Make 2018 Your Best Year Yet! My 5 Step Process For Planning An Epic Year

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Now is the time to make some mindset adjustments so you can hit 2018 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 May Be You…

  • You are a high achieving entrepreneur and don’t want to settle for living an average life
  • Feel like you’re working your butt off but not getting closer to your ultimate goals
  • You set goals for the year but by March you forget about them because you’re not really
    making big progress… then you let life choose what you spend your time on
  • Find yourself saying “yes” to almost any opportunity that looks “good” and is profitable
  • Start each day feeling overwhelmed at everything you have to do and the little time you have to do it
  • Wish that finally one of your businesses or business ideas would grow to its full potential rather than doing “decent” and leveling off
  • You know you’re able to achieve MORE… but can’t figure out how to crack through that wall
  • You’re growing your team but MORE overwhelmed now than before
  • You always sabotage yourself and your goals… but you don’t know why

Before you dive in … here is your chance to WATCH the replay “Make 2018 Your Best Year Yet! – Planning An Epic Year

planning an epic 2018 replay

My 5 Step Process For Planning An Epic Year

  1. Mindset Practices: Your Biggest Asset / Enemy5 Step Process To An Epic Year
  2. Clarifying Your “Life Vision”
  3. Creating An Ironclad Yearly Plan
  4. Keeping Course During The Year
  5. Crafting A “Winning” Environment

1) Mindset Practices: Your Biggest Asset / Enemy

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

Time For A Mindset Reset

“Based on this are impulsive and logic thinking, where more complex decisions are made. According to multiple sources on the Internet, the average amount of remotely conscious decisions an adult makes each day equals about 35,000. In contrast, young children only make about 3,000 decisions each day.”

Eliminate Decision Fatigue

decision making and psychology

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.

Nailing The Simple Things…

Nailing The Simple Things...

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.

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.

Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”

― Steve Jobs

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, Weeks. How Are You Going to Choose to Spend Your Time?

How are you going to spend your time?

Let’s Make This Real…

This week chart helps to emphasize that time is certainly finite. Those are your weeks and they’re all you get.

In thinking about your own time, decide how to use it:

1) Enjoy your time

2) Building something to make your future and the future others more enjoyable and successful

The Cool Thing Is That You Can Accomplish A TON In A Short Amount Of Focused Time…

Here are two Carrot members who get it. They’ve taken passion, the right mindset, and drive and have been able to start crushing their markets in a short timeframe.

Tim Oppelt Closing Deals
Tim Oppelt Made Major Strides in 2017!

Now, Since We Only Have One Go Around…

This picture is from the book “Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg Mckeown

… are you using your time
wisely while you have it?

Everything you “focus” on in 2018 takes your mental energy and physical time.

If you start and stop and spread yourself around…

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

That overwhelm, lack of finishing things, achieving below potential, lower income, always being “busy” but nothing to show for it, etc.

I was here once. I started to see success in my businesses and that success opened up more and more opportunities.

But, I didn’t realize it then, opportunities are often times just distractions in disguise.

Every one of those arrows is a different project, focus, thing… that requires energy and time.

When you are working on so many things… none of those things are able to really grow to their full potential.

But when you put your energy into fewer things but choose “less but better”…

That’s when things start to blow up (in a good way) and take off in your life.

… it’s what happens when you grow into say “no” to 99% of everything (even things that look like great opportunities) 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 a bunch of unfocused things. None of them do all that well and you feel like you’re spinning your wheels.

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

Energy Audit Worksheet

Download Your Energy Audit Worksheet

On the call I will show you why this simple audit is so critical.

Energy Audit Worksheet

albert einstein

“We are most productive when we focus on a very small number of projects on which we can devote a large amount of attention.”

– Albert Einstein

2) Clarifying Your “Life Vision”

What’s Your Vision Story?
What’s Your Vision Story?

Planning your year is futile if you aren’t clear what you want in LIFE.

Where do you see your business in 2018? How about in five years? These questions can be tough and 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.

Get started creating your own vision statement now.

3) Drilling Down To The Annual Plan

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

Your Annual Planning Sesh = Critical To Success

Annual Plan Pyramid
Annual Planning/Doing Pyramid

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.

Mess Things Up. Then Build Back Up.

brainstorming for business success

Think About Holding An Annual OFF-SITE Planning Retreat

Ideally, hold a 2-day off-site retreat where you go through a process like I’m going to outline. Those 2 days are the BEST investment of those 2 days. Don’t discount the value of this. It’s CRITICAL


  • How did we do toward our goals? Budget vs. Actual
  • Celebrate
  • What worked? What didn’t (frustrations, fail points, blockages)?
  • How did we do according to our Mission and Core Values?
  • What are our potential points of failure that could take us down?

Expand Your Mind

  • 10x exercise

Product Vision / Goals For Next Year

  • What problem are we trying to solve?
  • What do we want to be known for?
  • What bottlenecks are in our way right now?
  • What are the top 1-3 priorities?

Any NEW Product Offerings (things not core to your primary thing)?

  • Gaps?
  • Opportunities?

People / Gaps / Needle Movers?

  • “If we could hire our dream person (knowing we can’t get them, but hypothetically)… would that person help 10x the business (or reach whatever goal we have) if they are put in place? “
  • How can we inspire our people even more next year?

2018 Processes

  • Current bottlenecks?
  • What processes NEED to be in place for us to succeed and build the business we’ll enjoy

Review Vision + Ask… “Why”?

  • Are those goals we set actually important in the grand scheme of things?
  • Why will hitting $X in revenue actually MATTER? Or are we chasing numbers just to chase numbers and achievement?

1-4 Core Competencies We Have To NAIL In 2018 Just list them. They go at the top of your goals for 2018 to set themes and focus areas.

… then take the notes and take pictures of things and put them into a simple “roadmap” of your priorities that you hang on your wall and review often.

Let’s Get Personal…

Do this exercise: Jot down your intentions for the year on every important part of your life.

Health, business, relationships, education, financial, paying it forward, spiritual, pleasure and leisure.

Write a vision story for the year. As you get more involved, write it for 5 years and 10 years.

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?”

Dreams Now Worksheet

Download Your Dreams Now Worksheet

On the call, I walk you through how to fill out this worksheet.

Dreams Now Worksheet

4) Keeping Course During The Year

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

Most people…

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

What You Need To Do…

  • Create a theme for the year

Pick the #1 most important thing you want to live in 2018. 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”

What You Need To Do…

  • Break it down into “90-day” chunks

Work your annual goals backward and make them more achievable into Quarterly Missions.

What You Need To Do…

  • Have a quarterly “out of office” 100% away from distractions.

Organizing Your Day

organizing your day

Download The Organizing Your Day Sheet

5) Winning The Day

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

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

YOUR 5 Step Process For Planning An Epic Year

  1. Mindset Practices: Your Biggest Asset / Enemy
  2. Clarifying Your “Life Vision”
  3. Creating An Ironclad Yearly Plan
  4. Keeping Course During The Year
  5. Crafting A “Winning” Environment

If you want to have the best year ever with 2018 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 for planning an epic 2018. 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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