Today is September 1st, which many people consider the end of summer and the beginning of fall. Summer is for relaxing, hanging out with friends, and enjoying the great outdoors. When September comes around, the kids return to school, and it’s time for the adults to focus on work.
Given this critical turn of events at the start of September, why wait until New Year to set our yearly resolutions? Would September 1st not be a more viable day than January 1st for goals and resolutions?
January 1st is just the start of the Christian calendar and has no significance on your life, the days leading up to it, and the days following it.
Let me show you how I plan my year starting today. You’ll have to adjust the timeframe if you run a seasonable business. For example, if you are a golf instructor, your September is April.
When Does the Year Start and End?
Before you plan your year, you must agree on when the work takes place. As an office worker with B2B clients, my year is September – June. If I plan big projects to happen in late June or early July, they will fail.
Too many people in North America are away from June through the end of August. I plan for this accordingly and aim to do most of my business operations in the other nine months of the year.
If I close a big business deal during mid-summer or complete a large project, I consider it a bonus. My planning cycle allows my business to run on autopilot for three months.
Align Your Resolutions to Your Life Pillars
Don’t start writing a bunch of business or money-related resolutions. You need to create your four pillars of life and then write a resolution and goal for each one.
Here are some sample resolutions for each category.
|1. I will save 20% of my income|
2. I will close three new business deals each month
3. I will completely fund my emergency fund
|1. I will lose 1lbs a week until I reach my target weight|
2. I will go for a walk every day
3. I will exercise 3-times a week
|1. I will go on a date with my partner every week|
2. I will take my kids on a unique experience twice a month
3. I will visit a family member every month
|1. I will not use my phone after 8 pm|
2. I will make time for my activities with friends and family
3. I will visit the outdoors every other weekend.
You don’t need to put three resolutions for each pillar. Keep it balanced but fair. Do not put any more than 3 for each pillar. You can only do so much in a single year. These resolutions are supposed to help your life, not make them chores to be done.
Get Specific About the Execution
It’s easy to say, “I’m going to close three business deals a month” or “I will lose a pound a week.” Neither is going to happen sitting on the couch all day and binge-watching Netflix.
Create an action plan of what your targets need to be each month. Then, set your tasks for the first week. Ensure your tasks align with your monthly goals, which must align with your yearly resolutions.
Weekly – Track my daily eating habits and calorie intake.
Monthly – Consum an average of 2000 calories each day
These goals build on itself but don’t force me to be perfect every day. I can have my bad days as long as the overall trend goes in the right direction.
Revisit Every Week, Month and Quarter
Life is what happens when we are making other plans. Every Sunday night, look back at the previous week and see if what you did aligned with your goals and resolutions.
You would be surprised how busy you can get doing nothing important. The important stuff is the items on your list under your life pillars. Everything else is just a distraction.
At the start of the week, set our your weekly tasks that are aligned with your monthly goals. If you find that they are not aligning very well, you may have to shift your goals.
Are your goals no longer applicable, or has something changed? That’s alright if they have changed, but be honest with yourself.
Make this review and planning session a weekly habit. Help yourself stay on track and build momentum over the following weeks.
Enjoy September, and enjoy your journey!