It’s that pointy time of year when we start to say ‘fare thee well’ to the year and start thinking about saying ‘hello, new year, you saucy minx, you’ and of course, that can only mean one thing: business planning and goal setting!


Caveat time – unlike a lot of my friends and colleagues in the world of small business I can’t do goal setting for a new year until I’ve had a bit of a break from the existing one. A couple of weeks of summer, sun, salt and surf and I’m in a headspace to review and reflect and set clear, aligned goals. Of course, thanks to one Julie Doyle, I work to a business plan that’s my scaffold, but my goal setting in the final quarter of a year comprises scribbles on sticky notes so I don’t forget my fabulous ideas and what ifs.


Caveat done – now onto the good stuff. 


In Tell Your Story, I shared this about goal setting:

‘There’s an art and a science to writing goals, and everyone (and their grandmother) is familiar with the SMART process.’ 


Here ’tis:

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Attainable

R – Relevant

T – Time-based


Yeah, yeah, you get it. As I shared in Tell Your Story and acronym I prefer is HARD because it’s a bit more fun and passion driven:


H – Heartfelt – tell me what you want, what you really, really want. Yep, go do the full song with all my blessings.

A – Animated – can you clearly visualise what achieving this goal looks and feels like aka does it light you up?

R -Required – this is the steps that must be completed to both achieve the goals but keep momentum and progression.

D – Difficult – this means it needs to be complex enough to keep you sweating and engaged rather than bored. 


Obviously, these goal setting frameworks could be used broadly for your business goals but as a long term word nerd, I love them for communications planning. And yes, communications are that much more powerful, impactful and effective when they are planned and mapped out. This means that when sitting down to write communications or content goals, you align them to a broader business goal. For example, if you want to launch a new workshop (business goal) a communications goal will be to build or grow your mailing list. 


If you have the goal of being recognised as a leader in your space, then that will dictate so many content goals. As I say, repeatedly to the point of killmenow, content marketing is a slow burn, but if your message and brand is about substance and credibility, then a substantial library of clever content will provide the goods of this and will back up and underpin any claims about said substance. Flaky, inconsistent content won’t work as hard for you, putting it mildly. 


Tell me, are you clear on your content and communications goals for next year? You might love my Write Your Year annual content planner to keep your content goals in one gorgeous place or you might like to bounce around your goals. Either way, why don’t we have a chit chat


I love writing about communications, writing, life in business and life in general! If there’s something specific you’d like me to cover in my writing, please shoot me an email or give me a buzz, and I’ll do my best to help, or address it in an upcoming blog post or on my social media platforms.

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