Start Your New Year Planning On The Right Foot






In this episode, I give you the tools and a framework to start your year new off on the right foot.

It is common for people to not worry about their New Year planning until after the New Year has started. The problem with this approach is that January is nearly over before you gain any traction and start moving towards your goals.

I provide you with a system and framework that I use to turn this approach on its head and start your planning process now for the new year you have momentum when the New Year kicks off. 


  • Why it’s important to start your New Year Planning Now
  • How to start your planning now to give your new year every chance of being your best yet
  • A framework and System that I use and you can adopt to easily get started now.



Good day. Good day and welcome to The Business Made Easy Podcast where
we make business easy. Jason Skinner, your host here for another week of the
podcast. It’s all about giving you a better business, better business bottom line
and a better life as a result. Thanks so much for joining me. If you’re new to the
show, welcome. I’m glad you’re here and you found us and uh, don’t forget to hit
the subscribe button.
Our regular listeners, welcome back as well. I love uh, that you’re here and you
turn up each week. Thanks so much. I really appreciate you and I appreciate
doing this show and putting, putting this um just love this show together for you
and being able to do that. Just love doing it every week. It’s my most favorite
time of the week actually is- is um sitting, it’s this podcast day and uh, sitting
down and putting all this together for you. On the back of last week, I’ll mention
I was going off to Bon Jovi, the Bon Jovi concert and I’ve got to tell you, it was
fantastic. If you ever get a chance to get and see those guys, you really should.
They, they are fantastic. My wife had actually pulled it as she always does and
uh, I, I hope she never meets Jon Bon Jovi because uh, I think I’ll be put on a
show for sure.
There’s certainly some affection there that she has for him. Anyway, I’m pretty
sure I’m safe for now but I will have to, will have to wait and see. Um, I just have
to keep not taking her anyway near him, near him maybe but anyway, we move
on. Uh, great show today. We’re going to be talking about year-end planning.
Um, and before, before we do get into that, I do wanna remind you that if you
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Alrighty, unto today’s show. We are talking about year-end planning. This is
something I started doing, a few years back now. I’ve been getting great results
with it and I wanted to share with you. We did talk about this back last year in
episode, number 20 but I wanna do a refresh on it and to share with you, a
technique in the planning technique that sort of been setting my new year up for
Now, as you know, the jolly fat man is going to be coming down the chimney in
the next few weeks. Christmas is around the corner all the shops are already
decorated and I know our office is all decorated. And you know, it’s an exciting
time of the year, really is. The kids start to get excited and Santa’s coming and
whatever is going on with family coming and visiting and yes, it’s always a magic
time of the year. One of — probably one of the most favorite times of the year
but this lead up to Christmas can also be in business, one of the most frustrating
times of the year particularly some businesses because there might be very
deadline during winter. If, you picture a builder or someone like that way,
they’ve got to have a house finish before Christmas so people can move in,
there’s a lot of businesses that rely on things happen.
Deliveries happening before Christmas. Things being made before Christmas
and it can be a really stressful time for a lot of business owners. Particularly, us
saving in accounting space, you know? We try and get as much done this side of
Christmas as we can. I’ll try and make sure that our clients are all under control
well before as best as possible before Christmas. So, there’s a lot to be done and
as you know, with Christmas you can’t move the date. That’s locked in, at the
25th, whatever day that falls on, that’s when it’s going to be. So it’s like this
pressure lead up right up to Christmas and, yeah I’m sure, I’m not, I’m sure you
could all relate to that. I know I certainly feel it. And so what we tend to do is just
put our head down and get down to it and get into it and, and get into it and get
as much done as we can and just look at that finishing line and can’t wait to get
over the finishing line.
Put down the tools and whatever we’re doing and sort of just to have downtime.
Have a bit of a break. Um, we just look forward to that, to that deadline fast
approaching and, and getting over that, that finishing line. But something I’ve
been doing myself um, and, and I’ve been sort of uh, I guess getting, — well, not a
guess but I have been getting great benefits with is doing, starting my year in
planning, or my new year planning now before that finishing line happens,
before that Christmas deadline.
And the reason why I do that is that, at the moment everything is fresh my mind.
I’m, I’m active in my business and I’m working in my business uh, and all my
business all the time and um, well, what we tend to do, I feel, is a lot — I speak to
so many people about this — they, they, they don’t, we don’t celebrate the winds
and, and the, the good things that we have achieved in the year. And it’s, it’s sort
of, while they’re fresh in your mind, it’s good to actually sort of just take, you
know, even if it’s an hour or two hours or, or take out, you know uh, half day
even which is what I do. Um, take a half day and sit down and just reflect on, on
where you are right now? you know.
The year isn’t over yet. We’ve still got a few weeks to go but where are you now
and where do you need to be in the future? Where do you need to go in the
future with your business and where does it need to be? And so when we do this,
we can start to look at the things we’ve achieved over the last year. We, we can
start to um, appreciate you know, the achievements that we’ve had and you
know, give us over the Christmas break, you can sort of get that mindset going
and give yourself a good pat in the back and relax.
But when you start, when you do this exercise which I’m gonna take through,
when you start the new year, you’ve already got a, a, a new document and we’ll,
we’ll do a, uh planning um, a planning session in the first half in the new year. But
when you start that planning session and then you’ve already got a framework
to, to start with, you’re not sort of starting from zero and then, and then trying
to grow, you know, trying to, to, to get refocused and you know, um start up
again after having a break, you’re sort of finishing the year with a starting, with
an advanced starting point for the new year.
That’s why I like doing these exercises. Kind of like hitting the ground running
whereas if starting it from you know, you get — I know we’ll probably closed for
two or three weeks and um, you know you have a break and what not and then,
and then you get back on that first day, Monday and it’s like, “Now what, you
know? What do I do now? Whereas with my uh the thing I’m gonna take you
through today, my model that I’m gonna take you through today, when you get
back, you just pick that up and that’s what you’re gonna start. And you know and
you’ve hit the ground running. You’re not losing weeks because I’m sure you’ll
agree with me but the, the weeks — uh, excuse me — are going so fast. We just,
you know you just, if you get back half way through January and you’ll lose two
weeks, this January, gone. So now, we got eleven weeks to achieve what we,
what we needed to achieve in our business.
So what I’m proposing is we stop back maybe in the mid, mid of January but
we’ve already got a starting point and we can, we can add to that and do, do, you
know, put some meat in that subject, on that plan. You may be even um, you may
even you know, choose to do a full, full plan of goals and everything like that now
for the new year. That’s, that’s quite okay too. That’s great. Um, that, that’s even
more advanced than what I’m talking about today but um, yeah way to go
because then you, you’re again, hitting the ground running, you know, what
you’ve gotta to do. You know, what you, what you gotta stop doing and, you
know, take action from, from, with momentum, you know?
Momentum is probably one of the greatest things as business owners we can
have because if we’re stationary, is a lot more energy as with anything you
know? So, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a lot harder to, to push a stationary rock as oppose to
one that’s rolling. And, and this is how with the mindset we need to have in
business you know? We need to be, we need to be hitting the ground running
with impact and, and, and on to it in the new year. So, and I want that for you. I
want that for your business and I want you to, to, to not lose any weeks over
that, over that Christmas period.
So the way I do this, the way I do this is a very, very simple exercise to do. And
I’ve got a template that I’ll put in the show notes for you. If you go to, so I will uh, put a link to this mind
map um, in the, in the show notes. And um, and the way um, the way you can um,
you can go about um, doing these planning exercises it’s really quite simple. So
um, and it’s really just your thoughts out on, on to a uh, a like a brainstorming
sort of exercise but in a template type format. So, um, what I, what I tend to do is
I, I look at um, I guess the first point is what did I accomplished in um, 2017? So I
ask myself that question. I sit down and I go, list the things, all the important
area of my life did I accomplish in two thousand and um — what are we — in
2018? So um, so and I break it into sort of key areas of my life. So for me, my
important areas of life are my family, um, my, or my health first. Uh, if I haven’t
got my health, I haven’t got anything. Um, health, my family, um, my business
and an important thing for me is travel also.
Um, one of my, my passions in life is travel and then exploring new countries and
new food and you know, learning about food and cultures, etcetera. So that’s,
you know, they’re, they’re, they’re probably my four big ticket items, you know?
My, my health, I love running and, and that sort of thing. My weight, I wanna
watch my weight and, and what I’m eating and, and etcetera.
I’ve got my family, my wife and um, and my, my, my parents etcetera. Um, and,
and her parents etcetera and, and our extended family, um, and of course my
business, uh, or businesses. I’ve got a couple of businesses that, that I’m running.
So um, you know, that, that’s, that’s important to me. And then I’ve got, as I say,
travel which I, which like to do. So I’ll sit down and I’ll, I’ll look at you know, what
did I accomplish?
Did I achieve my goals or what I set out to do at the start of the year? Did I
achieve them in each of these core areas? And, and, and I put down the things
that I did achieve uh, and the things that I didn’t achieve and the things that I, I
still like to achieve, you know?
I look at those things and I do, you know, are they, when I get that broadly — see,
and I don’t stop. I just, just blow them out. I just, just, just dump them out of your
brain. Um, it’s — um, you know this exercise doesn’t have, have to take you
forever. But as I list them out and I, you get better clarity around. I did, I did
achieve that. That’s right. I did go there. I did travel to there and, and I did taste
that or tried that food and I did — you start to really get a good — and then you
look at your business and,”Well, we did actually grow last year, you know?
We did achieve this or what not. So it’s really, really quite um, quite a nice feeling
to actually say, “Wow” and it pumps you up a bit. And that’s enough to drive you
over, over the finishing line strong too which I’m a big, big believer of as well. I
wanna finish, I wanna wind down to Christmas. I wanna wind down after Chris —
or over Christmas, you know? I don’t wanna wind down before. I wanna wind
down — ’cause you see, you’re getting the most out of your, out of your year. Um,
like I said, fast; we can’t waste them and time is, time is just dripping by.
So um, so once I’ve got all those things down and then look at the things that I
didn’t actually get done, you know? What didn’t I achieve that I — and, and I ask
myself the question, was it still important to me? Or is it still important to me
that I um, — should I, should I be not worrying about that now? And just not — did
it turn out that it wasn’t actually a priority after all? So you get the idea, we’re
building a, we’re building a, um, a framework I guess of, um, what we, we have
achieved so we reflect on that.
But then also, what, what is still important and what’s not important? What do
we have to take off the, off the, the uh, the goal list or uh, what do we leave on
there and um, why is it important? How’s it gonna impact one of those key areas
of my life? My being, my health, my family, business or travel. Um, so you’re
getting really good clarity around, around that point. And then once you do that,
I start with the next, next, I guess, branch of the, the mind map is, what do I want
to achieve in 2019? What is still important to, to 2019? So I’ll, I’ll, in those key
areas again, what do I wanna achieve? What, what does my health have to look
like um, during 2019? What do I want that to be? What do I want my family
relationships to be like? Where do I wanna spend more time? Uh, how can I
improve those family relationships? It’s really, really important because your
family is your support network in your business, you know? They are the people
that, that, that carry you through the good and bad, bad times.
So you need to, you need to um, to, to nurture that and, and maintain that
relationship. Um, as I said, I’ve and I know, um, use a couple of episodes ago
where I spoke about the emotional bank account. That’s what we’re talking
about there. We’re family; we’re topping those out keeping them topped up.
Um, and uh, a link to that episode in the show notes for you as well if you miss
that one. I think it was episode 66 actually. Episode 66, yeah we spoke about
that. So um, and, and about having this emotional bank account and, and making
sure you’re debits and credits in that bank account uh, are working. So check
that out. I’ll put a link to that in the show notes of you missed it.
But then once, and once I’ve, I’ve worked out then um, I, I work through my goal
list and say, “Okay, well, um, what are my key priorities for 2019? What do I
need to achieve um, in those, each of those areas? Where do I — do I wanna
travel next year? Where do I wanna travel? Um, and then I, once I’ve, I’ve got this
key goals mapped out, then, I, I start to look at, “Okay, well, these things are
important. Is there anything in my speed now that I, I’m gonna have to do, so I,
do I need to stop doing? And this is a really important question because um, you
know, we, we — time is, is a matter of economics, you know? We, we only have so
much of it so we can um, just, if we wanna start doing something else and we
may need to stop doing something else that’s not so important. So, for instance,
if um, if I sign up to some, to a committee or some uh, responsibility that is
regular that I, that I must attend all the time but it’s not within my key focus
areas of my life, then I need to, you know, that’s, that responsibility is gonna take
time away from those, from those focus areas.
So maybe I need to resign from that responsibility and, and work my way out of
that to- to- to free up time to do something else. Um, and we all have those
things in our business and in our lives where um, they seemed like a good idea at
a time and we say, yes and unfortunately I have a bit of a “yes man,” I, I’ll, I’ll
confess to that. I do like to, to help as many people as I can as I go along my day
and I will say, yes, to, “I’ll do this and yes, I’ll do that and I’ll sign up and help you
with that.” But at the end of the day, when you sit down and do this exercise like
I’m proposing you do, it, it really does highlight the, the amount of baggage and
luggage we accumulate uh, and responsibilities we accumulate during the year.
And it’s nice to clean those up and fix that up before we start the new year. You
don’t wanna go into the new year with all that baggage and luggage, you know
and stuff that’s um, that’s just not important in those, in those key areas of your
So what we’re doing is just really positioning ourselves to be really in the, in the
best position at the starting line in the new year, Uh, we’re not carrying you
know, um, obligations and, and burdens and just crappy stuff baggage into the
new year. That’s what we want to basically stop with this, this exercise. Not — I
think that’s why it’s so, so successful. What I found it so successful for me is that,
I’m with the clients that I work with is that when we do that, we, we, really give
ourselves the clearest run into the new year. And that’s, that’s what I want for
you too so that’s why I’m sharing this video. So what do I need to stop doing?
What do I need to let go of? What do I need to delegate? Um, and we spoke
about that um, back in episode number 67 uh, where we spoke about
outsourcing task, some things like that. So, what do we need to stop doing or
outsource? In, in a health, what do I need to stop doing? Do I need, I need to stop
eating um, so much sugary food? Or I need to stop um, you know, uh, sleeping in
and not going for a run every morning?
Whatever it is, that’s what I need to position now to, to start that new year uh,
on the right foot. Same with family, what do I need to do? I need to stop having
any toxic family members in my life? You know, if it’s, we all have them,
fortunately, the, the world is made up of people and there’s all varying types of
people but you know, if we’re gonna entertain toxic people in our lives, that’s
gonna detract from the good in our life, in our family area or the time that we
have the positive energy that we have with our family. So we need to limit toxic
and, and, and relevant sort of um, issues, etcetera out of that area. Um, in your
business you know, um, what are you gonna stop doing in your business in, in the
new, the new year? What, what things, what work can you do now to better
position? You’ll remove task that you don’t need to do, that are unimportant for
your business. And likewise, how can I free up time to travel?
So I’m just, I’m just talking about the elements of my life. You can change these
on the template to whatever your key elements are. Um, I’ll share them just
with, with as they are on, on the template now with you. But um, yes, by all
means, with mind mapping it’s so easy. You just change, click on it and change
the word and, and away you go. It’s not, it’s not hard to do at all. It’s really a great
tool. This Mindmeister tool which um, which I, uh, I’ll share with the link on the
font — sorry, I’ll share the link, that was a tongue twister — share the link on the
show notes with you, um, and, and you can use it to, um, to your advantage. So
when, once I’ve got that thing — so, I, I just to recap just where we are, we now
have priorities. We’ve got clear about what our priorities in our life are. The
compartments if you like, of your life, um, what do I wanna accomplish or what
have I accomplish I should say in, in that area, I should say in that area? So that’s
the next if you wanna look at. Then we look at what things uh, we didn’t achieve
in the year. And then we look — I guess, really critically assess whether or not
they still, they’re actually important because that’s all baggage.
If you go, “Oh didn’t get that done,” Yeah, you might be saying that, but it might
not be a priority so, you know, um, you know, you might wanna, just, just assess
whether or not those things that you haven’t got done are still priorities. And
then we wanna look at what we do wanna achieve in the New Year 2019, what
do we wanna achieve and, and get clear about that. And then look at what you’re
gonna stop doing in order to be able to achieve it? What stuff are you going to
stop doing? Delegate, etcetera, get rid of um, to and responsibilities, etcetera, to
free you up to achieve those things. So once I, once you’ve got those things
there, you’re really get to start a foundation of a really good, um, really good
plan. Now, you could stop there, if you like. Um, you can say,”Okay, we’ll wanna
come back in the new year. I’m gonna start working on these things and map out
um, map out a, um, time frame in the new year.
That’s, that’s certainly a way you can, you can do that. But if you wanna go on
further which is what I do, I then break it down into some quarterly milestones
and just get some framework around the year ahead. Again, we’re not putting
um, a lot of detail and this is really just mind. We’re dumping out our mind but
really just clearing out our thoughts. Getting them in order, in order to — I guess
a good way to think about it is, imagine if you’ve got this, you got the — you
started the year with a really clean desk. There’s nothing on your desk. It’s
totally clear and we’re at this of the year now and you’ve got papers
everywhere. You’ve had a big year. You’ve got papers and stuff everywhere. You
don’t know where you — anything, you can’t find your pen even, um, there’s just
paper everywhere. But this exercise we’re doing here is actually getting all those
papers just now before we finish up. Sorting them out working out what’s junk,
chucking it out, working out what’s important. Putting it into some filing order
and then getting in, and, and putting it away into filing cabinet so our desk is
clear again. That’s, that’s I guess, the analogy that I’ll give you. Um, I’ll share with
you. Actually, I’ve got to work on my analogies, I’m sorry, but that’s the best way
I could think of it. Uh, but you know, um, we’re clearing off our desk and we
basically got things in order. So the next phase of this, this exercise of this model
that I, that I do, is basically just break things down into quarters; quarter one,
two, three, four.
Pretty easy. January to March, April to June, July to September and October to
December. And I’ve put each of the categories into those quarters and then I
just work on like for my health in quarter, in the end of quarter one, I sort of
wanna be at this point. I’d like this too are being achieved or what not. The same
with family, business and travel and you do this same in each of those quarter.
Some things you may have nothing that you wanna do in that quarter. That’s
okay but just go through and just break it down in from a big year thing into just
some quarterly milestone, sections that you wanna achieve.
And then that, what’s that going to do, each of those and when you break those
and be with these two, very important thing when you’re setting goals, make
sure they are measurable goals. A lot of people overlooked this. They get fluffy
with what they wanna achieve. You might say, “I, in the new year, I want to
travel.” Okay? Well, that’s a fluffy goal. That’s not specific. It’s not measurable.
You know, it’s just, not a real tangible type goal. I mean, how you’re gonna know?
Yeah, you might travel where? Okay. What, travel where? Travel by, when? For
how long? Get clear and specific about these two. Really, important point. So
when you’re planning these things, make sure you are very, very specific. If you
want something to happen in your business, what is that thing that you want to
happen? And how are you going to measure the success of that happening and
buy when are going to have this happen? That’s really, really important because
again, all fluffy. We don’t know, whether we hit the mark or not and you need to
able to tick that off and go, “Yes. Yes. Yes. I’ve done that. Oh, no I haven’t or I’m
close. Why did I miss it? This is why. What am I gonna do to change that up? And,
keep working it that way. So really important point to, make sure they are
specific and measurable goals.You really have a lot more success, at doing this.
Now, look, it’s really hard because in business, I guess, for all of us, because time
is just precious. And we’ve all got precious and that sort of things but the thing
is, the way I look at this. If I don’t change something, if I don’t stop and, and just
turn off from all that noise and pressure and focus on work on myself, then I’m
only gonna have the same problem next year. And this isn’t gonna get any
So, you have to stop and, and just give yourself that space. I’m a big lover of
business owners giving them self, the space and the time. And we spoken about
it in previous episodes. Give yourself the space and time and permission to care
about yourself and care about the key areas of your life. Because one of the
things I’ve been feeling a, a lot lately is you know, the years are ticking by, you
know? I’m approaching my fifties in the next year or so and that’s frightening me
in a lot of ways that you know, that another year goes by but, have I wasted
time? Have I not achieved what is important to? Like, I mean really important to
me, not what I think I should be doing or what I have to do but what is really
important to me. Am I giving that, those critical things enough time in, in a year?
Because as we all know how fast the year goes and so I really love — that’s why I
started doing this exercise because I really started to, not get resentful but
started to actually, resent I guess, yeah resentful started to resent another,
another birthday coming around because I’m going,”I haven’t changed. I haven’t
changed anything enough, uh, in my, in my thinking uh, in, in my, my, my reality, I
should say. Uh, I haven’t really changed enough in my reality this last year.” And
then you set goals again and you know, as I say, it’s the end of January by the
time you get started on them and you know, and months gone and you know,
and, and so it goes on. So this vicious circle keeps going. So as I thought of this
exercise, “Oh God, what if I actually plan ahead and, and, and finish the year
strong and I finish the year with clarity for the new year and, and hit that ground
running?” So that’s, that’s, um, that’s why I’ve come up, come up with this model.
I’m not sure if anyone else does it but um, I encourage you to do it if you, if
you’re not doing it already, You’ll get a lot better results.
I’m gonna put a link to this template in the show notes and um, and you can get
those at So if you go over there, um,
there’ll be a link to this mind map and you can open it up, change it to, to
whatever you, you want. It’s not a complicated thing. You can just change to
whatever you want. Um, if you like my mind mapping, I encourage you to get
MindMeister. It’s a fantastic tool. Um, I, I love, love that ’cause it’s the way I see
things in pictures. So it’s great to get, um, great to get a visual of your thoughts
out, on onto the screen. And being cloud-based, you can, you can open it
anywhere, you know? And you can, as long as you got an internet connection
you can open it anywhere and update and all of that sorts of things. But we’re
gonna talk about planning, sort of new year planning um, in the new year which
is, which is — but, but this is the framework that we’re gonna be starting from.
And um, we’ll be, we’ll be building this out in the new year so have a go there.
Um, as I say, I’ll put the, put the link over in the show notes. Um, I’ll be interested
in your thoughts. If you do this exercise, I love, love to hear your thoughts and
see what, what I’d uncovered for you and whether or not you’re um, whether or
not, it’s provided clarity and helped you. Um, yeah but I’ve been doing this as I
say, the last couple of years. Absolutely love it. Doing it again this year. Uh, and
that’s why what brought me up to, uh, to, to doing this episode to share it with
you again so I hope you enjoyed it. So there you go.
Alrighty, that’s all I’ve got time for today and um, uh, I hope you found this
episode of value. Please, if you, if you do have feedback on the show or there’s
something in particular you’ll love to hear on the show, feel free to drop me a
line at [email protected] Uh, I love doing this show for you
and I, I, I love that you take the time and I appreciate you take the time to listen
in each week. Uh, it really does mean a lot to me and uh, I wanna give you as
much value and help you grow your business as best as possible. So you’ve got
this fantastic life as a result as well so there you go. Alrighty, I’m going to hand
you over to Mia, but until next week, uh, here’s to your success and Mia, will you
take us out, please? All the best, bye.




Join other business owners in our Free Facebook Community all sharing their trials, ideas and wins in business. It's a fantastic community of driven and supportive entrepreneurs.

Mindmeister is my go to tool for cloud based mind mapping.  The ultimate way to get your thoughts and ideas out of your head and into action.



Email Marketing is one of the fastest ways to grow your business.

You Need An Email Service Provider That Ticks All The Boxes.

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  • Out Of The Box Easy To Set Up
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I have used and trialled many email and automation systems in my 20+ years of business, from free inexpensive systems to the more elaborate, expensive and high end. 

Convertkit, ticks all the boxes when it comes to getting results with your email marketing.



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