Don’t Wait for the New Year, Start Planning Your 2014 – NOW!

by Chris C. Ducker · 41 comments

Screen Shot 2013-10-14 at 6.08.32 PMWhile a lot of people wait for the New Year to come around to plan out what they want to achieve in the next 12-months, I plan for the upcoming  year in the last quarter of the current year. It’s something I’ve done for a long time, and it’s always served me well.

A lot of business owners leave the planning of a fresh, new year of opportunities until the beginning of it.

I believe, however, that planning a full quarter in advance (if not longer) has been the difference for me becoming more successful in my pursuits, as well as more rounded and experienced from a business ownership standpoint. I just love seeing any type of plan that I put in place come to life, and thrive.

As as example, here are the last few years for me:

In the last quarter of 2009, I was planning my escape from my office, with my goal to become a full-time Virtual CEO by the end of 2010. I achieved that goal.

In the last quarter of 2010, I was planning the growth and marketing push for Virtual Staff Finder for the whole of 2011, literally month by month. It worked – we had an amazing 2011 – although 2012 has been even better!

In the last quarter of 2011, I was planning the changes I was going to make to my online brand and content publishing focus. Although I ran a little late on the initial plan, due to back surgery, I did re-launch my brand (at this site) later in 2012 and it’s turned out to be a great move for me.

In the last quarter of 2012, I was planning my speaking schedule, additional travel and an even bigger focus on content creation and marketing. It’s worked excellently. I’ve spoke at some amazing events, traveled to well over 15 cities worldwide and doubled my readership at this blog, all within 2013.

My Plans for 2014

So, here we are in the last quarter of 2013, and although it’s still early on in the planning stages, I’m already getting unbelievably excited about 2014, and what it’ll hopefully bring my way. Here are some highlights of my plans so far:

vf-left-angleVirtual Freedom - My first traditionally published book will hit the stores (online and off) in April, 2014. There will be a full blown marketing plan swinging into action very soon, and I’ll be focusing on this for most of 2014. It’s easily one of the most exciting things to ever happen to me, and I promise to bring you all along for the ride!

NOTE: If you’d like to pre-order the book, you can do so by clicking here. Hold onto your receipt, as I am putting together a special pre-order only bundle of goodies for those that do!

Info Product(s) - I have plans to put together and market at least two, possibly three different digital products next year. Starting with one course in the first quarter of 2014.

Extended Travel - I’ve been pretty all-out this year and not really taken too much time off. I’m hoping to change that in the third quarter of 2014 with some extended travel with the family. We’ll see how the plans develop on this one!

Tropical Think Tank - My first ever live event, being held here in Cebu, Philippines sold out in 27-hours. I was completely and utterly flabbergasted. Now the pressure is on to stage a brilliant event. My team is already well into preparations.

Speaking Gigs - I want to speak at least 10-times next year. This doesn’t include personal mastermind events. I mean actual conferences, etc. It all starts with New Media Expo in Vegas, this coming January, but if you know of any cool small business and entrepreneurship conferences that I should apply to speak at, I’d love to hear your suggestions (just comment below!).

Secret Plan #1 - I never show all my cards – especially when business is concerned. Listen to this New Business Podcast episode to find out why!

Secret Plan #2 - See above!

It’s going to be an exciting, busy and hopefully very memorable year!

What are YOU Planning for 2014?

So, the question is… have YOU started planning for 2014 yet?

If not. Start. Today.

I mean, what are you waiting for? January 1st, 2014???!!!

Get to work, my friends. You’ll thank me for the early kick in the ass, trust me.

Feel free to share your plans, and hold yourself a little accountable, by commenting below. 

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Meron Bareket October 14, 2013 at 19:24

Hey Chris,
Great post. I’ve been in “putting out fires and making 2013 count” hyperactive mode, not even thinking about 2014. Yet so much with success has to do with putting the time to plan (even though the plan will always change when reality will hit). Your approach also allows to start the year strong, instead of wasting half of January on happy thoughts and wishful planning, and BOOM – suddenly it’s March and you’ve done nothing. Been there!

So, thanks for sharing. Great idea, and great timing!


Peter Simoons October 14, 2013 at 21:06

Good point Chris, I just started last Friday with the new plan for 2014. Better be prepared on time! :)


Tung Tran October 15, 2013 at 00:19

I always wait for January 1st to make a plan but I think you’re right Chris, being prepared before the year is much better.

I’ll try to make a plan this month and will leave a long comment here.

Thank you Chris! See ya in DCBKK !


Steve wyman October 15, 2013 at 01:32

Hi Chris

The last quarter plan is something I use to do a lot. Especially when having to work out budgets and overheads for the next year. Even Christmas is to late for that stuff.

These days things are different but I’d say my strategy is to really think about next year from 5 months out. Not the detail but what direction can I take personnely and business.

Btw I’m not able to pre order the book on the kindle (yet) as I don’t buy paper books any longer I’ll wait until closer to launch date. Unless it gets set up earlier. Best of luck with the run up to launch


Mike Kawula October 15, 2013 at 02:01

Fail to plan and …..

Great post Chris. I’ve always been big on putting plans in place early, though this coming years has been the most challenging. Recently sold 2 businesses and still unclear of exact next steps which makes putting specific goals in place difficult.

Look forward to seeing your book launch. I’m sure you’ll Crushit!


Sebastian Papp October 15, 2013 at 02:09

I am a little bit dissapointed for 2013 because I didn’t accomplished my existing goals, I am not sure that planing again the same plan will be ok for 2014 :(


Dillon Carter October 15, 2013 at 02:38

Awesome post Chris! I have a huge white board hanging on my wall and it’s been way to clean lately. I need to really sit down and organize for the up coming year to be better focused and achieve my goals.


ilias diamantis October 15, 2013 at 02:39

Hi Chris and all the awesome people above !

These are my plans for 2014 :

1. Have work/life balance
2. Expand my main business to Athens
3. Establish my passion project

There’s a greek proverb saying “when people plan , god laughs ” . This of course doesn’t mean we shouldn’t plan , but sometimes life throws curveballs at you . And that’s the beauty of it .

And until all our plans/goals come to a fruition ,
Be healthy and smile !


Adam Beckett October 15, 2013 at 03:44

Hi Chris, timely post .

I’m 46 tomorrow, Birthdays (and funerals) tend to make people think about their future.

My 2014 :

1. My Wife regains remission from serious illness
2. Her happy brand continues to make more people happier
3. I help the Environment in a significant way

Just made a little podcast at my blog talking about the big challenges we collectively face as a species. We can only try our best and roll with it. The main thing is – enjoy every day, we’re so lucky to be here :)


Natalie Sisson October 15, 2013 at 11:45

Too right Adam couldn’t agree more. Life on this earth is precious and we should make the most of it and an impact. I wish your wife a speedy recovery too and her work to ensure more people are happy the world over!

I started planning for my 2014 around 6 weeks ago with a very set firm plan of attack for a new Flaghship program and complete focus on that, plus removing myself from my day to day operations (happening now) so I can focus on coaching, training and speaking and still traveling the world like a crazy mofo!


Rob Clarke October 15, 2013 at 03:52

Great article Chris and very relevant for me right now – right in the pre-concept phase of a new exciting venture!



Robb Gorringe October 15, 2013 at 04:03

I like how you shared that you plan a your new year a quarter before. That always didn’t make sense to me— “Why am I planning my year in January, when I ought to be engaging in it already?” I subscribe both to your email + podcast. ‘Love your Bootcamp too! It’s really helping me get started. Thank you so much//.


JC October 15, 2013 at 04:04

Hi Chris,

Time is flying so fast that the end of the year is already very close indeed…

My plans for 2014 include launching/growing a SaaS business and expand the family :-) I know it will be challenging on both sides but what’s life without challenges? Plans already seem more concrete by stating them.

Looking forward to your book (and secret plans) and meeting with you in March!


Rob Cubbon October 15, 2013 at 04:26

I make plans and set goals every three months. My girls for the end of the year included the publishing of a Kindle book, a WordPress plug-in, a new Udemy course and a new site with a web app.

I’m unlikely to have achieved all of these by the end of the year. So I should imagine I’ll put some of them into the goals for the first three months of next year.

Hope your extended travel for the next year includes London. :)


Rob Cubbon October 15, 2013 at 04:27

Spot the typo in my previous comments. I am of course talking about “goals” not “girls”!


Adrian October 15, 2013 at 05:06

I know we should plan and I really enjoy the high level stuff but without fail I set plans out, slit everything info the diary and then somethig comes along, good or bad, and stuffs it all up! I find as a one man operation it doesn’t take much to throw you off. I started my photography blog this summer and planned to invest a lot of time to content creation but now my day job has swamped any plans I had and I’m looking back at a month with little to no input into the site. How do you work around that? Sorry if that all sounds negative, I actually sitting thinking how I can improve my planning and time management so your post has certainly prompted me. Thanks Chris :-)


Deb October 15, 2013 at 05:22

Well I planned for my site to go live this year, get a podcast up, start building and connecting with subscribers, have an Ebook published. ( I will have a chapter in 2 ebooks published in November) talk at conferences. All done.

In 2014 I want to build my list of active and satisfied and loyal subscribers, have a series of ebooks, ecourses for sale, start a paid member site, talk at conferences , just to begin.

I am happy I am out there this year, been live online for 5 weeks, so next year is real development time to become visible broadly .

Look forward to joining you on the ride!


Chris C. Ducker October 17, 2013 at 15:30

You;re doing an excellent job, Deb.

Congratulations, and keep working hard – I know your 2014 will be stunning!!!



Alease October 15, 2013 at 05:52

Great Post Chris!
I started my 2014 planning a few weeks ago and have already starting implementing a few ideas to ensure everything works out as plan for 2014. I am still not finished – trying to gather up resources – but my plan is in motion.

Thanks for the kick – Alease


Chris C. Ducker October 17, 2013 at 15:29

Alease… you KNOW you can count on me for a ‘kick’… :-)

Thanks for the comment.



Jason Ansley October 15, 2013 at 06:55

My wife and I have a goal setting tool we use that covers 6 (or is it 7…) areas of out lives. One of which is our businesses; for which we branch out a few other areas as well. We always start this around this time as well. It has boded well for us. The hardest one for us to hit? Our health and revenue goals!

We also ensure our goals are SMART.
Jason Ansley


Jonathan Bechtel October 15, 2013 at 10:49


My own philosophy is that if you have something you ought to be doing then you should start right now.

I try and make my aspirations very fluid, and thus try not to have New Year’s goals. I think I’m in the minority on this, but I find it’s a good way to keep yourself simultaneously motivated and relaxed at the same time.

In fact, I’ve even decided recently to forego from the goal setting process altogether for about 4 months…..and it’s given great results!

Perhaps a tad unconventional, but it works for me.


Chris C. Ducker October 17, 2013 at 15:26

Great stuff, Jonathan. Whatever WORKS, makes sense, thats what I always say.

Keep rockin’, my man.



Chris S! October 16, 2013 at 01:03

Hey Jason

Thanks for posting. Is this a tool you can share?


Chris C. Ducker October 17, 2013 at 15:28

Gotta keep it SMART!

Thanks for the comment, Jason – appreciate the support and interest.

And please – start prioritizing that health side of things. Without it, you’re gonna be useless, my man!



Matt October 15, 2013 at 10:38

When it gets late in the year I start to wonder where the time went and look at the goals I have not achieved. I definitely see the benfits now of getting a head start so I am not in the same position next year.


Chris C. Ducker October 17, 2013 at 15:27

Good stuff, Matt.

Get planning, and let us know if we can help -thats what it’s all about here. Taking action, and supporting each other.

Go for it.



Debashish October 15, 2013 at 20:54

This is amazing. Over the weekend, I listened to your podcast in which you interviewed Natalie Sisson. Great stuff. Yesterday, I wrote down my goals for the next year, based on her blog post ,”one page business plan”. And, now this.
I am where you were in 2009, planning my escape from my office. My goal is to substitute my full time income with my freelance blogging income, enabling me to quit my job by September.
When too many coincidences line up, I tend to see them as “reading the omens”. Thank you for the early heads up for next year, and the confidence boost. 2014 is going to be awesome!


Chris C. Ducker October 17, 2013 at 15:23

Excellent. Glad to be resonating with you, bud.

Stay tuned.



Chris S! October 16, 2013 at 01:09

Great post Chris. I’m a recent subscriber to your site. I’ve been reading your posts and there is always good info shared. Thank you sir. The followers seem to be a bright & excited bunch, I like it. Solid planning & follow through is an area I can improve on. This post is in fact a kick in the ass. Now where & how shall I even begin? Here’s to a great 2014


Chris C. Ducker October 17, 2013 at 15:23

The ‘New Business’ tribe is awesome! I love these guys, andyes – they are bright and take massive amounts of action!!!

Happy to help, and welcome, Chris.



Diyana Alcheva October 16, 2013 at 12:17

Congrats on the new coming book and the event, Chris! These are very good points. I just planned out the last quarter of the year but didn’t really plan for 2014. I am launching 3 info products in the next month, and I feel that a big focus will be marketing them all throughout 2014. I would definitely like to plan for some speaking gigs as well, and possibly hosting my own signature event or mastermind. Will have to put a bit more thought into this and solidify the plans. Thanks for the inspiration.


Chris C. Ducker October 17, 2013 at 15:22

Thanks, Diyana.

Solidify away and if I can help in anyway, just let me know! Sounds like you’re getting ready for an amazing year!



Ibrahim October 22, 2013 at 21:29

This is great advice Chris. I am looking forward for it.



Chris C. Ducker October 29, 2013 at 13:48

Thanks, Ibrahim.

Stay tuned!



Joanna Pieters October 30, 2013 at 02:28

Great post, Chris – thank you. Curiously enough we have a big family plan to live abroad for a while in 2015… but it’s a good kick to make sure that 2014 is going to be the best possible preparation for it!


Jackie (IT FACT) October 30, 2013 at 02:45

Hi there, I have started to organise and promote the services I plan to offer/deliver for 2014. I thought I was maybe being a bit premature! but after reading your post I realise I definetly need to now. So thanks for that kick in the butt! it’s appreciated!! from a new self employed IT Tutor hoping to help individuals and SME’s to get their IT skills up to date.


Charise October 31, 2013 at 09:18

Excellent article and pointers! If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This is about the time of year I start getting ready and setting goals for next year.


Chris C. Ducker November 1, 2013 at 17:15

Glad you found the post helpful, Charise.

Thanks for dropping by.



tamar December 10, 2013 at 02:09

I agree! It’s always better to plan ahead.


Alex December 19, 2013 at 07:43

Yeah I figure it’s a safe time to finally start planning some things for 2014. I know people who tend to take their sweet time when it comes to planning something and I think it’s always best to just brainstorm and just get things done as soon as possible.


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