On Saturday (27 November 2021) MINT members and non-members alike came to collect their 2022 planners.
The planner is more than ‘just a diary’ – it’s an initiative we call “Plan, Do, Reflect”.
But what is it we’re encouraging our members, and other like-minded self employed people, to do?
Plan, Do Reflect is a cycle…
- You PLAN what you’re going to do – today, this week, this month, this year, in the next five years… however far in advance works for you
- You DO what you do and what you love to do
- You REFLECT on what you did, what you achieved, what you perhaps didn’t achieve
Then, this is the important bit… you tie those reflections BACK into your plan.
What worked, what didn’t work, what can you do to tweak your plan to keep you on track?
For example, if it wasn’t for the MINT planner earlier this year, I would probably never have had the foresight to sit down and work out that in an average month of 20 working days, I was busy for all of them – and then some – yet I was billing less than 10. So in my plan for each month “bill 10 days” was a goal. Without reflecting on that at the end of the month (and sometimes in the middle) then it’s probably something I would have forgotten about. I don’t have the best short term memory in the world, but this is still written down in my planner and I can go back to it whenever I like (even today, almost 11 months to the day I wrote it down. Once you plan, do and reflect on wanting to meet a specific goal, you can move on from it – either it becomes “the norm” or you tweak it. How about 15 days a month? Or if I’m busy for 20 days a month then why the hell not be billing 20??
Writing stuff down DOES help!
Lifesavvy.com says “If you write something by hand, all that complex sensory information increases the chances the knowledge will be stored for later. In short, writing by hand forces your brain to process information in a more detailed way, which helps you successfully load that information into your memory.”
But it also means you can go back to it.
Every month, the MINT planner gives you up to TWENTY pages of opportunities to write stuff down. Here’s how…
- Goals – plan your month ahead by setting some targets and objectives. These can be as big or as small as you like – it’s not about anyone else!
- Reflections – write down how your goals went – did you achieve them? If not, what next? Try again? Tweak? Scrap?
- Marketing – set yourself some marketing actions AND track your results
- Money – set out your money goals – again tracking your results
- Scribble your plans and reflections – this year, the planner includes two scribble pages for general notes for the month ahead, and tracking it at the end
- Diary – every single week contains a dairy
- To Do / Notes – opposite every diary page there’s a full page for making lists and notes
In addition, the planner has a section at the beginning taking you through the six pillars of MINT, with worksheets on:
- MINDSet – this is all about you and your personal hopes for 2022
- Foundations – getting all of the basics of business set out (whether you’re in your first or 30th year in business, this is about 2022!)
- Marketing – set your marketing goals and write down some ideas for the year
- Sales – what are you going to sell, and to who, in 2022?
- Money – start thinking about your turnover and profit for the year, how much will you pay yourself?
- Growth – what does growth look like in 2022? It could be that you want to stay as you are, that’s also fine – plan it and track it!
For me, the MINT planner is something I can’t do without – it sits on my desk all year round and was such an invaluable tool for me throughout 2021.