With Christmas Day and New Years Day firmly behind us, goals and visions for the year ahead crudely set – we find ourselves 3 weeks into the New Year feeling as if we are back into the humdrum of being back to work and a normal life!

Over the years, I have often found that 3 weeks into January, those who set goals have forgotten what they said they are working towards and those who haven’t set any panic that it;’s too late.  It is never too late to do a bit of reflecting and a bit of planning.  i

I do feel it is important to look back on the year that’s ending so we can learn, grow and plan, for a more productive and awesome 2022.

But no matter what’s on your goal list for 2022, here’s my top recommendations for ensuring your goal setting and productivity plans set you up for the best possible year.

#1: Know what’s important for you

We tend to quickly brush over this one, but it’s a crucial part of your goal setting criteria. Not only is it crucial to stop and consider if you’re aiming for a goal that you really want (rather than aiming a dream someone else wants for you), but it’s also about getting your work-life integration right

If family is important to you, don’t go planning to work 6, 8 hour days each week. Aim for a balance that better suits your needs. If working with a certain niche or client doesn’t light you up and leaves you stressed for days – don’t work with them. You’re the boss, so put on your CEO hat, know what’s important and what needs dropping and set up a business doing what you love

I recently ran at goal setting workshop for the VACT community and we talked about 8 pillars of our personal and professional life  that we needed to check were in balance with what we were trying to achieve. 

#2: Do things your way 

This doesn’t mean you can’t be coached by someone else or follow a tried and tested approach. What it does mean though, is knowing there is no magic, one-size-fits-all solution. Tweak what you’ve learnt or are implementing, to suit your needs, your personality and your business ambitions.  You will have seen me talking on social media before about swimming in your own lane – this is really important, or not comparing your start to someone else’s start, middle or end.

#3: Focus only on the next 90 days

The rest can wait. No matter what stage of business you’re in, things can change and plans can be amended. Instead of planning out the whole of 2022, start with the first 90 days and then carry out a quarterly and/or mid year review. This helps cut down on overwhelm and narrow your focus. Quite often, when we plan for the whole year, we can end up feeling boxed in or disheartened at our pace and progress. By planning only 3 months at a time, it can help you stay productive and open to what may unfold as you progress through the year.  What do I mean here – well work out the 12 month goal (which should be moving you towards your 3, 5 and 10 year goals.)  and then break that 12 month goal into 90 day segments (funny old thing they are quarter of a year, so Jan, Feb, Mar – then Apr, May, Jun – then Jul, Aug, Sep and finally Oct, Nov, Dec. Feels less scary when we try to achieve it tomorrow and allow ourselves to use the year to get there. 

#4: Use your planner!  

I know I took a while to find a planner that worked for me, and I’m sure you’re the same. We spend a lot of time finding the right one – but often I then hear VAs saying they’re not using what they’ve bought! If you want to help your goal setting and productivity in 2022, use your planner!  For me the perfect planner depends on what you want that planner to do for you, when I was VA’ing for clients I wanted one with a calendar that broke down the hours, now that I only work with clients via the VA Mastery Course, VA Membership or One to One – then my calendar gets booked via an online link and the the planner I use is a week to a view with lots of space for stuff that I need to do in the future on specific dates. 

#5: Track and review your progress 

Without tracking you’re not going to know what is and isn’t working. You’ll also struggle to remember what you’ve achieved, and possibly get demotivated and disheartened as a result. So track what’s important to you – regardless of whether it’s just your sales each week, your visibility online, the network events you’ve been to, or your YouTube subscribers.  Some of these things are vanity metrics and that’s ok – the reason for following them is to keep an eye on your consistent progress.  I also encourage you to track your wins – big and small.  As part of the VA Mastery and VA Membership we practice accountability, every Monday the community share what they are working on that week that’s moving them towards their goal and on a Friday they come back and share their progress – part of this is to allow our members to see that even the smallest of action will help us move towards the thing we are trying to achieve. 

#6: Be consistent 

No matter what you decide is on your goal list for 2022, just implement it. Be consistent for the whole 90 days – then you can review, tweak or ditch as needed.  At a recent Get Shit Done Day, I provided the attendees with a very simple 90 day tracker to track their habits – a habit they wanted to do consistently. For some they plan to use it to tick off that they have posted on social media every day for 90 days – others plan to use it to track that they have drunk 2 litres of water, or have done their 10,000 steps (things that can get forgotten about when we work from home.)

#7: Get visible 

Being visible may be scary for many of us, but that’s not a reason to avoid it. Learn to embrace it and see it as a sign of positive growth. If you want to reach your goals for 2022, visibility is always going to play a part in that success (and it certainly isn’t going to hurt it!). Check out this  blog post, if you need help getting visible: Are you in the visibility spotlight or hiding in plain site?

#8: Trust yourself more 

You know more than you think, are braver than you believe and stronger than you seem. You’re awesome – now you just have to believe it and trust yourself more. Learn to listen to your heart, head and gut – they’re all signs that you know what you’re doing and what’s right for you.

#9: Slow down 

One of my most regularly used phrases, when coaching my VA mentees is this – you don’t have to build the world in a day. Quick implementation can be a good thing, if it helps you move forward. However, working from a state of panic and stress isn’t – so focus on intentionally focusing on one thing at a time and slow down when needed. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you go, as long as you’re moving forward.  Remember you are now working in 90 day cycles.

#10: Decide to be the best ‘you’ you can be 

Do this for you and your clients. It doesn’t matter how many other VAs there are out there or how few clients you currently have. Hold yourself accountable for your own business success. What matters is that you are authentic, genuine and strive to be the best you can be, at all times. Treat yourself as the most important person in your life. Treat each and every client as if they’re the VIP in your business. And treat your business as if it is the best career choice you’ve ever made – because the chances are, it is. You get to work how you want, be who you want and work with whomever you choose – and that surely has to warrant a great year ahead.

So, no matter what’s on your goal list for 2022, follow these top ten recommendations to ensure your goal setting and productivity plans for the year ahead help make it an awesome one for you!  Why not share your plans with us, by leaving them in the comments box below! 

Come and join us:

If this year, you are looking for some support to help you achieve those goals, to find your first client, grow a team or have  that a better work life balance or work life integration as I much prefer to call it, now could be an awesome time to join the VA Membership. You see… 

The VA Membership is the only UK VA business accelerator that’s designed specifically to help you build and grow your VA business, to help you create recurring revenue and consistent growth through regular and consistent action in 2022.  With over 100+ hours of courses, weekly co-working sessions, weekly group coaching calls, a private support group and the ability to pay as you go – when you’re ready to grow or scale your business online come and join us in the VA Membership. 

The VA Membership has the option to upgrade to more one to one coaching and mentoring support – this is perfect if you are looking to really scale your business.  If you would like to see / learn more about our one to one coaching and mentoring then you need to check out the new One to One Mentoring page.