Until last year I had never really set goals. New Year’s resolutions of course! But goals? Nah.
I don’t know about you but setting real goals with my previous employer always seemed like a waste of time. It was an annual “cut and paste” exercise that no one ever referred to during the year.
By the time annual evaluations would come around my accomplishments were always plentiful, but they rarely looked like the goals set 12 months earlier.
And personal goal setting, ha! What working mom has the time or mental energy for that, right?
Then I became my own boss.
I was now the boss of my whole day. The freedom and flexibility was exciting.
But about three quarters of the way through that first year as a mompreneur, I knew something needed to change.
I loved the freedom and flexibility of working from home but realized I needed some type of formal structure.
I needed something to help me manage all the things I wanted to do professionally and personally.
Something to help me get all the things done in the hours I had available to do them in.
I decided it was time to finally give goal setting a try.
Goal Setting 101
The funny thing about goals is that when you set them, create an action plan for them and implement that plan you can really accomplish great things!
The trick is to find the right goal setting structure for YOU.
It took me a couple months of trial and error.
Then I listened to the book The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months by Brian Moran which advocates a quarterly goal setting formula.
I immediately identified with how the author explained goal setting. And I knew I had finally found the best goal setting structure for me to try.
Quarterly Goal Setting 101
What if you could set your goals based on the reality of what’s going on in your business and personal life?
The 12 Week Year advocates breaking your goals out by the four quarters in the year.
Then you create a plan for the goals you want to achieve for those three months.
You spend 12 weeks working your action plan and then in magic week 13 you do a quarterly review.
Quarterly review questions might include asking yourself not just what your accomplishments were but also evaluating misses and lessons learned.
I’ve found it really helpful to have a simple quarterly review checklist to consistently evaluate and plan each next quarter.
Do you want to achieve the goals you’ve been dreaming about? Download the exact quarterly goal planning template I use now! (download it for FREE)
An unexpected plus of the 12 Week Year plan is that quarterly goal setting allows you space to set and meet personal goals.
If you are anything like me that might be a whole new concept and include personal goals that got set aside a long time ago
Mompreneur Goal Setting Experiment
I don’t know about you but I love to learn about things like this from other women’s expericane.
I admit it, I’m always curious to hear about other women’s lessons learned before I give something new a try.
In case you are like that too I thought I’d share with you a peak at what happened when I first tried quarterly goal planning.
Or as I lovingly refer to it, my Mompreneur Goal Setting Experiment.
Don’t forget to download for FREE the exact quarterly goal planning template I use and LOVE.
The first quarter I set three goals,
- A Professional Goal
- a Professional Development Goal
- and a Personal Goal.
Two of my goals were based on recommendations from another book, I’d recently read Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear.
Roughly summarized the two Atomic Habits recommendations were
- to not skip important habits two days in a row
- and to change your environment to help create better habits.
Personal Quarterly Goal Example
First I want to talk about my personal quarterly goal.
Like I mentioned above, one of the great things about the 12 Week Year plan is that you can include personal goals with your professional goals.
I had recently started the Noom Diet Plan and I really wanted to add a consistent exercise habit to go with it.
But like all exercise goals who really sticks with it?
I decided this was the perfect way to try out quarterly goal planning and James Clear’s Atomic Habit recommendation at the same time.
I set my first ever personal quarterly goal to walk at least 20 minutes every day.
I wrote down my goal and action plan in my notebook. (I eventually created a quarterly goal setting worksheet that you can download for free.)
The action plan is made up of the tactics you use to implement your goal.
- The first tactic was to not skip walking more than two days in a row.
- Another tactic was to download podcasts and books to listen to on my walks.
- A third tactic on my action plan was to find the time in my day that I wasn’t effectively using. Time that would be good 20-minute walks.
- And my final tactic was to share my goal with my husband, who also works from our home, for some moral support.
I was brand new at goal setting – and I picked exercise as my first goal! I needed all the moral support I could get!
And then something crazy happened.
Those 20-30 minute intervals of time that I used to scroll through social media became my walk time.
The desire to listen to the Podcasts I’d downloaded replaced my urge to scroll through Facebook.
And my walk schedule got so consistent that my client even picked up on it. She started apologizing if she called about something right before she knew I was going for my walk.
By the end of the quarter I had met my goal of establishing a consistent exercise routine.
Professional Development Quarterly Goal Example
My second quarterly goal was aimed at professional development and was a little unique to my family.
My husband operates a growing real estate business from our home. When I started my home-based consulting business, I turned his workspace into a co-work space and that didn’t really work for either of us.
We had been spending a lot of time talking about creating two separated home offices in our 1950’s 1850sq ft home without doing any construction.
But the catch was, we weren’t setting aside time to actually get it done.
I decided to make separating our home offices one of my first quarterly goals.
Spacing it out over a whole quarter turned out to be the perfect amount of time.
Again, I created an action plan:
- I gave myself the first month to declutter and prep for the changes in our home. I did A LOT of decluttering.
- I gave my husband the second month to move his office and get set up. We said goodbye to our guest room, aka the storage room, and moved my husband’s office into it.
- And I gave myself the third month to get my new office set up. We ordered and assembled my new office furniture and I made myself at home in my new office. (The location stayed the same.)
There was a deadline for each phase to be completed.
But no one felt rushed or pushed.
And the outcome was fantastic!
Professional Quarterly Goal
You might be wondering what about my actual professional or business goal.
I did have one.
My professional goal sat on the back burner until almost two thirds of the way into the quarter.
And then the professional development action tasks I’d been checking off my list – the goal of changing my environment (aka creating my own office space) – resulted in renewed energy and new opportunities for my business.
Because that’s the real story here. Your quarterly personal goals, business goals and professional development goals are all really tied together.
You might put more focus on one or two of your goals each quarter – but in the end accomplishing any of them moves you forward in the others.
I want to encourage you to evaluate what you accomplished in the most recent quarter.
What goals can you can you set for the next quarter that will move you toward your big goal?
I know you can do it because I’m a recovering goal setting rebel. If I can set and achieve quarterly goals so can you!
Last year after reading the books The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months by Brian Moran I created quarterly goals and an action plan to go with them.
And then I followed my action plan. By the end of the quarter I had achieved more them I thought was possible.
To help you try quarterly goal planning – or to get better at it – I’m sharing with you the worksheet that I made for myself that I still use. Download the exact quarterly goal planning template I use and LOVE for free.