Are you hitting your goals?

Happy October! As autumn asserts itself with shorter days and colder nights, it’s time to look ahead to the last quarter of the year.

Yikes! We have only three months to realize our 2023 goals. Now is the perfect time to revisit and perhaps reevaluate your annual goals.

Ask yourself: How’s your year been going? To make this question more meaningful, write out your answers so that you can take an honest look at your progress.

My answer is: I set way too many goals and subgoals for 2023. I wrote them down and made progress on some but did nothing on others.

What did I learn? Next year, I’ll focus on fewer goals – three.

Time to take stock now

Shorter days are a perfect time for reflection – practiced in cultures as diverse as Norse and Hopi. Ask yourself:

  • What worked for you this year?
  • What didn’t work?
  • Do you expect to reach your 2023 goals and metrics?
  • What course correction could you make to get there by year-end?
cover of book Persuasion
Lots to learn from this new book, “Persuasion” by Lee Hartley Carter.

One thing that worked for me in 2023 was reading, summarizing and reviewing new books on marketing. Out of the new crop of books that came along in 2023, I recommend these 4 on persuasion and writing:

  • Lee Hartley Carter’s book Persuasion: Convincing Others When Facts Don’t Seem to Matter
  • David McRaney’s book How Minds Change: The Surprising Science of Belief, Opinion, and Persuasion
  • Mehdi Hasan’s book Win Every Argument: The Art of Debating, Persuading, and Public Speaking
  • Ann Handley’s second edition of Everybody Writes: Your New and Improved Go-to Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content. If you have read the first edition, good for you! But this second edition has lots of new ideas to learn.

Wow! You learned a lot

We all learn things every year, but we seldom appreciate how much we’ve learned.

  • As you review the year’s work, did you learn ways to do better – new tools, new approaches, new partners to work with? Write down what you learned so it sticks.
  • Did you extend your practice into new areas? What new skills or endeavors will you tackle next?
  • Do you have a coach or teacher who helps you speed your evolution as a marketer? (Yes, we coach marketers routinely, particularly on content, B2B marketing and Message Maps.)

This year, I learned a lot from reading Andrew Davis’ and Michael Port’s book The Referable Speaker. Thanks to this book, I delivered my first keynote speeches in 2023. Now I look forward to training with Michael in person, so I can deliver keynote speeches even better.

Are you on track to reach your 2023 goals?

What’s ahead for you? 

Most of this year’s results are probably behind us. For deadline-distressed marketers, it can be too easy to just close the book on your past achievements.

Ask yourself these questions about your accomplishments:

  • Did you celebrate your successes?
  • Do you express gratitude to your partners and co-workers, maybe even your clients or boss, for their contributions to your success?
  • What’s the most important thing you planned to do in 2023, but didn’t do yet? Put it on your schedule right now.

As winter looms ahead (spoken like a Chicagoan), I hope you enjoy every moment you can get outside!

Lots of ideas for content come to me when I’m outside, rather than in my office. That’s why I suggest going for a walk outside when you get stuck.

Here are a few ideas about content marketing that came to me outside, in autumn.

Have a great rest of your year!

Here’s an idea: Make a Message Map to plan your successes for the year ahead.