Quarterly Planning Gave Me The “Oomph!” I Need

Quarterly Planning Gave Me The “Oomph!” I Need

Happy Saturday to you!

I thought I’d share something I’ve been learning that has given me the “oomph!” I needed to move forward.

All health excuses aside, I have trouble acting on what I need to do. My mentor Dean will say, “I know you’ve been working hard,” and I think, “No, I don’t think so.”

For some reason, I’ve been struggling to act.

The Four Core Areas

What do I need to do?

I need to get traffic to my blog and offer, get emails, follow up with my subscribers, and make offers.

I’ve learned how to do these things, but I’ve been stalling in practice. I can’t move forward like a car at the first cold freeze. Yup, you guessed it, our car needed a new battery this week 🙂

I’m A Procrastinator. What?

It turns out I’m a procrastinator. Looking over my blog, I see now that it’s obvious. But, it came as a shock to me.

In school, I never had a problem meeting deadlines. I’d make a plan and be done in plenty of time, whether it was regular homework or a big project.

Well, it turns out procrastinators love to meet a deadline. We need structure and a plan. We have trouble when there are a lot of different ways to get to the same end.

Umph. That’s me.

I’ve often felt like my tasks for the day are vague. I just need to keep doing what I’m doing, and there will be progress in time. I find that overwhelming and daunting.

Affiliate marketing is great. You choose how you do the four core areas, but it’s all up to you to choose and do it.

And then you just keep acting without seeing results.

A procrastinator’s nightmare!

Ruth Soukup

So, I’ve bought Routh Soukup’s Living Well Planner for I don’t know how many years. We’re approaching ten, I’m sure. Before you check it out and balk at the price, let me tell you why I use it: There’s a place for everything swirling around in my head.

There’s the standard planner. It has a place to plan using her Goal Crushing System. There’s a monthly budgeting sheet, meal planning, and lines to write on beside each week and month… I could go on and on. I put everything in it: from what chores to do to when to mail birthday cards.

I am an avid fan of Ruth Soukup, so I pay attention when she sends me an email.

She sent me one, practically giving away her package about blogging. This is usually very expensive, so I bought it. I thought maybe it would make it easier to write my blog. It does seem helpful, and I’ll share what I learn as I work through it.

Of course, she added value as any good marketer does. There was free training that came along with it. I attended the meeting; it was helpful, and she added more value by offering us a higher ticket item.

She’s got her marketing down!

She’s got a beta program for her new Powerhouse system. It’s similar to her blogging company, but there’s much more to this. In short, I signed up.

Dean will be the first to tell you he’s not a motivational guru, and Ruth will get me moving forward. For some reason, I was stuck and helpless to figure out why.

Powerhouse, So Far

I’ll save you all the details and share what is so revealing.

Ruth wrote a book years ago called Do It Scared. I’ve never read it because I thought it would just be another motivational book. I don’t usually do those. I’ve since learned that Ruth goes over seven fear archetypes. She reviews seven areas that could hold you back and how to deal with the type that describes you. This free quiz determines your top fear archetype. If you pay $15, you get your top three fear archetypes. The results review how these three types interact together and what you can do to work with your types.

Anyway, it turns out I’m a procrastinator. I am most afraid I will make a mistake. I’m a self-doubter. I’m worried that I’m not enough. And I’m a rule follower. I like to do things how they’re “supposed” to be done.

What Should I Do?

More than anything, the quiz says, I need a finish line. Use an accountability partner. Set a date and come up with consequences. And then, celebrate my achievement.

Just as I dare to begin, the self-doubt pops up. An accountability partner will help me to focus not on my thoughts but on moving forward with my plan.

And as a rule follower, I doubt my common sense and wait for direction. Again, I need an accountability partner to encourage me.

I see a pattern here. No wonder I’m stalled!

Quarterly Planning

And now, we come to the heart of the matter.

Ruth’s Quarterly Planning system is copyrighted (I think that’s the correct phrase). She did ask us not to make it public, so I’m going to share the very bare bones. I’ll only share what is similar to her usual goal crushing system.

The quarter is just 13 weeks.

Pick five goals you want to focus on for 90 days that will most move your business forward.

For me, I need to do the four core areas. My five goals are more defined.

  1. I need to set up Affiliate System and follow Dean’s direction.
  2. I need to watch YouTube training for traffic generation and implement it.
  3. I need to publish at least one blog a week, blog-hop, and respond to comments.
  4. I need to send at least three follow-up emails a week.
  5. I need to work two hours a day, 9-11 Monday through Friday.

These goals are not vague and are specific to where I’m now in my business. If I follow through, some of these goals will be accomplished and won’t need to be done next quarter.

Weekly Prioritizing

Then, each week, I do a brain dump of everything I need/should do this week. I’m limiting it to business stuff.

This is the cool part.

I group my to-do list into three task lists.

  • First group: All the things I need to do to move my five goals forward go in this group. These are the most critical tasks for the week. They must get done.
  • Second group: This is the urgent stuff that needs to get done. Doing them does not move my big goals forward, but I’ll need to fit them in somehow.
  • Third group: I would like to do these things.

The benefit of grouping the to-do list is that not all tasks are equal now.

In case you’re panicked, “How will the urgent things ever get done?” I’ve found I can focus on the first group and do the second group when I need a break.

I’ll share this week’s tasks as an example.

  • First Group:
  1. Affiliate System Week 4 homework, Affiliate System Week 5 meeting.
  2. YouTube training
  3. Write a blog.
  4. Blog-hop and respond to comments.
  • Second Group:
  1. Find out where the 2024 tracker is.
  2. Find out where the recurring fee for the Affiliate System is being charged. I’d forgotten.
  • Third Group:
  1. I didn’t write anything this week.

Block Out Time

This is where I bring out my planner and block out when I will do my tasks from the First Group.

I looked at what I wanted done last Sunday and realized I didn’t have time to work on YouTube training.

This is okay because, on Sunday, I saw I needed to focus more on getting the Affiliate System done than my traffic strategy. Once Affiliate System’s initial set-up is complete, I’ll focus on learning my YouTube strategy.

If I hadn’t come to this conclusion Sunday, I’d have been feeling frazzled and defeated all week.

Conclusion

So, whether you’re a procrastinator or not, I hope you find this a helpful process.

I’ve got a big, overarching plan I can get excited about with very defined tasks for each day. I must focus and act to get those tasks done, or I risk failing to meet my big goals for the quarter.

I’ve got the “Oomph!” I’ve been missing.

And, remember that celebration I must give myself when I hit the finish line? I’m going to celebrate with a Pina Colada!

Challenges This Week

I stated last week that I would share my challenges with you.

  • Monday, I was too tired. I don’t know what happened. I had to rest before work began. I didn’t get anything done.
  • Tuesday, I felt much perkier. So, something must have just been off Monday. This is where I have a problem. I can accept that I will have “sick” days. But on the day I feel better, I have trouble moving forward. Knowing this, I talked to myself. I kept telling myself that it was okay that yesterday I only rested. I must have needed it. Today, my goal is to work on the Affiliate System homework for week 4. I felt diminished and like I couldn’t do it, but I just focused on doing it. Guess what? It got done!
  • Wednesday, I went to the question and answer session Dean hosts. I have a co-branded funnel with Dean, and the email set-up is still in AWeber. I was wondering if I should take the lead in figuring out how to get that email compliant with the new email rules coming up or if there would be some guidance. Of course, there will be guidance. I am relieved!
  • Thursday, I lost track of it. This is the day I set aside to write my blog. It only got started. And then, when I shut down my computer, I hadn’t saved my work and lost it all.
  • Friday, I went to the meeting for Affiliate System Week 5.
  • And, here we are on Saturday. I am posting my blog today. It’s a little later than I’d like, but Voila! It is done 🙂

Question

I’ll set up my lead magnet this week with my new professional email. Next week, I’ll be able to ask you if you would like to be one of my accountability partners. If you say yes, I’ll email you each week when my blog is published and share my thoughts, challenges, and excitement throughout the week. Occasionally, I’ll make an offer,  but it will only be if I find the product truly helpful. And you’ll be able to email me as well. We can encourage each other!

Is that something you’d be interested in?

Is quarterly planning something that would also help you move your business forward?

Let me know what you think of this week’s post!

Ciao for now,

Nakina

31 thoughts on “Quarterly Planning Gave Me The “Oomph!” I Need”

  1. Good to know that you found a system and mentor that works for you, that makes all the difference.

    I love the honesty with which you set out your week, both in planning and reality!

    Keep up the good wor, now stop reading the comments and get that work done!

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I, too, consider myself a procrastinator, and I have bought myself a $30+ planner. If I didn’t have it (and all my post-it notes), I feel like nothing would get done. It’s especially true when you are starting an online business, and the deadlines are yours to create; no one is waiting for you to hand in your homework. Take Dean’s suggestions to heart and check in often on the Q and A’s, and I am happy to be your accountability buddy if you want; we can even Zoom and check-in; it always helps to have an accountability buddy and someone to bounce ideas around with! Look forward to your next post!

    1. Oh, that would be awesome, Alison! I’ll make sure to reach out to you through your blog. 🙂 My new email is Nakina@m.nakinalawson.com. I think I should reach out more often in the Q&A, if only for the interaction. There are a few things on the edge of my mind I have questions about and I’ve just put it off. Things like a logo and social sharing buttons… I’ll take your advice and submit a question today. Thanks, Alison! I look forward to being accountability buddies 🙂

  3. This is so true. I was just in a Mastermind meeting this week and we discussed something very similar. It got me thinking about how most people will meet their deadlines, whether it’s a year or 3 months from now. I realized I needed to get way more specific with my goals and figure out my quarterly goals – which I still haven’t done.

    I think I’ll make that one of my goals for today. Thanks for reminding me.

    1. Oh, very good! I was a bit afraid it was just me this would help! Lol! Fantastic. You are very welcome, Nathan! Your website name reminds me of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Are you, by any chance, a fan? I was in 3rd grade in 1983 and watched He-Man faithfully!

  4. Pleased you found a system that works for you. I too have a lot of negative “programming” so I use a process of positive self talk which helps me achieve a more positive mind set.
    From a positive self talk perspective I notice that you say “I am a procrastinator” why not try to change that to “I’m someone who’s learning to prioritize and manage my time better every day” It acknowledges you have an issue and that you are working on rather than sending a negative message to your sub-conscious mind
    Steve Moore recently posted…You’ll Never Walk Alone”: The Anthem of Building an Online Business with a MentorMy Profile

    1. Oh, I love that, Steve! That is so helpful! I’m working on my tasks each day and I’m also working on myself. I’m looking forward to six months from now, let’s say, and I’ll be able to look back at this post and see how much I’ve grown! I really like this tip. I’m going to write it down and put it by my computer. Thank you!

  5. Hi Nakina,

    I love the part about picking 5 goals to focus on for the next 90 days.

    As a serial procrastinator myself, I think this will be very helpful and will help give me more clarity on what I should be focusing on.

    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi, Alan! I’m so glad it helps! I like having that finish line.
      I’ve got a chart I use. When planning my next week, I check off which of the 5 goals I worked on the previous week. It’s very revealing!
      Last week, I thought I was on track. It turns out I had only worked on one of the five goals. I concluded I needed to manage my time a little differently this week and I made better progress this week.
      All this to say, having those five goals is keeping me on track to where I want to go!
      Cheers! Best of luck to you this week!

  6. The perils along the journey=procrastination. It comes in many forms, some recognizable and others not. But I’d say we all have it to one degree or another! Changing what’s recognizable is the easy part!

  7. Nakina,

    Having a system that keeps us organized, focused and on tract is invaluable. There are numerous different types of systems out there to aid one on their journey. The trick is finding one that you mesh with and are willing to consistently use.

    Consistency is the key to getting value out of one of these system. I am glad you found one that works for you. Currently, I’m trying a different one called The 12 week year along with a journal. I an excited to learn and implement it.

    The next key thing you mentioned is having an accountability partner or group. I have found this to be one of the best ways to stay on track. Often I join communities and make commitments on them is so they hold me accountable. The older I get the more I realize that everyone needs an accountability partner or group.

    I leave with this quote: procrastination is the death of all ideas.

    Thanks CJ

    1. Oh! I like the idea behind the 12 week year. I’m really interested in how that works out for you.

      Being accountable will be helpful. I think the interaction will also be invaluable. I find my mood lifts when interacting with people.

      An online business can be a very lonely enterprise. I’m looking forward to interacting with my accountability partners.

      I look forward to meeting others who have similar goals and sharing our journeys.

  8. Hi Nakina
    Great post. As someone who can get started I dont tend to deal with procrastination much. Distraction is another matter.
    Over the last 6 months I have put in place a planning system which includes daily Time Block planning and weekly planning. Bought Cal Newports planner and made a massive difference.
    I like the mentor idea as well and something I am considering putting in place.
    Just having another person to be accountable to can be very helpful.
    Just keep showing up.
    Cheers.
    Neal

    1. Being able to “just do it” is a gift! I admire that in people. I know if I just keep showing up, my self-doubt will decrease and my ability to act without so much effort will grow and grow. I thank you for your encouragement.

      I work better when I am distracted, to a degree. I’m one of those people who can listen better when doodling. I have Matlock muted but on now while blog hopping. I need a bit of distraction to keep my mind focused.

      It’s funny how we all operate so differently but have so much in common as well.
      Best of luck to you in the coming week!

  9. I am in awe of your organizational process! All I can say is wow and I plan to reread your steps. I purchased a Rocketbook planner, but you have me curious about Routh Soukup. Thank you for sharing and I plan to follow your progress. Best wishes!

    1. Oh, I’m glad the process helps you! I like Rocketbook! I purchased their little notepad – the size detectives carry. I use it to write down all my ideas. I had a professor in college tell me I think like popcorn popping! The little Rocketbook catches everything 🙂 I love that I can wipe it down and have a new notepad! I have looked at their planners. I like that you can take a picture and store them digitally so that you never have to get rid of the record of your progress. I considered buying a Rocketbook planner to keep track of my business, but so far, I’m using what I’ve got for work and home life. Definitely let me know how it works out for you!

  10. Nakina, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! It is so easy for us to get distracted from what we need to be doing, only to find us in a stressful position to get it done. Having things written down and in an organized fashion is a Great way to focus (I need to work on that myself 😞) I find that my hardest struggle is when my “WHY” is around… I spend all my time with her and part of me says that I didn’t accomplish anything… Then another part tells me This is the REASON you are doing this in the first place! Keep up the Fight and dedication, we all need an “Oomph!” every once in a while.
    David Roper recently posted…Climbing the Ladder 🪜My Profile

    1. Oh, yes! My husband was with me for a three day weekend this weekend. I was torn between spending time with him and using my extra time to get ahead in my business. He and my family are why I’ve started my business, too. I think what I’ll need to do is plan ahead of time when I’m going to spend special time just doing nothing with him versus when I’ll dedicate myself to getting ahead. I think I need to take time off to spend time with him, but there’s a balance. For a short time at least, I’ll need to sacrifice some of my Derek time to make the time when we’re able to quit our jobs possible. It will be worth it! Good luck to you in also striking that balance. I expect if we work hard, looking back it will be a shorter time of sacrifice than we expect now.

  11. Nakina, that really was an amazing blog post. There was so much value in there and tips and tricks to help all of us. I am exactly the same as you in terms of self doubt etc. It took me a long time to change my mindset and start thinking a bit different. We can be very self critical, and if you’re a perfectionist as well it makes things even harder. So the things that help me is firstly if I can change something or fix something then I’ll do it. If I can’t I.e. it’s not possible then I stop worrying about it. The second thing that helps is the count to 5 seconds trick. If you know you have something to do and you just can’t seem to get up and do it you count to 5 and then just stand up and go and do what it is you’re supposed to do, just make a start. What you find is because you just started you start doing a bit more and a bit more and then suddenly you’re into it and you get it done. In terms of perfectionism the way I look at it now is that perfection doesn’t exist , but we constantly try to get there. So as long as you’re trying to get there that’s good enough because there’s no end state to perfectionism. Thanks for a great blog. I look forward to the next one. Atif

  12. Nakina,
    Hello! I, like you, have a tendency to procrastinate! I will have the best of intentions on getting things done, but always seem to find excuses not to! I think “oh, I have plenty of time, I can do it tomorrow”, or something like that. But as they say, tomorrow never comes! I love the idea of a planner, and setting goals. I think that’s what I need to do! Thanks for the idea!
    Here’s to much success!
    Kelli

  13. Nakina, I really enjoyed your post. I love the idea of a quarterly plan/goals. I will usually do daily and /or weekly goals. I may have to think longer term on my goals. I will have to check out Routh Soukup’s Living Well Planner. As for procrastination, I think everyone has a little bit of that in them. We just need to know how to get ourselves moving. I look forward to your next post.
    Sherri
    Sherri S Pulcino recently posted…Get Out of The Rut!My Profile

  14. Hi Nakina!
    I can really relate to your post today. Being a wife, mom of four daughters, and full-time teacher created a lengthy, but forgetful, list of things that needed to be done. I started using planners many years ago. They are so helpful with organizing the “To-Do” lists and highlighting the deadlines! Best wishes for continued success in achieving your goals!
    All the best!
    Milissa Neirotti
    Milissa Neirotti recently posted…The REMOTE WORK Search is On!My Profile

  15. Nakina,

    It’s a great, well-thought-out post, but it was so long. If you pack so much information and ideas into just one post, I worry that you are going to struggle to come up with new things to write about in future posts. It could easily have been split up into 3 or 4 blogs, either by calling them Part 1, Part 2, etc, or by leaving a “cliffhanger” comment at the bottom of each post enticing the reader to look forward to the next part.

    I hope that you’ll take this small criticism in the helpful manner that it is intended, and it will help you keep to your long-term goals.

    Cheers

    Phil
    Phil Ramage recently posted…How Hard Are You Prepared To Persevere To Succeed As An Internet Marketer?My Profile

  16. Nakina,
    How I could relate to some of your challenges! Procrastination a good friend of mine! As I read your post, the planning strategy that you used is what I reflected upon for me to help myself get what needs to be done and not forget!
    It is encouraging to see that your 90 days with 5 goals is laid out in a way that seems achievable.
    I love the 3 categories and showed how it would apply to you in your week to come. I will try it for myself!
    Best wishes as you continue your journey!

  17. Hello Nakina, this is an excellent blog. I resonate with you in terms of planning; it’s fundamental for the development of any business, especially an online one, which involves so many different aspects, especially for those of us without experience. Like you, I’ve had to create a schedule for my daily routine to allocate time for each task since too many focal points require attention. The only way to stay up to date is through the organization of our time. I wish you the best on your journey.
    Ezequiel recently posted…Overcoming Barriers to Online Business OpportunitiesMy Profile

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