Have You Built Your Plan for 2018?
If not, it is not too late. Do it now before you get sucked into the New Year working on everyone else’s priorities.
Study after study shows that the more we write down our goals the more likely we are to achieve them.
Each year I take a few hours in between Christmas and New Years to assess what I have achieved and what I want to achieve in the upcoming year. My plan is more than just goals. It includes:
- My Vision
- Standards for Success
- Blockers & Strategies to overcome each one
- Annual, Quarterly and Monthly Goals
- My Weekly Planner for the day after New Year’s (When the games begin anew!)
Before I share a few words about each of the foregoing, let me offer a rebuttal to those who say, “That is a lot of planning.” It is if planning is all you are doing. But for me, I am taking a few hours to think strategically about my business and my life and chart my course for 2018.
Now, if that is too much planning, I am confident you are not serious about your success.
Okay, enough of the soapbox. Here’s a bit about each category:
I crafted this years ago. This is aspirational and never changes. It is a snapshot of the perfect me I am striving for (and which I will never achieve). I have made mine broad enough so that there is always room to improve. Also, very important; our vision is not a goal. Our vision is much broader, and, unlike a goal, it is never achieved. Year after year, my Standards for Success, Blockers Strategies and Goals are designed to bring me closer to the realization of my vision.
Standards for Success
These too are aspirational. The idea is to challenge yourself. Identify those areas where you need to improve and create a rule you must live by daily to satisfy this rule (e.g. I am always on time and if late I am late I call ahead). Each rule should be stated clearly and be binary (i.e. You either did or didn’t live up to your Standard). The idea here is to pick behaviors that are limiting and which you want to change. I personally have seven each year.
These can be broken down into two categories: skill and personal development. Skill blockers are those skills that, if mastered, would dire our lives and businesses to another level. There is no risk involved in mastery of skill blockers. It is a matter of intellect and commitment (e.g. How to read a P & L or How to Tweet). There is nothing holding you back from acquiring these skills. Just some good old fashioned hard work.
Personal Development Blockers on the other hand, involve risk. The question we want to ask ourselves is, “what is preventing each of us from stepping outside our comfort zones?” Whatever the answers are they are our personal development blockers which we need to overcome.
I usually have 3-5 skill and 3-5 personal development blockers each year that I work on. The next step is the key. We need to have a strategy for overcoming each. Otherwise, it is just talk. And as the Chinese proverb says, “Talk don’t cook rice.”
Your goals must be S.M.A.R.T. That is: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
I personally have annual, quarterly, monthly and a weekly planner to keep me on track.
I cannot tell you how great a feeling it is to have a plan in place before each year begins.
I think Tony Robbins said it well. “You will get THERE. The question is, is THERE where you want to be, or did you just end up THERE due to lack of planning and action?
For me, I and I alone (Of course, if my wife says it is okay) am deciding where I am ending up.
How about you?
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