Quarterly Planning With A Twist

I love quarterly planning and reviewing; I’m obsessed with it. 

I rent an AirBnB for two or three nights every quarter to jolt my perspective and surround myself with notebooks, planners, music, and wine. It’s a powerful time and something I look forward to every three months.

I use a planner that has its own website, private Facebook community, and podcast. 

I wasn’t kidding when I said I’m obsessed with this practice.

I think it’s the ritual that I like so much, the excitement. It kind of feels like that lead-up to Christmas when you’re a kid. You start out with the decorations, the smell of cookies, the fancy commercials, and the holiday music. The possibility that awaits you…the anticipation just keeps building. 

In this tiny talk, I want to share how I do my quarterly planning, but most importantly, what I’m going to be doing differently this time around.

The concept of marrying the logical and analytical with the creative arts has always fascinated me and made a huge difference in my life.  

This past year, though, I had a massive breakthrough around productivity, goals, and creating the results I want in life, and it’s a powerful one that I want to share with all of you because your life will never be the same once you put it into play.

So here is how I do my quarterly planning. Steps One and Two I usually do on the first night of my quarterly retreat.  

Step One

After I find the best writing and brainstorming spot in the place, I turn on some music and I write down all of my wins for the quarter. It’s essential to start with this because these wins are what provide evidence that we can achieve our long-term goals.

Step Two

I do a 10-minute brainstorm of everything I want to achieve in the next three months. I categorize them as business, personal, or financial. 

Step Three

I pick my top three in each category, so I end up with nine goals, projects, or results I would like to achieve. 

Step Four 

This is where I really changed things up. And this is the part that will change everything for you. 

What I have done in the past at this point was write out all the actions or outcomes. I wanted to give myself the best chance of reaching those goals I chose in Step Three. 

But this is the part of the process that would do me in. I would pack things on my calendar with what I thought were good intentions. 

I don’t have a boss watching over me, so I would either do them, not do them and keep moving them to a different day, or simply delete them, depending upon how I was feeling. 

They ended up being a bunch of bothersome tasks that had lost the original vision they belonged to. Eventually, I would just become exhausted from all the pressure of keeping up with my big plans and lack of discipline and emotional management. 

I realized – through my own coach – that I was missing the most significant part of creating the results I wanted so badly. 

Now, it is without a doubt the most important thing. 

It’s not what you do; it’s who you are being when you do it.  

Who you are being is created by your thoughts about your goals, and it’s those thoughts that produce the feelings that create how you show up in the world and determine the action or inaction you take toward the results you want. 

So, this quarter, I’m changing Step Four to who I need to be and what I need to think to create those results. It’s in that self-discovery that I will find the best actions to take.

I know, without a doubt, that the key to achieving the results you want is to practice being the person who’s already getting those results, because if you practice only the things you know, you can’t make that jump.

So, Step Four: Brainstorm what kind of person you need to become to achieve those goals you wrote down in Step Three. If you don’t know, guess.

Step Five

Give yourself a 30-day challenge to practice one of those answers you came up with. For instance, I chose three of the answers for my business and decided I will do a 30-day challenge for each one. I’ll share my first one with you so you get an idea of what it might look like.

For my business, I chose to practice becoming the kind of woman who thinks deeply about her clients. What do they need? What value can I bring to their lives, and how can I serve them in the biggest and best possible way?

So, each day for the next 30 days, I will challenge myself to do something to become that person. 

Then, next month in August, I will choose the second one, which was “I am a person who offers value every day to those I serve.”

In the final month of the quarter (September), I will practice my third one:

“I am a person who lives in constant breakthroughs.” Because my coaching business is about helping people have breakthroughs, it’s something I have to be really good at in my own life. 

This is very different from just writing out a bunch of action plans like growing my email list, posting every day on social, and doing a podcast. You can see that if I focus on becoming the kind of person who already has succeeded, my thoughts, feelings, and actions will be on a whole new level.

I’m guessing that if we practice showing up as the person we need to be instead of thinking about what we need to do, it will impact every other goal we have. 

And for that reason, I think it needs to be more important than the goal itself. 

Wishing everyone a fantastic second half of 2021.  

P.S. As a creative life coach, I help you focus on what will make the biggest difference in moving your projects forward. If that sounds interesting, book a free consultation and find out how we can work together to get your projects out into the world – where they belong.


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