Hey guys – this week we’re super lucky to have the lovely Chloe Adlington guest posting and telling us how to track for success! Enjoy!
If there’s one thing the corporate world does well it’s ‘review stuff’;
- weekly “one-to-ones” with your manager;
- team meetings;
- project reviews;
sometimes it felt like my entire life back then was about evaluating ‘our situation’.
However a few months after going self-employed and I found myself doing it again (and willingly)!
I felt like I’d lost my sense of direction and needed to find my business ‘mojo’ again so I sat down with a pen and paper to review my goals. I reflected on ‘why’ I had wanted to start my business and the progress I’d made so far.
Ask yourself whether what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.
I realised that asking questions of myself (as a manager would have done back in corporate land) helped me to clarify what to focus on, move past things that my mind was ‘stuck on’ and make me feel more in control.
A meeting with myself!
To keep myself on track I decided to set time aside for a weekly review – essentially a little business meeting with myself! As well as keeping an eye on my online statistics I started logging my successes (no matter how small), identifying things that were slowing me down and prioritising my to-do list. That’s when something clicked!
Rather than going round in circles when I don’t know what to do I now use my weekly review time to brainstorm solutions then move forward. I can now see the progress I am making and feel much more motivated and focused! And that’s what it’s all about; we should feel excited and passionate about our businesses!
Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and how you do it
– Maya Angelou
How to track your successes:
The ‘weekly review meeting’ has been a game-changer for me. It’s probably the most important half an hour of the week as it reminds me to actually take care of myself, celebrate my progress and enjoy what I’m doing.
I like to make a big cup of tea in my favourite mug, shut the laptop (and get rid of any other distractions), light a few scented candles and sit down for 30mins with a pen and paper and go back to my big picture.
Here are the kind of questions I recommend thinking through to help you overcome overwhelm, regain direction and clear your mind from that ‘stuck’ feeling:
- How are you feeling about your business? Are your goals still taking you where you ultimately want to go?
- Are you taking care of yourself? Do you need to make more of an effort to eat better or exercise for example?
- What successes can you celebrate and how will you reward yourself for all your hard work?
- Where are you getting stuck and is it really a roadblock or can you plan your way through / around these frustrations?
You can see exactly what I do here, including the key questions I ask myself regularly and the numbers I keep logged to monitor my progress.
Want to give it a try?
Here’s a quick breakdown to help you get started (although it looks a lot, it only actually takes 5mins per day plus your 30min ‘weekly review’):
Write down at least 3 things you’ve achieved towards your goals. They can be teeny tiny or really significant but by logging them (I use a paper diary) it will help you feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day, or be more honest with yourself if you’ve slipped off track!
Set a reminder in your calendar (I use my iPhone) to spend 30 minutes reflecting on the previous week. For some, this might be best done at the end of each week so you can switch off and enjoy the weekend but I like to do it every Monday morning. I note down successes from the week before, rewards to look forward to and priorities for the week ahead to help motivate me to stay focused and remind me why I do what I do!
Once a month, use your weekly review session to take a step back and evaluate how you’re doing overall. Are you making progress towards your goals for the year? Are there things you can simplify, celebrate or need to work on to achieve your ultimate ‘why’?
Oh, and very importantly – have you got a holiday in the diary? Taking regular breaks helps to avoid burnt out and keep your motivation going – it’s good to always have something to look forward to!
Take a look back through your weekly and monthly review notes to see just how far you’ve come!
Give yourself a couple of days to really reflect on the last 12 months and put a plan together for the year ahead. Consider questions like; What are you most proud of achieving this year? What activities resulted in your biggest successes? What did you learn this year? What do you want to achieve over the next 12 months?
Since I started doing this my productivity has tripled. Just this month alone I’m celebrating launching my new website, planning our wedding in under 3 weeks, working on collaborations with entrepreneurs I really admire (like Jo!) and my email list successfully passing a big milestone!
How about you?
I’d love to hear how you currently take time to reflect on your business? What are the key areas you could track to help you stay focused and achieve more this year?
PS. Don’t forget to download the weekly and month review templates here!
Chloe Adlington is a marketing mentor, a small business advocate and tea lover. She specialises in helping small + home-based businesses get set up to flourish online.
Chloe runs online courses for women in business as well as working one-on-one with clients to help them market their businesses more effectively and ultimately get more fans, clicks and sales.
When she’s not working with lovely entrepreneurs you’ll find Chloe baking, hoarding pretty notebooks, cuddling her two pugs, winning national blogging awards or planning her Spring wedding!