Happy New Year to you! The beginning of January is a great time to take a step back and plan your freelance goals for the year ahead. And also to take stock of what you achieved in 2010.
Here are five action points I always find useful to undertake in early January.
Action 1: Dig out the list of goals you set yourself for 2010.
- How many of these did you achieve?
- How many did you make good headway with but you haven’t quite got there yet?
- How many did you not make any progress with at all? And what were the reasons for this?
Action 2: Make a list of your goals for 2011
What do you want to achieve for your freelance business over the next 12 months? For example, your goal may be to earn a certain level of income each month, or make an x% profit margin, or start a blog, or win ‘y’ number of new clients.
If you need some reminder points about setting goals, take a look at my post on how to write a marketing plan.
Action 3: List out the steps you need to take to achieve each goal
For example, if your goal is to start a blog, the individual tasks you’ll need to take will be activities such as:
- think of a subject you want to write about
- study the competition – who else is writing about this topic?
- choose a blog platform and theme
- hire a designer to come up with a masthead
- etc etc etc
Now do this list for each goal you have set yourself. If you’ve only set one goal, that’s fine. Far better to set a single goal and reach it than set three and not accomplish any of them.
Action 4: Devise a timetable
You need to come up with a schedule for each list of activities, otherwise it’s very unlikely you’ll get them done. I find that if I break a project into little bite-sized chunks, with a deadline against each one, I know I’ll be able to accomplish the project.
Action 5: Repeat points 1 to 4 for what you want to achieve personally in 2011.
Maybe you want to get your motorbike licence, or get fit enough to run a half marathon. Or maybe you want to take an evening class in Catalan. (All personal goals of friends of mine for 2011.)
Whatever it is you want to do, you’ll be far more likely to succeed if you have it written down and a clear pathway mapped out for how you will achieve this.
I’m still working on my five action points for the year ahead. What goals are you going to set yourself for 2011? And how are you going to make sure you reach them?