5 Tips: How to Plan for 2011

December 17, 2010

big hairy goals

Try not to make them too hairy

One of my personal favorite times of year is just around the corner. Not only for the turkey and elaborate decorations, but that the end of the year gives me a chance to reflect on the year, and set new goals for the next year.

With that being said, here are my top 5 tips for planning your goals for 2011:

  1. Where do you want to be at this time next year? This is the most important question to ask yourself. Figure out where you want to be – everything from revenue numbers for your business, city you’re living in, number of pushups you can do – they all have a spot in goal planning. My goals? Double my personal contribution to FreshBooks, run 10k in under 2.5 hours (that’s my current speed), and double my retirement contributions from what I’ve done in 2010.
  2. Next, organize. Personal goals and business goals, just like your business and personal bank accounts, should be separate. They’re both important, and it’s worth spending time in each area. For this post though, let’s first focus on business goals and prioritize. I know it can be tough, but it’s important to set yourself up with a list of must-dos and nice-to-dos.
  3. We’re almost there! Tip 3 is where things get specific (or interesting, depending on your point of view). Take the first most important goal that you’ve set for yourself for 2011. What are the things you need to do to get there? Write them down, and they’ll be easier to check off when you’re done (and who doesn’t love the feeling of checking things off a list?).
  4. Next, set timelines, and PUT THEM IN YOUR CALENDAR! Google, iCal, Outlook, paper, iPhone, whatever you use, put those deadlines in writing! This makes it MUCH easier to keep on track and succeed!
  5. DO IT NOW!!! Either open up your favourite writing program (mine is notepad for stuff like this – no distractions) and get going! Now, I know entrepreneurs are busy folks, so I’ll give you a second option – open up your calendar and book some time now. Trust me, this hour of planning is the first step in the start of a great year.

I’ll end this post with one of my cheesy but true life mottos – if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. (Who knew that 6th grade agenda book was right?) Here’s to a happy and successful 2011!

And let us know what your plan is for 2011 in the comments!

about the author

FreshBooks is the #1 accounting software in the cloud designed to make billing painless for small businesses and their teams. Today, over 10 million small businesses use FreshBooks to effortlessly send professional looking invoices, organize expenses and track their billable time.