I sat down last week to do a bit of planning for the coming year and I have to admit I was a bit surprised at how it went.
Much to my frustration, I'd had very limited internet access over the Christmas period and I was also quite occupied with family commitments, however I had been thinking about this year and some of the things I wanted to achieve.
I'd also met with some of my mentors before Christmas who had challenged my thinking and inspired me.
But I really didn't think that when I put pen to paper the ideas would flow so easily.
I have a template that is a cobbled together version of various plans that I have used over the years and it works pretty well for me.
It asks me to write down the following:
- What was I trying to achieve in the previous year
- What were the highlights and KPIs
- Where did I need to improve
- How would I rate the year as a whole out of 10
It then delves into the following:
- Knowledge acquired
- Level of satisfaction with the year and why
- What has held me back
- Areas of the business I want to change and how to go about it
It asks "why" a lot
Then I start setting goals for the year ahead based on four key areas
Finally I overlay all of this with a question about value.
- How am I going to ensure that each of these goes delivers value to my clients, to my family and to myself.?
It's a really tough question because it's reasonably easy to come up with goals and ways of reaching them. It's also quite critical to have goals and objectives, but putting the value lens over all of them and finding ways to make sure that there is measurable value in everything you set out to achieve ups the ante and also sorts the wheat from the chaff.
I was excited about this year before it started, but now that I've put my thoughts into a plan I feel like I have a roadmap to guide me and greater clarity about how I am going to run my business.
This year has well and truly started and it feels like there is only a brief respite left for this kind of reflection before the pace of work life resumes, so take the time, turn off the email, silence the phone and do yourself a big favour and write a plan.
Don't worry if you're shy, you don't have to share it, although you may feel better if you do.
Happy New Year.