Why I Plan My Goals Out Quarterly Rather than Annually


May 22, 2020

There are many reasons why I decided to plan my annual goals out quarterly rather than annually. If 2020 has any insight for us, it has shown proven that what we plan in January can drastically change once the year kicks off.

Don’t get me wrong, annual planning is a necessity of any business that is looking to scale and grow. Any less is allowing yourself to enter into reactive mode with your business.

What I am talking about is shifting the planning aspect of WHEN you plan to accomplish those goals from an annual view to a quarterly view. So why do I believe in this so strongly?

Annual Planning Lacks Versatility

The only constant that we can rely on is that nothing stays the same. The world around us is constantly changing and we need to be able to adapt quickly to that change in order to survive. When we sit down in December and plan out when we will accomplish goals throughout the coming year the one variable that we can never plan for is life. Life is going to come in and wreck every plan we make.

If you adjust and plan out how to tackle your goals each quarter, you provide four times in the coming year where you can adjust to meet the changing environment around you. That is four times a year that you have the opportunity to assess what went well, what needs to change, and determine what goals you can meet in the next coming three months.

Annual Planning Causes Overwhelm

Those precious hours at the end of the year planning the next are daunting. I bought a few tools that were to aid me in guiding my business forward but I found that each year, the book was wrecked by the middle of the year. To this day I have never successfully completed the book to it entirety.

The idea of spending hours looking and planning the future not only seem overwhelming, I was even more discouraged when life happened and my entire plan came crashing down.

Now, I needed to sit down and start all over which hit my number one pet peeve – rework! I hate rework, I hate spending time on something only to have to do it all over again. To say I found myself frustrated each year is an understatement.

So I adjusted and decided that I would look at one quarter at a time which at a minimum gave me a fresh start each new quarter and I was not having to do rework. I was looking at what didn’t work the previous quarter and adjusting in the coming.

The frustration melted and I found that I was successfully hit my quarterly goals which only fueled me as I sat down the next quarter to plan a few more out.

Annual Planning is not Sustainable

While it is an age old truth that we reflect the last month of the year and look to the future with new hopes, a clean slate, and with a open mind for change it is not something that most people can sustain. We make these big plans to change every Decemember but come February they go right out the window.

How many of you have made a New Year’s resolution year after year? I have! I know what it is like to have the goals and then jump right into January head first read to make massive action on all the things!

We can’t do that — we have to grow slowly and that means that we need to look at the year in bite size chunks. If we want to succeed then we adjust our mindset from the big picture of annual to a more sustainable view – quarterly.

How Do you Eat an Elephant?

One bite at a time. Anytime you are faced with a massive endeavour we know that you start with one bite sized chunk at a time. Quarterly planning is the answer to meeting your annual goals, one quarter at at time.

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