Don’t panic, you got this!
There are 84 working days until the end of the year. Take away three weeks for end-of-year holidays and other vacation days, that’s only 69 days remaining to accomplish those goals you set earlier this year!
But before you start to panic, I want to reassure you: You got this!
Just follow my 6-step process to achieving your goals by the end of this year. Then you’ll be able to sit back, relax, and take pride in your accomplishments!
1. Adapt your goals if needed: In this shape-shifting environment of nonstop change, it’s entirely possible that your goals and strategy need to be adjusted. Now is a great time to pull out the plan you developed earlier this year and determine if course corrections are needed. Whether it’s your strategic plan, your communications plan, or your kitchen remodel plan, ask yourself:
- What progress have we made on our goals, if any?
- Has anything changed externally or internally that would warrant adjusting our plans? For example, you’ve had unexpected staff turnover and don’t have the same capacity you had when you created this plan.
- Do our goals need to change (what we want to accomplish) or our tactics for implementing them (how we will accomplish it)?
- Do we need to add anything? Stop doing something?
- Should we recalibrate our timeline?
After all, achieving your goals should be in alignment with reality!
2. Identify your top priorities: You can’t do everything at once. It may feel like you have 13 competing priorities, but in reality you can only focus on about three priorities at any given time. What are yours right now? If you are having trouble deciding, ask yourself the following questions:
- If we could only accomplish ONE thing between now and the end of the year, what would it be? THAT item should be on your list!
- What is the 20% of effort that will deliver 80% of results? For example, hiring (or firing) someone might catapult your success. Or you might need to identify project partners, facilitate your board to make a critical decision, or conduct a needs assessment.
- If we achieve our goals by the end of the year, what must be true and by when? For example, if by the end of the year you want to announce your new strategic plan, what must be true might be: you need to retain a strategic planning consultant in September, schedule the strategy retreat for early November, and prepare your announcement in December.
3. Assign accountabilities: None if this matters if people aren’t accountable to making this happen. You need to determine who is responsible for what, and by when. For each top priority, assign “Priority Champions.” These individuals do not need to DO all the work, but they do need to be accountable to achieving the priority. And you need to hold their feet to the fire. Ask each Priority Champion to make a list of the top 5-10 things they need to work on next to achieve their priority, and agree on a date – in a few weeks – when they will share their list and what progress they have made. This is not the time for elaborate implementation plans for fancy GANTT charts. You don’t have time for that (you only have 69 days left, remember?!)
4. Put it in your calendar: What gets scheduled gets done. You need to block out time in your calendar to implement your top priorities and achieve your goals. Even if you don’t yet know how you will be spending that time, block it out. That will ensure you actually have time to get it done!
5. Determine what to STOP doing: I’m not trying to make your life harder by piling more items on your to-do list! But if you are focused on your top priorities for achieving your goals, you should not be focused on the other 10 things that you previously thought were important uses of your time. To put it bluntly, there’s stuff you need to STOP doing so that you have time to focus on what’s most important. What can you eliminate, delegate, postpone or shorten?
6. Get help: To accomplish your goals, you might need to bring in reinforcements. That could include hiring staff, engaging the help of a virtual assistant, retaining a coach, outsourcing work to expert consultants, or recruiting more board members. You don’t need to go it alone. And you shouldn’t need to work 10-12 hour days! Investing in some time now to find the right people, tools or technology to help you will pay huge dividends in your ability to achieve your goals, reduce your stress, and bring you joy. You might even get in a nap!
If you need help achieving your goals or determining your next steps, let’s talk! It’s easy, just schedule a call with me. On the call we’ll do three things: you can tell me everything on your plate, we can identify your top priorities, and we’ll create a game plan for achieving them. There’s no pitch at the end of the call, I simply want to help! Schedule a call with me and let’s help you achieve your year-end goals.