Episode 24 How I'm Setting Goals for My Business in 2017

Episode 24 How I'm Setting Goals for My Business in 2017

The one where I share strategies for planning personal and business goals for 2017.

Please note this is a transcript of the show (roughly) - it’s how a speak, not how I write. Thank you for understanding.


Hello and welcome to episode 24 of the Creative Me podcast. Today's episode theme is about setting goals for your business in 2017. But first, a little bit of housekeeping:

I'm going to take the rest of December off podcasting to focus on launching an online course.

This will be the last episode of 2016 you get from me, but I promise I will be back in January.

December Arrived!

It's December how did that happen? I think December is an exciting month for everyone but in particular small business owners. You get to have a look at how the year has gone and start making some serious plans for the new year. That's why I'm talking about goal setting for 2017 in this show.

Even if you're not a small business owner, the strategies I share in this episode can be applied to personal goals.


Whenever I embark upon a project, whether that's goal setting or something entirely different, I need structure. I'm not a pen and paper kind of a girl really. I might brainstorm on Post-it notes or a whiteboard, but when it comes to structuring something to make sure it happens, I need an online tool.

Goal Setting Structure

My weapon of choice for structuring stuff is Trello. I've talked about Trello a great deal in the past on the show.

I've set up a Trello board to structure my 2017 goals. Here is a screenshot:

Episode 24 How I'm Setting Goals for My Business in 2017 - TRELLO

As you can see, I have a list for weekly goals. It’s important to set one goal a week that aligns with your overall goal. I will set up a weekly card just to keep me accountable for achieving that week's goal.

One of the great things about Trello cards is you can attach a checklist outlining the steps it will take to achieve that card’s goal. You can tick steps off as you go.

I also have a list for each quarter.

I have a list for my annual theme (my theme will be related to my quarterly goals but it is just one word for the year).

Setting a Theme

Having a one-word theme for the year might sound a bit woo-woo but if you sometimes feel overwhelmed with goals, it is a great fall-back. I like the simplicity of it.

My theme for 2017 is IDENTITY. It’s all about my business having a very very clear and authentic identity. I need to be 100% clear on what I do and who I do it for.

While I have set my theme, I have not set my goals yet. That will happen over the next week.


I am not a fan of SMART goals. I always forget what SMART stands for. Instead, I opt for “specific and realistic”.

When I say realistic I don't mean easy, I mean achievable, but including sufficient “stretch”.

Backwards Building

When I set goals, I work backwards. This what I do:

  1. Create a vision of what I or my business will look like at the end of the year. I brain dump that vision and then I work backwards.
  2. Pull my quarterly goals out of my ‘end-point’ vision.
  3. Pull action steps out of my quarterly goals.
  4. Create weekly goals.

Get Accountable

I think I will blog about my goals when they are set to add an additional layer of accountability. Keep an eye out for the post on martineellis.com.

What About You?

How are you setting goals for next year? Email me and let me know on martine@martinellis.com or tweet me @martineeellis.

Before I forget, here is a great round-up article about goal setting from thebalance.com.

Wrap Up

That’s all from me for this year - happy holidays and happy new year. My gift to you is a copy of my Trello board (download below!)

P.S. if you've just started using Trello and you aren't sure which boards to set up, check out my Eight Trello Board Templates for Creative Business Owners and Bloggers (includes tutorial video).