"What is the most important thing I should focus on in the last month of this year?"
One of my private coaching clients asked me this question in our bi-weekly call. It is a question I am asked often so I'll share with you the same thing I told her - revisit your VISION and big bold GOALs for this year.
Depending on where you are in relation to achieving your vision and goals will influence your primary focus for December.
What To Do When You Haven't Yet Realized Your Vision and Goals for The Year
Take a look at everything you currently have in flight and focus on FINISHING whatever projects and marketing campaigns that will have the highest impact on achieving your goal.
Be realistic about what you can accomplish given the time you want to dedicate to your business this month (because it is a choice - you don't have to do anything).
For some, December is an intense double-down work month trying to finish out the year strong. For others, December is a month to scale back on their business to create space for spending time with family, friends, and enjoying holiday festivities.
Be sure to factor in how you want to spend your time when deciding what projects and marketing campaigns to commit to.
LEAN TIP: Focus on finishing what is already in progress before deciding to start something new. If you have a lot in progress, assess which will have the biggest impact and start there. Make the tough choice now what to focus on and what to cut or place on hold and resist the urge to try to finish everything and risk not finishing anything.
Pro Tip: You can accelerate your results by doubling down when other people check out. There are 2 times per year when a lot of business owners slow down in their business - summer and end of the year holidays. That presents an incredible opportunity for those who continue to launch and create with intention.
What To Do When You've Already Realized Your Vision and Goals for The Year
If, like my coaching client, you already achieved the vision and goals you set for your year for both your business and your personal life, then you should be focused on laying the FOUNDATION for a successful new year (after taking a moment to celebrate your incredible accomplishments!!).
The best way to do that is to assess what is currently working really well in your business and optimize it.
For example, let's say that your blog was the #1 source of traffic for your business this year. A few things you could do to optimize your blog would be:
- Analyze which posts got the most traffic and add a content upgrade to those posts. This will increase the value for your readers by giving them a free checklist or guide that they can use right away to put what they read into action, and grow your list.
- Analyze the questions you got asked most frequently in your blog comments and use them to create an FAQ or to generate new blog post ideas.
- Consider which content your readers resonated with most and brainstorm more posts like them in the new year.
You could apply the same ideas to your podcast, your newsletter, your social media posts, etc.
Then you can apply it to your offers. Which offers are performing the best? Take it one step further and look at which components of your offer are performing the best.
Let's say clients consistently share that they love how much accountability and support you provide. Or they share how you bring together an incredible community. Or that your content is really clear and easy to implement. You can:
- Update your website and sales pages for your offers to better highlight the components people love most
- Update your marketing and sales system to ensure these features are discussed on sales calls or addressed in your application process
LEAN TIP: Optimization is all about amplifying what is already working in your business. There will be many things you can optimize. A good place to start is by focusing on those things that are working really well for you right now and that align with the vision and goals you have for the new year.
Setting Yourself Up For Success in The New Year
Another really helpful thing to do in December is to do an end of year clean up.
Why carry complexities, noise, and frustration into the new year?
Carve out an hour or two a week, or even a full day a week if you can, and get organized, systematized, and lean.
Look to the areas where you find yourself wasting the most time and getting the most frustrated.
- Do you struggle to find files or images because your digital assets aren't organized or named consistently? Clean up your digital files, images, videos, and graphics.
- Is your Canva account filled with so many templates that it takes you 15 minutes just to find the file you want to update to create a new social media post? Name your files and put them into folders.
- Do you have dozens (or even hundreds) of amazing ideas spread out across multiple notebooks, apps on your phone, and sticky notes? Get them all into your project management software and prioritize the ones you actually want to pursue in the new year.
- Are there things that you and your team do manually that you know could be automated? Take the time to set up the automations.
- Are there things you do on repeat that could be delegated to someone from your team? Create a system and train them to do it.
These are all other forms of optimization that you can do in your business that take a small amount of time investment now to regain a lot of time later.
Making Time for YOU
Regardless of what you are focusing on in December, be sure you are making time for YOU. You want to start the new year feeling refreshed, excited, and ready to take on your big bold vision and goals for the year.
That won't happen if you spend December working around the clock while trying to fit in holiday gatherings and events.
Determine how much and when you want to work and realistically commit to what you can do during that time by leveraging capacity based planning.
I'd love to know - what is your big focus for this last month of the year?
Share in the comments below. XO
If you are ready to step into the new year with greater alignment, impact, profit, & time freedom, you will not want to miss our transformational and unforgettable 2-day virtual business retreat.
Gift yourself 2 days of uninterrupted space and dedicated focus time to get clear on the big bold vision you have for your business in the new year and how to break that down into the actionable steps that will make it a reality.
Don't start the new year with an overwhelming list of things to do. Instead develop an aligned and strategic roadmap for success and scale for your business that gives you clarity on what to be focused on so you can achieve more by doing less.
by Crista Grasso
Crista Grasso is the go-to strategic planning expert for leading global businesses and online entrepreneurs when they want to scale. Known as the "Business Optimizer", Crista has the ability to quickly cut through noise and focus on optimizing the core things that will make the biggest impact to scale a business simply and sustainably. She specializes in helping businesses gain clarity on the most important things that will drive maximum value for their clients and maximum profits for their business. She is the creator of the Lean Out Method, 90 Day Lean Out Planner, and host of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast. She is also the founder and CVO of the Profitable Planner Co and Criscara Jewelry.