Get Laser-Focused Results in 2021 Using Carrot’s Annual Planning Process

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Now is the time to make some mindset adjustments so you can hit 2021 hard and make it your best year yet. We’re going to walk you through how to gain momentum in the New Year, gain massive clarity, and focus.

This might be you…

  • Are a high achieving entrepreneur and don’t want to settle for living an “average life”
  • You’ve already achieved your “someday goals” you set years ago… but still not as happy and fulfilled as you thought you’d be
  • OR… you feel like you’re working your butt off but not getting closer to your ultimate goals (or your goals keep shifting) 
  • Every year you have the same goals you set, then re-set… and have thought “Maybe I should aim lower” or “Maybe it’s just too hard for me”
  • You want a better system for setting and achieving goals that set you up for success in the new year
  • You dip into “Entrepreneurs Funk” but don’t know how to get out
  • You’ve been grinding for months (maybe years) and things just don’t seem to be breaking through for you… 
  • Start each day feeling overwhelmed at everything you have to do and the little time you have to do it
  • You keep hitting up against a wall and can’t crack through to reach your
    Vision for “success” and are getting discouraged…
  • You want to find ways to create more happiness and joy in life and business

My Process For 2021 Planning to Achieve Laser-Focused Results

  • Diagnose where you are (mindset)
  • Clarifying your vision story
  • Eliminating limiting beliefs
  • Crafting your critical number’s
  • Crafting your objectives and sticking to them
  • Pre-loading the year for success (Winning the day)

1) Time For A Mindset Reset

What’s actually important in the grand scheme of things??? Clearing Your Mind For The Important Things.

Take the time to review the past year. What went well?

Write down five things in the past year you’re most proud of and five other wins from the past year. This will help to shift you into a positive mindset.

Now write down five items for “where I’d like to get better in the year ahead.”


What to eat, what to wear, what to read, which direction to drive, and on and on. In order to stay strategic and unclutter your mind, try eliminating some of the mundane decisions.

In decision making and psychology, decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual, after a long session of decision making. It is now understood as one of the causes of irrational trade-offs in decision making.

Next, start thinking about this “how do I define success?” Is it a career that exceeds expectations, lots of money, or bigger toys? Or, is it an abundance of family time, getting into shape and health, or relaxing and enjoying life?

There are five essential elements to include in your planning to be a complete success. You can certainly be successful in one or more areas, but strive to have high scores on all six to be a complete success. Try this little test…

Take This Quick Test of the 6 F’s. Write Down a Score of 1 – 5 (5 Being You’re Crushing It)

Fitness ____

Family ____

Friends ____

Financial ____

Faith ____

Fun ____

So how do these six F’s play into becoming a complete success? As we set goals and strive for success in our lives, our goals should fit into one or more of these areas.

Having goals that will better each of these areas of your life. They will enrich your entire life and help you to achieve the success you desire.

The next obstacle you need to hurdle is how you view urgency.

Urgency (or lack of) Is One Of Our Biggest Problems and One of the Biggest Fixes I’ve Found is to Recognize Your Own Mortality.

Let’s show this visually…

This is human life in 90 years:

A 90-Year Human Life in Years

And, a 90-Year Life in Months:

90 year human life in months

And, in weeks. How are you going to choose to spend your time?

How are you going to spend your time?

… Are you using your time wisely?

Everything You “Focus” on in 2021 Takes Your Mental Energy and Physical Time.

If you start and stop and spread yourself around…

On the left… you have the “unfocused” and busy entrepreneur.

You’ll be overwhelmed, have a lack of finishing things, achieve below your potential, have a lower income, and always be “busy” but nothing to show for it.

I’ve been there. I started to see success in my businesses and that success opened up many more opportunities.

But, what I didn’t realize is, opportunities are often times distractions dressed in disguise.

Every one of those arrows is a different focus that requires you to spend time and energy.

When you are working on so many “opportunities”… none of those”opportunities” are able to grow to their full potential.

But, When You Put Your Energy Into Fewer Things…

That’s when things start to roll and take off in your life.

It’s what happens when you start saying “no” to 99% of everything (even the opportunities that look shiny) and say “YES” to just the essential few things that are going to help you make the biggest impact in your life and income.

If you add up the length of all of those little arrows in the first diagram, they equal the length of this one long arrow here. So you’re using the same amount of energy doing unfocused things.

But what if you focused on ONLY THE BEST opportunities and used that same energy to make that great? The results are a factor of 10x.

Download Your Energy Audit Worksheet

Energy Audit Worksheet

albert einstein

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

– Albert Einstein

2) Clarify Your Life’s Vision

What’s Your Life’s Vision?

Planning your year will not produce results if you aren’t clear what you want in LIFE

Where do you see your business in 2021? How about in five years? These questions can be tough. They might even catch you off-guard.

You and your business might be missing a vital part of the strategic planning process.

So you know what you and your business need to do?

You MUST know where you want to go.

Grab a pen, some paper, and find a quiet spot. Write “What’s My Vision Story?” Jot down where you’d like to be in…

  • 25 years
  • 10 years
  • 5 years
  • 1 year

Need help? Get started creating your own vision statement now!

3) Eliminating Limiting Beliefs

At the beginning of 2020, I didn’t think it was possible to run a half-marathon or ride my bike, daily, for a month. I limited myself beliefs. But, after some challenges, I ran a half marathon in June and have been riding through December.

The lack of knowledge and confidence was a limiting belief.

If you want to bust through your limiting beliefs and achieve your goals for not only your real estate business but your financial and life goals as well, you need to…

  • Identify and write down beliefs that are holding you back
  • Understand beliefs that fuel you
  • Create traditional business beliefs
  • Learn to bust through your limiting beliefs
  • Find the little red flags that cause limits

4) Creating An Ironclad Yearly Plan

As entrepreneurs, we NEED momentum to be happy… crafting a clear PLAN for the year helps keep momentum.

First off… there’s no one right way to do this.

I think it’s different depending on the “goal” and the phase of your life.

A tactic that I started to implement into my planning is called Ikigai. Ikigai is a term for “a reason for being.”  The source of value in one’s life or the things that make one’s life worthwhile. Use this or find something similar and apply that into your planning.

Image Source: Toronto Star

For me, my personal plan is first, then the business plan supports the personal.
(I usually take a full day to detach, dream, and get clear)

The 3 Step Personal Power Process

  1. Read your vision story, edit it, update it, get excited about it! If it doesn’t excite you reading it, you’re reading the wrong story.
  2. Now, jot down your intentions for the year on every important part of your life on the Dreams Now worksheet.
  3. Do a quick 15 minute Energy Audit.

Now, Theme Your Year

Pick the #1 most important thing you want to live in 2021. For me, I’ve had themes like…

“To look back and KNOW I did the best I could possibly do on everything I did”
“Health and activity over everything else”
“Building something great with massive focus”
“Lead by example in everything I do”
“Actions Express Priorities”

Next, I Start My Business Annual Planning Process (1-2 days)

To get past those ceilings… almost always it’s a process addition and a communication change. Even if you’re currently a 1 person show.

Where Are You Going?

  • Choose a big vision for the year

If you were to look back in 12 months at the year that passed, what would have had to happen in order for you to feel that year was a success?

Now… Get Brainstorming

Mind Expansion … what do you need to tackle to 10x your company. Think bigger and get things in place to make your life easier.

Here Is An Example Of Our Basic Annual Planning Agenda

Day 1:

(1) Set aside time (1-2 days)

(2) Review + reflect on the year

  • Goals vs. reality
  • Wins! + What caused not reaching goals
  • Opportunities and Threats (what could kill the business?)

(3) Expand mindset (10x)

Day 2:

(4) Goals for 2021

  • Financial and other trackable goals
  • Should Embarrass You and be scary

(5) What do we need to do?

  • People / gaps to fill?
  • Processes?
  • Projects?

(6) Theme

  • What are the Core Focus areas to achieve that in 2021? (Write down 3-5)

(7) Create visuals to get in front of people (After)

We started using the “Annual Waterfall” in 2018. It consists of these items for the year:

  • Vision / Mission
  • Critical Numbers / Goals
  • Quarterly metrics

But it also includes a “Quarterly Objectives” so we can look at it from a drilled down view for even better planning.

5. Keeping The Course During The Year

It’s human nature to wander. It’s the “bumpers” you put around you that help you stay on the right track.

Stick to a Planning Framework

I’ve seen some common mistakes in planning. Such as…

  • Choose a big yearly goal (BHAG)
  • Their goal / focus is kinda vague
  • Only do their goal setting and “themes” once a year
  • Give up on their goals by March

Instead, what they need to do…

  • Choose weekly/monthly metrics to track if projects are achieving the goals
  • Figure out exactly what is need to do to reach the goals
  • Nail down where are we going this year / quarter
  • Choose an overarching rallying cry for the year
  • Know why we exist at our core

Start with a Simple 1 Page Annual Strategic Plan

Work your annual goals backward. We use a good, better, best model at Carrot…

Now, break everything down for the first quarter of 2021…

  • What must you achieve this quarter in order to reach your 1-year goals?
  • What projects do I need to work on to make it happen?
  • What resources do I need or help do I need from other people?

Then Create A Simple Scorecard You Review Weekly (sometimes daily)

Here’s one specific to wholesalers…

Download the Wholesaling Scorecard

Add quarterly planning sessions to your calendar now. Utilize those sessions to really build momentum and clarity.

Don’t forget! You need to also schedule a quarterly “out of office” day. 100% away from distractions for each quarter to set your goals and update your scorecard.

6. Winning The DAY And Creating Good Habits

Your habits shape you. Your environment shapes your habits. Shape your environment so you are intentional about what you fill your mind with.

Craft A Winning Environment
Craft a Winning Environment: Surround Yourself with Motivating Visuals

Organizing Your Day

organizing your day

Download The Organizing Your Day Sheet

Your environment shapes you. Shape your environment so you are intentional about what you fill your mind with.

My Habit and Goal Tracker

My personal Annual Planning daily habit sheet

Getting more energy:

  • Join running and cycling challenges
  • Drink 70+ oz of water/day
  • Stop eating after 8 pm

More centered and present:

  • Put my phone in the bathroom at night and in the box by the door when I get home
  • Go to bed by 10:30 pm (most nights)
  • Wake up by 5:30 am (still working on that)
  • Reading time in AM and PM

More productive at work:

  • Plan out the day and week ahead of time (obvious)
  • Share it w/ my assistant and wife for accountability

It’s all about Habit Triggers. I have found this video to be a great “happiness” habit trigger. This video triggers habits to become more aware of our JOY.

Matthew McConaughey - This Is Why You're Not Happy | One Of The Most Eye Opening Speeches

Your Process For Planning An Epic Year

1. Mindset Practices: Your Biggest Asset / Enemy

2. Clarifying Your “Life Vision”

  • Life list + Vision Story (annually)
  • Raise your standards

3. Creating An Ironclad Yearly Plan

  • Ikigai + Energy Audit + 6 F’s
  • Annual planning + waterfall

4. Keeping The Course During The Year

  • Quarterly waterfall + scorecard
  • Productivity sheet / Habit Tracker
  • Mindset / Habit triggers

5. Winning The DAY And Creating Good Habits

If you want to have your best year ever in 2021, this strategy will help you get off on the right foot and build momentum into January.

The entire purpose of this strategy is to simplify the process of planning an amazing 2021. Creating and executing your goals can be tough. I developed a simple approach a few years ago that transformed my life and I am confident it can change yours!

Trevor Mauch

Trevor is the CEO of Carrot and knows a thing or two about inbound marketing and generating leads online in the real estate industry. As an investor himself, he's generated tens of thousands of real estate leads and is a leading expert in inbound marketing for investors and agents. In addition, his true passion is helping entrepreneurs grow businesses that truly help you live a life of purpose.

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