January 1, 2022
Well, I was at the supermarket on December 31st and the atmosphere shocked me. The plans of most people I talked to was to stay home, watch Netflix, eat, drink until midnight and then go to bed. I’m not a party girl, so I was okay with these plans, but I was shocked by the melancholy in the air.
Of course, we have all been affected and damaged in the last years and we are no longer naive as we were at the end of 2020, thinking that the best is yet to come.
Now we know that continuing to live this madness over and over again can become part of our reality, for another year or maybe more, who knows?
As we say in French, “the cards have been turned down”. The rules of the game changed, and this game will probably be a challenge. But hey, we have had worse, haven’t we? We survived 2020 and honestly, it’s already a great success.
I admit that in 2023, it’ll be more complicated to imagine long term. We need to be more flexible, and we need to readjust our projects, goals and desires for the moment.
Let me share here with you this illustration that I really like. Every time, and I promise you this is true, every time something hard is happening in my life, I think of this illustration.
For me, the main message is: “it’s when it’s hard that we see the difference between the winners and the others”. So, I keep fighting (and God knows how hard it is sometimes!)
So, giving up is definitely not an option, it’s quite the opposite. Because the difference is in the hardest times.
So I hope you enjoyed your week-end, ate, drank, and did absolutely NOTHING because we all deserve more. But now it’s time to fight.
At the beginning of each year, I take a few days to sit down and work on my goals and plans. Last week on the blog, we cleaned and re-setted everything (find the blog post HERE). And now it’s time to draw the vision for the year 2023.
Yep, I can already tell you, we won’t achieve every goal. However, as long as we have a goal, we’ll go to the right direction. Someone says: “Aim for the moon to reach the stars!”.
My plan is something I adjust and modify every year. But basically, here are the 6 steps. Take a notebook, or a few pieces of papers, and open your laptop with your accounting.
We need to have enough information about the past year, to be able to decide what is good, or bad, to improve, to focus on. You could be surprised to discover what is more profitable and could see that this idea or concept you loved so much is actually an abyssal hole for your budget. Take a moment (usually one or two hours for my part), to look at every aspect of your business. Which product works best, which is a waste of time. Create categories, charts and take note of every information you’ll find. Sometimes, what you spend the most of your time on is not what is necessarily the most profitable for your business. It’s the Pareto’s Law, says that in fact 20% of our business brings us 80% of our income.
Give me numbers, graphics, statistics of the average of your customers etc. I need to know everything.
Take a moment to check every aspect and see if you are satisfied or not with the results. Choose 3 colors (usually red, orange and green) and put a sign, a cross, or underline each category/outcome with a color, it depends on how satisfied you are. You can also remove the ones you decide to stop to work on.
Next to red and orange categories, write down what you need to improve and how to get there. For those in green, think about how to keep them at the same level of satisfaction the following year, how to maintain these same numbers by taking care of your customers for example.
You can now take another sheet of paper or turn the page of your notebook. We’ll get back to your statistics later.
Here is a mix between a to do list, a white board, a notebook page… Write down everything you have in mind for the next year here, very randomly. Do not try to organize it all, it’s just a free zone to write down the craziest ideas, concepts and projects, but also a reminder for the sometimes really concrete things.
Depending on how clear your vision is, this step can take one hour or one week! Take your time, keep your notebook with you and write down everything that comes to mind. Do not overthink but think big.
Whether it took you an hour or one week to feel comfortable with is now a page of random ideas on a piece of paper. Now, we need to organize them.
I take a new page, and I draw three columns: L, M and S.
Then I go back to my brainstorming and statistic pages, and take each idea one by one, to put in my sheet.
L: Big plans, with a broad meaning like “expand my market to Japan.” Even if it sounds crazy or utopian, write it down. I would also write down any long-term work here, like “taking care of my current customers” etc.
M: This is the middle zone. Between the day-to-day work and the big dreams. This is where things start to get real. This could be the list you read every month, to remind you of the gap. I take each big project and try to turn it into a more concrete task. For our Japanese example, it could be “Organize a trip to Japan”, “Analyze the current Japanese market”.
S: These are the daily tasks. This is THAT area that you will read every day, and where you will pick up your tasks for the day. Each average goal should now be broken down into several very concrete tasks. “Google the number of competitors in Japan” “Find 3 potential partners in Japan” “Book a plane ticket”.
Now, back to our Brainstorming list and statistics. Add to your “L/M/S list” all the little or medium-sized things you have randomly put on your pages. You will realize that some of them suddenly don’t make sense anymore, now that you’ve drawn the lines of your main projects for the year. In addition, it will be easier to complete your L/M/S sheet with relevant tasks now that your main goals are clear.
Among all these lists, you will certainly find tasks that you need to keep doing, to keep your community under the spell, to keep moving up in Google’s stats, and to stay in touch with your partners. These tasks should never be crossed off the list, because you need to do them regularly. That’s why I have another sheet, called MONTHLY/WEEKLY/DAILY. All the things I have to do regularly are in these 3 columns. For my part, it’s in example: All the things I need to do regularly are in these 3 columns. For my part, it’s in example:
-Pick up a goal from my “L” list.
-Send my work for the month to blogs and magazines.
-1 blog post
-1 “M” goal
-1 insta message
-1 new contact
Now that we have all these tools, it will be much easier to take one step at a time, one thing at a time, to achieve a greater goal. Every morning now, start by doing all the things for the DAY, then take 3 things from your DAILY list.
Every Monday, you’ll look at your WEEKLY sheet, to hand out an “M” task to the small tasks you need to do each day.
And each first day of the month, you’ll do the same with a larger challenge.
Personally, I use my own BULLET JOURNAL which is also an agenda. I decided to make my own because I could not find one perfectly made for my needs. In the meantime, you can use a notepad and a simple basic agenda that works great too.
After 10 years of doing this, if I’ve learned anything, it’s that the biggest dreams can’t be achieved in one step. To think that 3 years ago, when I had just moved to the south of France and Dubai, almost at the same time, I knew that it would not be possible to achieve my big goals in a few weeks or months.
But for the record, with THIS system, I achieved ALL of my 2022 list goals. But of course, now others have taken their place! It’s now Monday, it’s now the first Monday of the year. What are your big goals?
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