Each quarter I host a planning workshop.   In the planning workshop, we take an annual plan and break it down into the remaining quarters, and then we build detailed maps for the quarter we are planning for.  

Each quarter, we celebrate our successes, reflect, and prepare for the next quarter.  

I didn’t always plan like this.  When I first entered the world of entrepreneurship, I only did annual planning.  That is how we did it when I was in the corporate world, so I figured it worked.  

It didn’t.  

Six to nine months after building my plans, I would realize I hardly made headway on those goals.   Each year I felt like I was recycling the same goals because nothing ever moved forward.  

My planning process looks very different than it did a long time ago.  Moving to 90-day or quarterly planning sprints is one of the more significant changes and has dramatically impacted my success.  

Let’s look at the benefits of quarterly planning. 


Benefits of quarterly planning:   

  • The goals are smaller.  This makes them seem more reasonable and more manageable.  It keeps you motivated  
  • You see your progress towards your big goals each quarter.  
  • By only managing your goals in 90-day chunks or 13 weeks, you can easily see and map out the steps necessary and plan them out.
  • Each quarter, you reflect, learn, and adjust throughout the year. 

Yes, you still plan annually.

Quarterly planning doesn’t mean you no longer do an annual plan.  You do.  

I plan my goals for the year at the start of my fiscal year (for most, this is January 1st).  I do a more holistic review of my business during my annual planning than during the regular quarters. 

Once the annual plans are created, I break those big goals into smaller 90-day objectives. 

Each quarter, I can see how I progress towards my big goal.  

Each quarter, I can make adjustments as necessary. 

When to do your quarterly plan

I love doing my quarterly plan before the end of the current quarter.  

As my quarter wraps up, I know where I am with that quarterly goal.  I’m usually a little behind with my goals (typical) and can’t wait to reset and get a fresh start.  

Planning before the quarter’s end also allows me to start the new quarter immediately.  

If this doesn’t work for you, schedule your planning session for e first week of the new quarter. 

I can do my quarterly plan in a few hours.  This includes celebration, reflection, planning, and building my map.   Annually, it takes about twice as long because I review and strategize more.  

My partner/husband and I do our quarterly planning for four businesses plus our personal life in 6 relaxed hours.   Annually, we take two days, but each day is relaxed with time for discussion, lunch, and celebration.  

Do you do your planning quarterly?  Will you try it?  

All successful people have a goal. No one can get anywhere unless he knows where he wants to go and what he wants to be or do.

Norman Vincent Peale