How to Set Up Your YearSheet & Leverage it to the Max

by | Feb 10, 2021 | Uncategorized

Here’s something I’m especially excited about. My YearSheet!

Of course, I recently coined the term, so you probably only have a vague sense of what I’m talking about or why you should be interested.

So, that’s what I’m going to get into here.

What is a YearSheet?

A YearSheet is like a summation of a highly effective general annual meeting – “highly effective” being the key term here since most meetings aren’t.

If you’re a solopreneur, then you would do this meeting by yourself. If you have a small team, you might ask for their input. If you have a mentor or mastermind group, ask for their help. And so forth.

Regardless of your situation, doing an annual review can help you refocus and identify whether you are staying on the rails you’ve laid for yourself or if you’re off in the weeds.

The goal of a YearSheet is to establish a high-level view of what you’re looking to accomplish in your projects in the year ahead, as well as the overall direction you want to be moving in. You’re not reinventing the wheel – you’re just looking for ways to ensure progress in your chosen direction.

The goal of a YearSheet is to establish a high-level view of what you’re looking to accomplish in your projects in the year ahead, as well as the overall direction you want to be moving in. Share on X

(Note: You may want to set up a separate YearSheet for every project or area of life you’re developing a vision for.)

It’s okay to include specifics in your YearSheet as well. Just don’t make it a to-do list. Save those items for your to-do list.

How to Set Up Your YearSheet

As with your LifeSheet, you should set up your YearSheet in a way that makes sense to you.

That said, I recommend using a Google Doc rather than a Google Sheet for your YearSheet, as it’s less about data entry and more about capturing a high-level view of your project that will guide your actions throughout the year.

There is another reason I recommend creating this in Google Docs though. My first YearSheet was created in Microsoft Word, and because I did not save it, I ended up losing it (thanks Windows 10 and your erratic auto-restarting behavior!).

Anyway, be sure to use an appropriate title for your YearSheet. Remember – the reason it’s called a YearSheet is because it’s meant to guide your actions for the year – not for the rest of your life.

One of my YearSheets is called “Music Entrepreneur HQ YearSheet 2021” because I wanted to develop a North Star for this business unit.

As far as the structure of the YearSheet is concerned, I like to keep it simple. I create a heading for every area of the business covered, and summation bullets under each.

There is no right or wrong when it comes to headings, and there’s no need to follow my example unless it works for you.

I have headings like “Content Direction,” “Content Goals,” “Newsletter,” “Optimization,” “Subscribers,” and so forth. Besides “Guiding Principles” and “Goals” which are at the top of my sheet, I’ve put all my headers in alphabetical order. This isn’t necessary but it can be helpful.

YearSheet headings

I guess you could say the YearSheet is like a strategy document, but it’s a little narrower in focus, because it’s all about making gradual improvements (Kaizen) to your project, community, or business. Your branding, brand position, audience, or even marketing channels might not change, but execution will, especially if some things aren’t working, and you would like to improve on them.

Anyway, so far as the bullets are concerned, I’ll highlight what I have under my “Newsletter” heading so you can get a better sense of what you might include in your bullet summations:

YearSheet bullets

This year, I’ve looked at investing more heavily in our newsletter at Music Entrepreneur HQ, which is why I’ve dedicated space to it in my YearSheet.

I could already cross off these bullets because I have actioned them, but I’m going to keep them inside my YearSheet as a reminder of the changes made and the reason they were made.

How to Develop Your YearSheet

If found it important to take a dispassionate view of my business (money is the measuring stick – this isn’t “nice” think) as I was developing my YearSheet. It’s my brain that got me to where I am. Whatever I like and don’t like about my business is a symptom of my own thinking.

Whatever you like and don’t like about your business is a symptom of your own thinking. Share on X

So, I looked at it as if I were making executive decisions on behalf of stakeholders (though I am the main stakeholder). Here’s a sentence that encompasses the high-level thinking applied:

“Based on what has and hasn’t worked to this point, here are the changes we need to make.”

I don’t have to like the decisions being made, but rather trust that they will lead to the positive outcomes I want to create. My job is to action these decisions.

Here are some questions that will help you develop your YearSheet headers and bullets:

  • What resources (articles, books, courses, etc.) have I consumed this past year that I’d like to integrate and implement (I have this under “Guiding Principles”)?
  • What should I do more of based on what I know is working?
  • What should I stop doing based on what I know isn’t working?
  • What assets am I already leveraging and could make better use of? What assets have I yet to leverage? What assets can I acquire?
  • How can I create a stronger connection to my audience and facilitate a greater impact in their lives?
  • What can I do to engage my audience more effectively?
  • What are some things I can do to simplify my project, community, or business (this is a significant focus of my YearSheet)?
  • What systems can I create to make my life easier? Can I automate, eliminate, or delegate certain tasks?

Final Thoughts

Your YearSheet will serve as your North Star for the year if you take the time to develop it. And you will be able to make better decisions. Decisions that are more aligned with your vision.

Your YearSheet will serve as your North Star for the year if you take the time to develop it. Share on X

I find it easy to get distracted by shiny objects, new ideas, and new approaches. My YearSheet offers a dispassionate view of what needs to be done if I am to accomplish my goals. It’s the lighthouse I need to navigate stormy waters.

Will you be setting up a YearSheet? What did you take away from this article?

Let me know in the comments.

P.S. I recently launched my new course, the Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass.

This course equips you with practical and timeless mindset advice, along with the skills necessary to make your own way in the music business.

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