Annual plans, 5-year plans, planning in general… it can make some people come out in hives and hide under the duvet until the productivity coaches have run out of steam (usually sometime late January!)
But just a second Jo, are you not one of these “productivity coaches?”
Well, yes I am but I am not your average, gung-ho, push-on-through type of coach, and do you know why?
Because that often leaves to burnout and fatigue and the last thing a family needs is a mom with burnout.
So what should you do if annual planning makes you feel like a bag of old pants?
Are you in the right season for your annual planning?
What I mean is that we all have our own cycles, women especially. Not only the monthly cycle, which we know can play havoc with our energy levels but also annual cycles. There are certain times of the year when we are better suited to certain activities.
Because we are all different, this will look different for everyone.
For example, I am a winter babe, I was born in the winter, I love the cold crisp weather coupled with dark cozy nights. This is when I am ALIVE, I get all fired up and my productivity soars. But then come to the summer, high humidity and high temperatures and I turn into a blob of uninspired mess. Seriously, I haven’t got the bandwidth when it is hot to do any planning or just anything really.
But then I have a client who is the polar opposite, she is all hyped up and raring to go as soon as the long days roll in and the temperature soars. Then in the winter, she basically hibernates.
If you are the type of person who gets low in the winter, maybe suffers from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), or just being a mom with 1001 things going on, and planning for your best year ever isn’t one of them. Don’t panic and absolutely don’t need to plan in the winter nor feel guilty about it!
You don’t have to do your annual planning at the end of the year
Or the start of the year for that matter. Yes, it looks much nicer on the calendar or in your fancy $50 planner (let’s face it, the planner industry thrives on this ‘gotta do it now’ mentality). If you want my low-down on planners… this is the post for you.
Instead, let’s get real here.
December/January isn’t always the best time of the year to do your annual planning. And if you are working for yourself, you don’t have to follow anyone else’s rules – rebels unite!
If you get your planning mojo on in March, then do it in March, if the whole back-to-school vibe that happens in September is when you get all hyped up, then do it then.
Will my business fail if I don’t do my goal setting in December?
Will it fail if you never do any planning? Maybe? Yes? There is a high possibility, you can only “wing it” for so long.
I’m not saying ditch the whole annual planning thing altogether, what I am saying is, do your deep-dive planning when it best fits YOUR mental and energetic state.
I do admit, I do encourage my Wonder Moms to at least take stock of the past 12 months in early December so that they can at the very least, have January planned out.
Why? because often what happens after the holiday season, the new year comes around and it takes a while for everyone to get back into the swing of things and before you know it, it’s February and basically, January was written off with no goals achieved. And that tends to leave people feeling crappy.
So a bit of reflecting and forward planning in December does help you start the new year on the right foot instead of feeling defeated before you start! But you don’t have to go all-in, if you don’t feel like you are in the right headspace.
If I don’t use an annual planning calendar, how do I plan my year?
Since learning about the 90 day year from Todd Herman, undoubtedly one of the top guys in the field of productivity coaching. (He coaches world-class athletes and top CEO’s). I adopted and adapted his system.
As I said, he works with people at the top of their game, people who have a team behind them, and coaches on fast dial. He does not work with moms who are juggling kids, homework, housework, making dinner, grocery shopping, Christmas lists, and their business. All of that on a budget and quite possibly single-handed (or with a partner who isn’t always there to help). His system is great but it doesn’t work so well for moms with a lot on their plates.
90-day planning is a game-changer and when COVID hit, it is the one thing that saved a lot of small businesses, being able to change tack quickly. Assess the situation and head in a different direction.
It’s flexible, it allows for the flow of your year to be taken into account AND when the sh*t his the fan, which inevitably it does, whether that be school getting closed, snow day or just life in general, using the 90-day system allows you to stay on track and adapt as need be.
Plus… there is no rule to get started in January!
I admit I do like to keep to the regular business quarters, it is a little less messy that way but you absolutely don’t have to!
In the Wonder Mom Success Club (my membership for moms building their business around their families) we do set aside December for reflection and goal setting BUT like everything in the membership, Wonder Moms get access to everything 24/7. So if planning in December isn’t your jam, no problem, just rock up when you are ready, log in and work through the planning workshop on your own terms.
If you are not ready to dive into Wonder Moms yet, then this post about using my Kaizen 3 Step Method on how to get what you want is a great place to start.
To wrap up
Pay attention to YOUR seasons, when you feel both mentally and energetically on fire, that is a great time to dream big and get your planning done.
Don’t feel guilty or get sucked into the end of year planning hype, companies have planners and courses to sell but if they are telling you, you will fail if you don’t get it and implement it right now, they are not the right business for you (assuming right now isn’t your planning mojo time).