing and breaks. You can say that the same happens in life. At the beginning of the year you had the opportunity for a fresh start. If you accepted the opportunity to create new things in your life and set your business goals, you might have created a plan or attempted to move things forward in some way. Maybe you had the ball and lost possession of it somewhere along the way to this point and you don’t know how, or maybe you never even had the ball to begin with.

Either way, the end of the first quarter is the time to take a short break, just like the two minute break at the end of the first quarter of a football game. Use this short time to assess where you are. What things had you planned to complete by this point in time and are they done? Are you in possession of the ball or did you fumble somewhere along the way? If you dropped the ball or didn’t even pick it up to begin with, it’s okay. The question for you now is what are you going to do? Are you going to pick up the ball and play the rest of the game and give it everything you’ve got to get that win, or are you going to continue as you are now?

If you’re going to pick up the ball and run with it you’ve got to know which way you’re going and why. Map out your plan or your plays for the rest of the game, making sure you know what kind of resources and support you’ll need along the way. Think about the things that might tackle you along your way down the field to the end zone and determine how you’re going to deal with them if they come up. Set deadlines and action dates according to those deadlines and get someone to hold you accountable. Get the deadline and action dates into your calendar, put your helmet back on and get back in the game!


Everyone wants to be better for the New Year which is why everyone makes the resolutions for getting back to the gym, getting organized, quitting smoking, and the list goes on. But the truth of the matter is that so many people have false starts when it comes to carrying out their resolutions. They have lots of plans and plenty of things they want to do or get accomplished in the New Year, but they run out of steam before they get the ball rolling with any real momentum. Did you make resolutions for this year? Did you take action? Why not? What was it that held you back?

If you’re expecting new results just because it’s a new year, you’re making a big mistake. If your starting point is not correct, you will not get what you want. Once the holidays are over, some people will start to implement their resolutions. Unfortunately, some of those starts will be false, running out of steam before February comes around. Resolutions die because they aren’t strong enough to survive. If they aren’t turned into goals and have a plan to support them, they wither away. To start off on the right foot you need to first understand that there’s a distinct difference between the anatomy of a resolution and that of a goal. Goals are things that you are committed to pursuing, related to time, values-based and SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, tangible). They have plans created to support them coming to fruition.

Turing your resolutions into goals is the first step in aiming before your fire. You can’t hit the mark if you don’t know where you’re going. You have to know how to take your resolutions and turn them into solid goals and how to develop a plan to carry them out. Additionally, ask yourself what things you want to leave behind with the old year, and choose those things that you want to take into the New Year with you. It might take some time to get clear, so take your time and make your lists. Be conscious about what you are letting go of and what you are holding onto or creating to take along for the ride into the New Year.

Finally, ask yourself who it is that you have to be in order to accomplish the goals that you’ve set. Most of the time people look at or tell themselves that when they get something, then they’re be able to do a particular thing in order to be where they want to be. This is a backwards concept. Really, we have to think about who we’re going to be (the characteristics and behaviors we have to exhibit), then think about what we have to do in order to have what we want. So it’s be; do; have instead of have; do be.

As you begin to think about the things that you resolve to do in the coming year, remember to aim before you fire. Add the steps of turning those resolutions into goals, list what you’re leaving behind and what you’re taking with you and then determine who you have to be in order to carry out your plan.

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