I love our log burner and this weekend, when it was chucking it down with rain, I actually managed to persuade my husband Paul to light it! It wasn’t cold, in fact we needed up opening the windows and the patio door as we got so hot.
But I was craving the cosiness and warm feeling you get from the flames, the smell and the flickering light!
You see I’m definitely an “autumn” kind girl if that’s a thing? Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the summer, the sunshine, blue skies and the bbqs, in fact I would eat outside every day if I could, but there’s definitely something special about the feel in the air when September comes.
The changing colours of the trees, the darker nights and a chance to get my woolly jumpers on! I know most people don’t agree with me, you want the summer to roll on for as long as possible and I get that.
But I think for me it’s also because it’s linked to that ‘back to school’ feeling, you know when you get a new pencil case, a new notebook and even a new pair of shoes. When I lived in France I would love August in the big hypermarkets (massive supersized supermarkets) as they would have aisle upon aisle of stationary, pens, diaries and paper notebooks in every size, colour and design you could imagine.
I also love this time of year as I think it’s a really great time to plan and to take some time out to work on your business and to be more strategic. There are still four months to go until the end of the year and so still absolutely loads of time to get stuff done and really make a difference to your small business.
So if you’re like me and really want to make the most out of the last few months of the year, here are my 3 steps to creating your plan of action:
1) Imagine it’s New Year’s Eve and it’s just about to turn midnight, you have a glass bubbles or your favourite tipple in your hand and you’re smiling! Ask yourself where you want to be in your small business when the clock strikes 12 and then close your eyes and imagine what that looks like and how you want to feel.
Remember that feeling!
2) Now work out what are the 3 key things you want to have put in place by the end of the year (no more than 3 or you want stick to them) and then turn them into your big tasty chocolatey M and Ms.
Thinking about your goals in terms of M and Ms is an easy way to help you to keep things simple and to fight off the overwhelm.
Simply write down each goal on a big piece of paper (coloured felt tips can help) and then ask yourself the following questions:
Is it Measurable? – how will you know that you’ve got there? A good way is to give yourself a score out of ten today and then think about what ten out of ten would look like.
Is it Manageable? – have you got the time, energy and resources to do it? Is it realistic?
Is it Motivational? – do you enjoy doing it? If it’s not enjoyable or fun then putting into action will be hard, especially on your off days. And of course
Is it Memorable? – is it important enough for you to remember it and keep focused on reaching them?
3) Then take each M and M and work backwards, deciding what the key actions are that you need to take each month in order to make sure you get there by the end of the year.
I know this is usually the part that most people find tricky, so keep it super simple and concentrate on the 5 Ws.
Note down your answers for each M and M, starting with the most important question:
Why do you need to do it (this will help to keep you motivated and on track or will help you to persuade others to take action)
What you need to do,
Who needs to do it,
Where you are going to do it
When are you going to do – is there a deadline?
You now have your action plan that will help you to get where you want to be in time for New Year’s Eve.
The key is to stay super focused on your 3 M and Ms and not allow yourself to get distracted or to take on too many other things that will stop you from moving forward. Lucy Rennie
I know it’s a lot easier said than done isn’t it!
As a small business owner it can be so hard to keep focused because you have to juggle so many different balls and spin so many different plates all at the same time. But having someone who can make you accountable is really powerful and will help to keep you on track.
We’ll be going through these steps on Thursday evening in my FREE Facebook group Communicate with Purpose and then sharing with each other our M and Ms so that we can check in with each other over the next few months.
It would be really lovely to see you there and wouldn’t it be fab to have your action plan already before the schools do go back on the 6th of September?!