EP 05: Planning for Q1 (and the year ahead) – It’s not too late!

January 4, 2022

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An expert OBM taking the operational mental load off agency owners so they can become better leaders.

Meet Jillian

Join your host, Jillian Dolberry, your “pocket online business manager,” in bi-weekly episodes of The Grace-Filled CEO podcast, the resource you’ve been waiting for to manage all the parts of your life.

Jillian speaks directly to the woman wearing many hats (you know you’re living at least some of them): mom, wife, and caretaker … or boss, a writer, a daughter, a sister, a friend, even a CEO. If you’re going to succeed at any or all of them, it’s going to take a lot of work! And Jillian is here to show you exactly how, with timely conversations and solid resources, sprinkled with a little grace for you, your work, and all of the roles you fill! Find this and more on The Grace-Filled CEO podcast.

Be sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts or at You can also continue the conversation with Jillian on Instagram at @jilliandolberry.



You are listening to episode number 5 of “The Grace-Filled CEO”. Today's episode is one of those that gives me all the warm and fuzzies. I love nothing more than sitting down with a warm cup of coffee and thinking through the year ahead. Thinking through What I want to do, who I want to be, what I want to launch, what I want to try, trips I want to take… there are so many things to dream about and I am excited that today, we will walk through that together.

Of course, if I am going to bring you along with me on this dream date and planning for Q1, you're going to need a guide right? I've put together an outline of everything we will go through today. If you would like to print that off before we get started, feel free to pause this episode so you can do that! If you'd rather just listen because you only have a few minutes before the kids wake up or get home, then carry on my friend! The freebie is here when you're ready for it. 🙂 You can find it at

Let's get into it!

One thing I want to mention before I go into all of these details on how to plan for Q1 is that, and I am sure this comes by no surprise to you, but this format I have created has a foundational theme. There is nothing worse than having a time like this to plan well, and then you feel like you have to toss the plan out the window because LIFE HAPPENS. So everything we will plan together will be through the lens of flexibility and grace because if I know anything about doing anything well, grace is the cornerstone of it. When it needs to be modified, when the goal isn't reached, when you just cannot complete your work because your kids are always sick it seems, or your behind because you have been serving your people so so well.

LIFE Happens and we need to be ok with that and build in some flexibility and grace into our plan.

To do that, I have created this format where we are going to look at all 4 quarters from a high level. We will not get into the nitty-gritty of what needs to happen, but more so just the overall theme for those months. And guess what, if life changes, so does that plan. No one is holding you to it. Your business is what it needs to be for your family and what you make it. You get a choice. And if I could have you take away one thing today it would be to choose grace for yourself.

First, we are going to REFLECT.

Reflecting is not everyone's thing, I get that. So I kept this short and sweet. For those of you that love to reflect on the past year, you can dig into details on your own and expand on this as much as you want. For now, let's look at two simple questions to guide you in ways of making 2022 the best year yet. The first question I want to ask you is…What is working? What worked last year? What is continually working? What was new that worked? Cover all the bases. And maybe even get personal with it. What worked in your relationships this year? What worked in parenting this year? Not only is this info important for guiding you, but it's also a good pit stop for gratitude. Take a minute to be grateful for all the things that went well and WORKED! In business, we need as much encouragement as we can get. This is a free moment to grab it, so do it! The next question I want you to ask yourself is…What are you tolerating? In your business, in your life, in your relationships, in your projects, in your systems? These questions apply to more than just business, so let's take it there. What are you letting slid past you? What are you feeling the tension of but turning your head to ignore it because you just don't have the time? What are you putting off dealing with? What are you unsatisfied with? What standards are you compromising thorugh toleration?From there it will inform you of things that need to stay put, and what needs to either be modified or let go of.NO is such a hard work, right? I always get sweaty palms when I have to tell someone no, whether I want to say no or not. But this is your reminder and your permission to not only use it but use it as a full sentence. And here is a little extra bonus for you, if you are unsure HOW to say no about a certain situation, email me at and I would love to help you navigate that!

Ok, this is my favorite part!!

Next up let's DREAM at little!

This year will be a good one for you I can feel it!! When you do your dreaming, get messy with it. Let it flow! Are you a person that likes to create fun art when journalling? Do that! If you're the person who thrives off of clean lines and no fluff, do that! Make this fun and satisfying for you, whatever that looks like. The main goal is to just answer the question, without deep thinking on the details (don't worry, we'll get there!) and think about the possibilities of it!

Let's start with these questions…

What dreams do you have for your lifestyle? (What do you want to do with your family this year? What do you want to be able to provide? What kind of margin do you want in your schedule? What kind of routine do you want to have?)

What kind of financial dreams do you have? (Think about how much you want/need to fulfill the lifestyle you desire.)

What dreams do you have for your team? (Who do you want to hire? What dreams do you have around building your team or the culture of your team?)

What dreams do you have around your clients and services? (Big picture, how do you want to serve them well? What do you want to offer?)

What dreams do you have around your daily operations? (How do you want your business to operate and support others?)

What dreams do you have around networking/marketing? (What kind of connections do you want to build?)

NOW, YES… this can feel like a lot of questions. But the goal here is not just to look at your business, but look at your life. One of the biggest mistakes I think you can make when planning for your business is not accounting for your LIFESTYLE. Your business exists to serve your clients, your team and your lifestyle. So don't write off digging into the ways it can actually support what you want your life to look like this year. Now, a disclaimer. Life doesn't always look the way we want it to. I know this and you know this. I can't tell you how many times I have planned and it's gone the opposite direction. And honestly, that can really stifle us in planning a dreaming for the future because we don't want to be disappointed. We're human and we feel that deeply. But I know that God wants us to dream about what we want. And he wants us to ask for it. He wants us to do what we can do honor and glorify him through those desires. Will they all happen, probably not. Will it be hard and disappointing? Probably so. But will you still work your tail off and find joy in the Lord and in your business? ABSOLUTELY. If there were ever a time to let go of any wall or boundary, it's when you dream about all that God can accomplish in your life and business. Dream away, my friend!

This is where things get real… Let's PLAN out your Q1!

Layout the goals you have for the first 6 months of the year, no need to put pressure on yourself to think about the back half of the year yet because things can change very quickly. Start thinking about Q3 at the end of Q1. For today, let's just focus on q1 and q2! In the resource, I have for you there is a template that will help walk you through this. You will start with laying out your goal and defining WHEN it will be completed. After you have defined that, you will answer the question, WHAT needs to happen to accomplish this goal? The answer to this question will be the tasks that need to be completed to reach this goal. Nest you will ask yourself, WHO do I need to accomplish this goal. These will either be contractors, team members, or trusted people you can lean on for accountability. These will also be the people to who you can assign things and help you accomplish the tasks to reach the goal. After you define those things, here are your next steps:

  • You are going to upload this goal, tasks, and team, to your project management board.
  • After you do that, you will create and assign tasks to the appropriate people. That could be your team or it could be you!
  • Next, you will gather the resources needed to optimize and mobilize your team. Do they need access to something? Do you need to sign up for a new application? Do you need to reach out to some contractors to help you?
  • Create tasks to check in on the operations for this goal. You want to have periodic check-ins so this goal is not forgotten and to make sure your team is operating smoothly and doesn't need anything from you.
  • Lastly, choose someone who can help hold you accountable in this goal. It could be a fellow business friend, a real-life friend, your obm or another team member. There are no rules here, just an opportunity to NOT be alone in this!

I think you are ready to dive into planning, executing and slaying those goals you have set for yourself. And again if this episode leaves you with anything, I hope its this… a goal not reached is an opportunity for GRACE. You've got this sister!

Alright friends, that is it for this episode! Don't forget to dign up for the free planning resource to help walk you through all things planning in your business and life. head over to for more.


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