“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” — Zig Ziglar
When it comes to being in touch with your growth and being able to fully assess what changes in business, it’s essential to take the time to review your year and your performance. So, why should you run a 90-day review?
One of my best tips, when it comes to reviewing progress, I believe in the power of 90-day and end of year reviews.
As a company, we run 30-day reports, weekly updates and 90-day reviews (also known as quarterly reports). We also take a full day for the end of year reviews.
These times are incredibly important for small teams, yet you can easily run a review on your own. They all start with a simple question.
Where were your goals at?
“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands — your own.” — Mark Victor Hansen
The first step is to remind yourself of the goals you set for the last period (quarter or end of the year), and see how much you’ve achieved — yes, this implies you took the time at the beginning of the last year to do so.
A few things you really need to clarify include:
- What do I want to do differently this year?
- What do I want to achieve?
- Are there any new products or services I want to launch?
- How can l I grow my audience or impact next year?
Some people use mood boards to help them with this, laying out their goals in a visual way — I recommend you heading to Etsy for inspiration. You can also create a Pinterest board for this, but it may be a bit advanced.
On top of visual mood-boards, you should also look to look at your KPIs and goals.
Do not worry if you have not done this before, you can get a quick step-by-step at the end of this article.
Step one: reviewing progress and systems
Once you’ve run through your goals and your time schedule for the past set period (in this case, a year), create two areas: one for all the things you’ve accomplished, and one for everything that’s still a work in progress.
This can be done on a mood board or just in your favourite notebook.
Where was your time at?
In the past I talked about a phenomenon called time dysmorphia:
Time Dysmorphia: a phenomenon which causes people to believe that their time is slipping away through their fingers.
If over the past year you have been feeling overwhelmed, lacking the focus of simply drowning in tasks, most chances are that you do not know really where your time is going.
Write down where your time goes every week. Be damn specific, make sure you go for the small and big tasks alike — and make sure that you also have this in front of you before heading to step three.
Now, take a look at everything you’ve accomplished, and ask yourself some questions. You can’t move forward without first looking back, so it’s important to spend some time reviewing your progress in its entirety.
Some valuable questions include
- What do you want to do more of?
- What do you want to do less of?
- What worked?
- What didn’t work?
Now it’s time to look at the other pile — the things you haven’t achieved just yet.
Try asking yourself some of these questions
- What prevented you from achieving your goals?
- What did you spend your time doing instead?
- Is it something you still want to achieve?
- What are you proud of?
Time to reflect
Make sure you take the time to write down your answers and reflect on patterns. I like to use highlighters, coloured pens, mindmaps and bullet points to clearly outline the growth and the pain areas.
Do not skip this step, as it will help with the two final steps of this process.
In order to track your growth for the following period, you need to define what growth means to you (yes, I am talking about setting SMART goals).
If you have not set goals or KPIs before, here’s a quick summary for you.
Step three: setting goals and KPIs
“Once you have set KPIs for your goals, you can choose how often you’ll review them”
Everyone and their mother will say that in order to be more efficient you have to set SMART goals.
SMART goals are great, yet not much will be achieved if you do not start converting them into effective KPIs — also known as Key Performance Indicators.
Let’s say your next goal is to triple your course sales — what does that actually convert onto? Is it 20/30/60 sign-ups?
What is your timeframe for this?
I want to add a note about the very elusive “brand awareness” goal (yes, a certain acquired British sarcasm just emerged).
To me, brand awareness means everything and nothing. Personally, I find brand awareness being a very lazy metric (or lack thereof). Brand awareness can mean a variety of things including:
- engagement rates
- follower growth
- newsletter subscribers
This is just to name a few. The sooner you get clear on your KPIs, the sooner you can create a system to review them. Anything that tracks your performance is a KPI after all.
Bonus step: Create a visual representation of your next year
It’s time to get crafty.
Having a clear vision as to what you want from the next 365 days is a great way to help you achieve your goals. Of course, you don’t have to plan out each individual day, but having a few visual cues to remind you of your goals and the deadlines for those goals will help keep you on track.
Get a mood board and a stack of old magazines, or a printer for your favourite pins, and get crazy with your mood board.
We also find that creating a more holistic way of HOW you want to run your life — especially outside of working hours — can be an incredible drive for your business or brand.
Step four: reward yourself
“The reward of a work is to have produced it; the reward of effort is to have grown by it.” ― Antonin Sertillanges, The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods
This is a very important step (saved it for last), one we do not focus on enough.
Before planning effectively for the year ahead, you have to first reward yourself for the hard work you’ve put towards your brand, business or blog. Noting down the achievements isn’t enough — you’ve got to shout them from the rooftops! So tell your friends, your family, or share your story with the world on social media.
It’s also important to add any feedback, testimonials or even numbers next to each achievement, as well as some kudos from you to you (eg. YAY me, I’m the best).
This will help set you up for constant and successful growth.