New Year, New Goals:

How To Prep For & Report On Your Goals for 2017

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It’s mid-January and I’m sure you’re sick of New Year articles about goals and resolutions.

I totally get it.

There’s an overwhelming number of goal setting techniques and creative day planners out there, and it can be difficult to decide what methods of new year goal setting will work best for you in your nonprofit, arts career or small business. That’s why this post isn’t written to convince you to use S.M.A.R.T. goals or The 90 Day Year or buy a Passion Planner.

All of these methods, however different from one another, have one important thing in common: they prove you care about advancing your work and achieving your dreams. That’s really Step 1 of the have-a-great-year process! Believe you can and start to work on the planning of it!

Any method you choose to design and develop your goals for 2017 will set you off on the right path. A focused, purposeful path.

I’m here to talk about the pre-goal setting process you might not yet be employing but should. And the post-goal setting steps you should take to ensure you’re making progress the whole year through.


Assuming you’ve been in business for a year or more, you’ve collected past experiences, successes, failures, and hopefully, some good data to learn from. You need to start there.

How many sales did you make last year for a service you want to continue providing? What was your revenue on that service? What about after expenses?


Did you sell out that small theater space for your spring show? How many seats? What were the prices?

How many hours of rehearsal/studio time did you need to make your best work last year?

And I’ll bet you used social media. What was the percentage of web traffic you received from social media? How much did you spend on Facebook ads?

Obviously, not all of the above examples apply to you and your business. Think what you should be measuring any new goals against, and do the research in your own life and business to gather that data! Organize that research. Did you have goals last year, too? Which ones did you achieve? Where did you fall short?

Without all of this context and real, hard data to support your decisions for this year, how can you be certain you’re making the right moves forward instead of repeating unfortunate mistakes? And you won’t know what to measure to see if you’ve achieved your new year goals at all!

Now it’s time to build on what you’ve done before. Set your new year goals. Use your favorite method. Call on a friend (or email me for help!) Allow this process to be creative and dreamy and passionate and include huge, outrageous thoughts and desires.

So you have your goals and you have your research. Start taking them apart and building plans around them. How are you going to reach each big, dreamy objective?

Post-Goal Setting

So you have your goals and you have your research. Start taking them apart and building plans around them. How are you going to reach each big, dreamy objective?

If your goal is to sell more of your coaching consultations, how are you going to build on last year’s sales? What marketing methods were working? How can you turn up the heat on those? What audiences were feeling your vibe? How can you reach more of those folks?

Need to sell out this year’s show too? Where did ticket buyers come from? How’d they learn about you? How can you capitalize on those methods again? What can you do to follow up with ticket buyers from last year?

How many hours of rehearsal/studio time did you need to make your best work last year? How can you get that same amount of hours for less? What grants can you apply for that give space/time for projects like yours?

Want to increase the amount of leads you gained through an email sign-up page on your site? How many folks were coming in via Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? Organic search? How can you work to increase those numbers across the board?

Get granular. Make a calendar. Specificity and scheduling will be key to doing all the small steps required to make the big leaps forward.

Happy New Year! You got this.

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    I strategize, consult and manage digital marketing and communications for small businesses and creative entrepreneurs. I’m based in Brooklyn, because I have a thing for exposed brick, cozy, local coffee shops and the can’t stop, won’t stop energy of New York.

    Because I work with small companies, I get the chance to really know my clients – what makes them tick and how and why they should stand out in a crowded marketplace. A lot of my clients have a smaller staff, a limited budget and are already stretched thin for time. This leads us to tailor marketing strategies and solutions to each company’s unique needs and actual capacity.

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