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3 Simple Steps to Build A Plan & Make Goals You Can Stick To

business claire whittaker scaling without sacrifice the workroom Jan 13, 2022

By Claire Whittaker.

Hey CEOs, have you set your goals for the year?

January is typically a time for goal setting, so even if you haven't finished deciding on your big plans for 2022, I'm sure you've been thinking about it.

However, deciding on your goal is just the first step.

Next, you need a plan to get you there. I know you're going to want to achieve some pretty big things this year, but it can be hard to see how they'll be possible when you're at the starting line.

At Amazon, we had a process to break down big goals into manageable chunks, called the Working Backwards process.

Today I want to share some of the steps in the Working Backwards process to help you plan your best year ever in 2022!


What is your vision?

If you look up the Working Backwards process online, you will find plenty of articles about the Working Backwards press release. This document is written to kick off the process.

To keep it simple, write out a high-level summary of what you want to achieve this year. It is essential to complete this document from the customers' point of view.

Focus on the benefits to your customer and why they should care. If your goal is to make a million this year, think about what your business would need to look like to make a million.

Some ideas to think about:

- What new offers, products, or services would you have?
- Why should people get excited about them?
- What improvements have you made to your client experience to increase retention and referrals?
- What new markets are you working with?

You must keep this document short, and you want it to be no more than ¾ of a page. The goal is to clearly and concisely communicate what you are looking to achieve.

Speaking from experience, this can be challenging. Stick with it though. It's worth it to have clarity on the vision.


How do you get there?

Now that you have the vision, i.e. where you are going, you need to determine how you will get there. Again the concept of Working Backwards will come in handy here.

List out the key deliverables as outlined in your vision document to get started. One example could be, having a membership program with 100 members.

Take each deliverable and break it down into milestones.

For example, Working Backwards, a Membership program with 100 members, becomes:

-GOAL: Membership with 100 members
- Promotion period
- Build retention strategy
- Membership with 20 members
- Launch membership
- 10 Beta members
- Beta launch of membership
- Prepare launch materials
- Create initial membership content
- Determine membership value proposition
- Market research

Now you have a rough outline of what you will need to do to hit your goal, and you can start to plan.

Again Working Backwards, plan out when you need to hit each milestone to hit your end-of-year goal.

If you find that your goal is not achievable within the timeline, you have a couple of options.

1. Review your goal and see if you need to change it
2. Think about how you can collapse the timeline on some of the milestones. For example, could you hire support to help you get there faster?


Putting the structure in place

Time for the final step in the process - setting up your systems!
To achieve any big goal, you need a structure to support you. Ok, so far, we have the vision, and we know the milestones you need to hit to get you there. The last piece is the structure.

When I talk about the structure, I specifically mean the processes and people you will need to deliver each milestone.

Using the membership example again, this could include:

- A host site for the membership
- Sales pages and the ability to take payments
- A process for creating content and delivering on the membership promise
- Customer support representatives to handle Q&A

For each milestone, spend some time listing out what you will need to have in place to deliver it. You can then plan how you will get each of these things ready.

For example, this could involve hiring team members. Examples of tasks you will need to complete include:

- Define the role
- Create a hiring process
- Conduct interviews
- Create an onboarding process
- Have a plan to train the new person

By the end of these three activities, you will be able to create a high-level plan for your year. Each of your goals will be broken down into manageable steps, and you will also have an idea of what systems you need in place to deliver.

Bonus points, prioritise each of these steps so you know where to focus your efforts!

To summarise, it's good to work backwards when working on ambitious goals.

- Define the vision
- Understand the key milestones
- Create the structure

Good luck! 2022 is going to be epic!


 Claire Whittaker is the Founder of Artificially Intelligent Consulting (AIC) and is on a mission to empower 1000 purpose-driven entrepreneurs & agencies to scale to 7-figures without having to sacrifice everything else that makes life fun.

A systems and automation specialist, Claire never sacrifices work for fun, has a razor-sharp eye for structure and loves nothing more than a Sunday roast and a margarita. You can find out all about her here. 




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