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How To Create A 2023 Annual Plan

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It’s the end of 2022, which means it’s time to create an annual plan for 2023!

If you’re anything like me, you love a fresh goal planner, stickers, highlighters, and calendars galore! I get so excited to sit down with my new planner, a cup of hot chai tea, and dream about my year ahead. There’s honestly nothing better than writing out my goals, flushing out my word of the year, and making an annual plan!

So, come along with me as I break down how I do my 2023 annual plan (and how you can too)!

How To Create A 2023 Annual Plan

How To Create A 2023 Annual Plan

Step One: Reflect On The Past Year

Before I start to flush out my goals for the new year, I first evaluate my current year. It’s important to see what worked in your business, where you fell flat, and where you need to improve.

Open up a document (I prefer Google Docs) and write down the answers to these questions:

  • What worked? Didn’t work?
  • Are there any wins that you experienced? How about failures?
  • What do I want to accomplish next year?
  • What was my revenue? Expenses? (You’ll want to do a good review of your profit & loss statement!)
  • Where can I cut?
  • How/Where can I increase my revenue?

When reflecting on the past year, be sure to block off a good chunk of time (like a week!) to do a thorough review of your business. By doing an evaluation of your business, it’ll help you to set goals going forward!

Step Two: Dream And Create A Vision For The Future

This step I always find to be the most difficult as I like to jump right into planning mode. I know that dreaming and casting a vision for the future is key in accomplishing my goals!

Give yourself some time and space to dream about your future. Here are two key questions to ask yourself while dreaming:

  • If 2023 was better than what I could imagine, what would I look back and see has happened?
  • What do I want to feel at the end of the year?

I also want you to spend time considering your ideal life and ideal business during this step. What habits do you want to cultivate? What routines do you want to put in place?

Step Three: Set Goals For The Year & Quarter

This is where we get a bit more practical and we start to think about the goals we have for the next year and for Quarter One.

It’s important to start with the foundation of knowing your mission, your vision, and the values of your business. This is key for goal setting because it helps make sure your goals are aligned with where you want to take your business.

Here is a quick overview of MVV:

  • Mission- What do you do and why you do it.
  • Vision– What the future looks like
  • Values- Your guiding principles, core beliefs, what you do and don’t stand for

Start by considering what your big picture goals are for your business for the year. Perhaps you want to hit a certain income goal, launch a new program, or book a certain number of clients. Identify your top 203 goals you’d like to accomplish for the year. At least one of these should be a financial or income goal.

Keep in mind your financial goal: you need to not only know what your big goal is, but you also need to think about HOW you will reach that goal.

Ask yourself: what are the offers I have in my business and how will they get me to my financial goal?

You can’t just say, I want to make $70,000, but now know what products or services that will get you to that goal. Having your profit and loss statement from last year is key because it will help you know what revenue streams are bringing in the most income, where you need to shift, change, etc.

Once you have your big picture annual goals, get more specific with your Q1 goals. This is where you’re going to take that annual goal and divide it into quarters, and then determine what your main goals for Q1 are going to be.

Don’t forget! These goals need to align with your values! Make sure you aren’t creating goals that are outside your vision for your ideal life and business.

Step 4: Create An Action Plan

Now that you’ve established your big picture goals for 2023, and you’ve identified your goals for Q1, it’s time to get more specific.

It’s essential to realize there’s a difference between a goal and an action plan. A goal is the end result- it’s what you are aiming for. An action plan is how you will actually get there. It requires breaking the goal down into smaller projects or steps that are doable.

In this step of the process, that’s what we need to do! We need to set the goal and map out a plan to accomplish them.

But, before we go any further there is one small task you need to do first! Grab out your calendar and identify what your personal and family commitments are for the year ahead. It’s important to know what those commitments are so they don’t conflict with any business goals. Family > business always!

To create an action plan, you need to:

  • Identify the goal
  • The “Why” behind the goal
  • Resources You May Need (i.e. time, money, expertise, physical space, help from others)
  • Map out the steps to accomplish the goal
  • Identify a timeline

When creating an action plan it’s also important to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What success looks like for this goal at the end of 2023?
  • What might happen if I don’t start or make progress on this goal?
  • The people who will be positively affected by this goal?
  • How I will have fun with this goal along the way.

Here is an example of the process of creating an action plan for your business:

One of my goals for 2022 was to batch out my content for the year in quarterly increments. Ultimately, I wanted to write and schedule all of my blogs, social media, and newsletters for three months at a time. This is what that goal looks like in my action plan:

  • Goal: Batch out content in advance
  • Why: Having everything written and scheduled will make my life much easier. It’ll also get my business seen more, build value to others, and potentially build passive income.
  • Resources needed: Time
  • What success looks like: Increased following on social media, more bookings, more social media subscribers, less time working.
  • What might happen if I don’t make progress: My business will stay where it’s at and low visibility.
  • The people positively affected: Potential Clients, my family (more income), other creatives.
  • How will I have fun: Celebrate when I launch all the things

Next, I needed to outline the steps to reach this goal. Here’s an example of the steps for the above:

  • Write out topic ideas
  • List on a calendar the topic with the correlating day it’ll post
  • Select a day/week to write the content
  • Schedule out content
  • Write newsletters
  • Schedule out monthly social media posts

I’m thrilled to report that so far this year (2022), I’ve accomplished batching out my content quarterly, have increased both my social media following and newsletters subscribers, and have saved myself time by batch working!

Recap

I hope this 4 part framework will aid you in creating your annual plan going forward! If you need a little help creating and setting your goals, grab the Cultivate What Matters Planner to help you! I’m not affiliate whatsoever, I just love their planner so much!! Good luck!

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Hello and welcome to my journal where I share recent weddings + shoots, travel photos + pieces of my life! I'm so excited you’re here! Stay a while and say hello!

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3 Tell-tale signs you're ready to go full-time

Teetering on the edge of submitting your 2 weeks? Download this guide to learn the 3 tell-tale indicators that you're ready to take the plunge into full-time entrepreneurship. *Hint: you might be more ready than you think. 

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