- Posted by Janet Zaretsky
- On December 20, 2016
- 0 Comments
As you head into the start of the new year, there is always a bit of a honeymoon period- a feeling like you can do it all and THIS IS FINALLY IT! It is exciting. New, and full of promise.
If you did the work to complete this year, you are truly going into the next year with a clean slate. Congratulations. I want you to really make this next year a winner!
I love the high and excitement of the newness, and yet, experience has taught me that without a solid plan, what I want and what I actually do will not match. So, let’s talk about how to plan for success.
First, there are numerous great tools to use to plan and keep track of your actions. Some of my favorites are Smartsheet, Asana and Trello. I know some people still like to use a handwritten planner, like Franklin planner. I think you should do what works best for you. The critical thing is to find something that is usable and workable and with which you are comfortable and use consistently.
There are different ways to do planning as well, and again, I will talk about what I find works best, but if you find something that works better for your style, use it.
I find the first thing to do is to create your list of what you want. If you could project yourself into the future, and imagine it is one year from now, what would you like to have accomplished. Keep asking yourself that question and writing down the answer until there are no more answers.
Next, go through your list of desired accomplishments and whittle down the list to the ones that you are truly committed to accomplishing. This is important- often I find that when you go through this process, some of the things you want, are more in the fantasy realm- you are not actually willing to do what it takes to get the things you said, so they are not what you are committed to, really.
I am a fan of planning backwards. Stand in one of your goals, let’s say it is a financial goal.
- What do you have to make every quarter to accomplish this goal?
- Then when you look at that first quarter, do the planning on a weekly basis. What results do you need every week?
- What are the actions you need to take to make that money by the end of the first quarter?
- Then you put those actions into your calendar.
- Then put in checks and balances- as in this example, put in times to evaluate your actions and results so that you either course correct or stay on track throughout the first quarter.
- You are unlikely to do everything right 100% of the time and you want to create opportunities to fix what is not working in a timely manner so you can actually accomplish what you want.
I also highly recommend having a coach, a mentor, someone outside of you, or even outside of your company to look with you at your plan, and at your results. Having someone who is not emotionally involved or that has no real bested interest, can often see what someone inside cannot and be the lynchpin to real success.
Lastly, remember distractions abound. All this distraction has us procrastinate what needs to be done leaving us with the experience of working all the time and accomplishing little. It has been my observation that all the wonderful ways we can engage our brains in so many ways has also become the enemy of productivity and has caused most of us to be addicted in some way to procrastinating.
What is the answer? Some might say discipline- but let’s be real here. We are not so great at that. That takes mental energy too! Studies have shown we go with the easiest choice.
I highly recommend creating an accountability partner. If you have a coach, use your coach. If you don’t have a coach, use someone who will be consistent with you. Have someone who does not let you off the hook- let you get away with excuses, but also someone that does not make you feel guilty. To be held to be accountable for what you say you are going to do is honoring you. I believe in you, so I am going to expect you to do what you say and if you get off track, because I believe in you, I will remind you to get back on track. It is that simple. And it works – when you create this agreement with another person it totally supports you winning.
I want you to succeed wildly this next year. So, get planning and support in place and rock it out!
Till next time,
P.S. I am an expert in having my clients win big. If you want to talk to me, apply for a Business Success Strategy session. This could be the best thing you could do for your success this next year.