The steps and links below are how I created my plan for the new year ahead. I recently sat down at a blank search engine page and started to research this very topic. I wanted to create a plan for my next year.
Reflect. Look back at your actions, thoughts, accomplishments, etc. What was there? What was worth repeating? An old friend of mine used to call this “Stop, Start, Continue”. Are there key things you want or expect from your personal or profesional life that you didn’t realize this past year? Jot them down.
Mega-Goals. These are the 5-10 year goals. What are they? What do you want to accomplish or have in 5-10 years. Write down 3-5 things. New House? Career Advancement? Masters degree? Put it on paper, of if you’re like me – Evernote!
Prioritize. Those Goals you wrote down, prioritize them. However it makes sense to you. Most important to least, chronological, whatever it may be, put them in some sort of logical order.
Milestones. What do you need to accomplish in order to meat mega goal #1? If your goal was buy a house this year, your milestones might look like these:
Goal: Buy a House.
Save 20% Downpayment.
Research market, locations, and possible scenarios.
Speak to a bank and secure loan.
Buy dream house.
I promise buying a house is a bit more complicated than that, but you get the idea. Map out a few milestones for each goal.
Keep smaller goals in mind. Saving a 20% downpayment will likely require some action on your part. For example, set up your direct deposit to put a small amount of each paycheck into a new account that you don’t look at each month. Keep these small goals in mind and the achievements will come quickly. Some small and quick success can really snowball quickly and get you moving!
Share. Take your ideas and your plan for next year and run it past a friend, co-worker or family member. Sharing your work will help keep you on point. You’ll take the exercise more seriously and it will help to hold you accountable over the months to come.
Outside of the steps above, I’ve decided to apply some things to my plan for the year to help me through the process.
Read. Blogs, books, magazines. Anything I can get that has a different perspective, or a new idea.
Freelance. Apply what I do to a project that is truly my work.
Write. I’m keeping a journal. I started with Day One. I also plan to continue with this blog while I learn and expand.