Goal planning and my 12 week year

Here I am, this super “productive” person that looks like I have my shit together, but is constantly thinking that I’m behind or obsessing about the next thing…yeah “focus, Gari-Ann, focus!” I know this about myself and creating goals and lists have been essential in keeping me on track and reminding me about what’s important on a daily and long term basis. As a brand & product photographer in the Washington D.C. area, I’m always trying to figure out what’s next for the big picture…here’s how I take the next step!

Annual goals overwhelm me!!

But here’s the thing…annual goals simply overwhelmed me, and because they overwhelmed me I felt the need to get them checked off my list asap. In January, I felt all the anxiety of having these huge goals on my list. I’d bust my butt accomplishing them and be done by mid-February. Yeah…that’s not how it’s supposed to work. Also, maybe my goals should have been bigger…hmmm. 

The 12 week year

After being in a program with my friend and Marketing coach, Melody Tholstrup of My Size Marketing, and reading “The 12 week year”, I’ve come to realize that quarterly goals work best for me. Here’s a few reasons why:

  1. It provides me the deadline of the “end of the quarter”
  2. The goals need to small enough to accomplish in a quarter
  3. I can plan my goals according to the season I’m about to enter (I mostly know what I have coming up with family and work)
  4. They provide me with quick wins, giving me the motivation to put something else on my list

Here’s the goal sheet that I’ve made for myself as an adaptation of Melody’s: Quarterly Goal Sheet

Quarterly Goals

So here’s what my quarterly & monthly goal process looks like:

I Write down 3-4 big things I’d like to do over the next quarter (keeping in mind my family & work commitments)

Quarter 1 Goals

  • Create Standard Operating Procedure videos for business workflows: this will allow me to outsource some of my business tasks if I ever feel the need
  • Create a standard workflow for client videos in Premiere Pro: I need to learn this new software that I subscribed to, so creating a workflow (aka step by step instructions) ensures that I sit down and teach myself this program
  • Complete 1 Dubsado module: Aaron and I have toyed around with the idea that we’d like to start another arm of my business that includes building systems & CRMs for other business owners. Here’s a small step in that direction to see if it’s right for us. 

Monthly Goals

At the beginning of each month I’ll write out my monthly goals by taking small chunks out of my quarterly goals or simply assigning that month as the month that I’ll accomplish that big goal. Yes, these might be smaller steps towards the big goals, but they are a step in the correct direction & this collection of small steps ensures that I’m getting the big stuff done.  

January Goals

  • Create SOP videos for 4 business tasks
  • Create all Monday videos in Premiere

Planning out each week

As I’m planning out my up-coming week each Friday afternoon, I’ll make sure to plan some smaller tasks on my calendar to help me get those monthly goals accomplished. Yes I said plan in the tasks, I put it on my to-do list and block off time to get it done! Here are the small moves that will quickly add up if I do something each week of the 12 week quarter.

Week of January 2-8

  • Create 1 SOP video
  • Film my Monday videos

Over the last three years of subscribing to a quarterly system, I’ve accomplished more things in my business than I ever had. I think I just found the right system for me!

Annual Goals

This is the first year in 3 years that I did finally write down some big goals for the year. They aren’t big projects, but big overarching goals that I want keep reminding myself of. I’ll add in some of these as tasks throughout the quarter to ensure I’m remembering them:

  1. Continue to find ways to buy back my time–automate & outsource
    1. Build an SOP library
  2. Create boundaries with social media and my phone
    1. Checking email at 12 & 4
    2. Delete social media off my phone
  3. Continue taking great care of my clients
    1. Find ways to enhance my client experience
    2. Send thank you notes
    3. Send notes of encouragement
  4. Video! Keep doing video!
    1. Share the process
    2. BTS of business
    3. Branding tips
    4. Client highlights and how they used their images
  5. Keep a journal of the things I learn

meet Gari-Ann

Gari-Ann Kia is an accomplished Branding and Product Photographer with a passion for helping creatives and professionals elevate their brand by showcasing their product, promoting their services, or simply enhancing their brand image. Gari-Ann's expertise in branding and product photography will help you stand out from the crowd. With years of experience in the field, Gari-Ann has honed her skills and developed a unique approach to visual storytelling that resonates with her clients and their target audience to help them stand out from the crowd.

Gari-Ann currently lives in the Washington DC area with her husband and two children. She enjoys traveling with her family, some of their favorite destinations have been Santorini, Wanaka, Paris, & Aix en Provence. In her free time, Gari-Ann enjoys giving back to her community by supporting fellow military spouses & their families and mentoring other small business owners.