Goal setting, business planning and the power of reflection

Picture of by Ros Jones

by Ros Jones

Business coach and author

This article looks at why we need goals in business and offers 5 reasons why reflection is a critical part of planning for goal achievement.

Why do we need goals?

Goals give us a sense of direction. Otherwise we’d be lost or end up like Alice, wandering aimlessly. Remember Alice and the Cheshire Cat?

At the fork in the road, Alice asks, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

The Cheshire Cat: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”

Alice: “I don’t much care where.”

The Cheshire Cat: “Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.”

I’m all for big juicy goals!

But when you have BIG goals they can seem so far away that it can be easy to avoid cracking on with what needs to be done, or perhaps you lose faith that you’ll ever achieve them.

So I like to break goals down into smaller ones. Quarterly goals (or even 30 day goals) help keep us focused. A quarter is only 13 weeks (30 days is just a month). That shorter time frame can help add some urgency to taking action steps towards goal achievement.

Review and reflect before planning

Before we design our action plan, it’s important that we take time to reflect back on the last quarter (or 30 days).

Looking back is not about living in the past. It’s about reflecting on what went well and celebrating wins, what didn’t go so well and what lessons we’ve learned and to see how far we’ve come.

As Steve Jobs famously said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.”

As we approach the end of this quarter, now is the perfect time to reflect on our successes, challenges, and lessons learned before diving into planning for the next quarter.

Here are 5 reasons why reflection is essential for enhancing business planning.

1 Celebrating Successes

Reflecting back gives us the chance to acknowledge and celebrate our successes, both big and small. Taking time to recognise our achievements boosts our morale, gives us confidence, and motivates us to carry on pushing forwards.

2. Identifying Challenges

Reflection gives us space to identify and think about the challenges we faced. Whether it was a project setback, a missed opportunity, or a problem within our processes, understanding the root causes of our challenges enables us to come up with strategies for avoiding or overcoming them in the future.

3. Learning from Mistakes

Mistakes are inevitable in business. It’s easy to beat ourselves up about them, but it’s so important to be aware that they are our most valuable learning opportunities. They allow us to grow. Reflecting on the mistakes we made gives us insights into what went wrong and why. This self-awareness means that we avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future.

4. Evaluating Goals

Reflecting on our progress helps us work out whether we’re on track or if we need to make adjustments. Just like an aeroplane or a space rocket, we may need to make tweaks along the journey to keep us on track.

5. Setting Intentions

Finally, reflection sets the stage for intentional planning. Taking time to glean insights from our reflections means that we can approach the next quarter with clarity, purpose, and intentionality. We can set strategic priorities, be ultra clear about goals, and create plans that capitalise on our strengths and address our areas for improvement.

So remember, as you prepare to plan for the next quarter, take some time to pause, reflect, and review your journey so far before deciding what actions to take next towards those goals.

For information on our quarterly planning days, check out our events page.



Scroll to Top