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My 5 Step Framework for Annual Planning

The new year is quickly approaching and time seems to be flying.

For me, 2023 has been filled with tons of new projects. This year we renovated and launched our first ever Airbnb, and I opened a local photo studio with my best friend. These new avenues of creativity have opened my eyes to new passions and sparked ideas for my other businesses.

Many entrepreneurs, myself included, often overlook celebrating accomplishments amidst the relentless pursuit of goals. As the new year approaches, it's crucial to pause and reflect on the achievements of the past year. This practice not only offers a break from the overwhelming to-do list but also provides motivation and encouragement. Recognizing growth and successfully navigating challenges reinforces the realization that progress is continually being made in your business.

Sometimes when you’re running your own business it’s hard to recognize where you’ve succeeded instead of just focusing on the failures. But, I also know I need to be practical and as with any year, 2023 has had its low points too. Moments when I questioned my business, when I felt like I wasn’t doing enough for my family, when I was stretched too thin and started to feel the burnout. I’m sure you can relate to these feelings. 

One thing that really helped me stay consistent this year though, through all of life’s ups and downs, was coming into the year with a solid business plan.

At the end of last year, I sat down and mapped out what my priorities were for this year. I followed five steps to truly help me enter into the new year with a clear idea of what the next twelve months would look like; and it was life changing. Here are the five steps I used:

  1. Reflect on what the past year looked like. 
  2. Frame this new year by using the year behind to map out the year ahead. 
  3. Strategize what you want your revenue goals to be this year.
  4. Dream about what projects you want to accomplish this year - Get into the details (this is the fun part, in my opinion)
  5. Plan your timeline - Now you know your goals for this year, create the steps you need to accomplish these goals.

When I began to plan my year using this framework, I felt so much more freedom in my life. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Work no longer controlled my life and I knew the expectations I had for myself months in advance so that I could plan everything else around that, work strategically, and stay on track. 

Obviously in business, there will be times that not everything goes according to plan and we need to adjust, but creating a solid plan helps prevent the aimlessness, or panic,  that can happen when we don’t have an idea of what to prepare for in the coming months.  

So before you create a business plan for 2024, take the time to sit and reflect on your business over the past year. Celebrate your victories, don’t brush over them. You worked hard and your accomplishments deserve to be recognized. 

If this process feels a little overwhelming to you or you aren’t sure where to start, I created something a free guide for you to implement all the steps above and plan for a successful year ahead. 

Click here to download the Annual Planning Guide

I hope this guide helps you create tangible ways to grow your business and feel more prepared for the rapidly approaching new year! Implementing this business practice changed everything for me, and I know it can for you too!

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