The new year has started since a few days and it’s time to establish new, feasible goals to work through during this 2017.
I have a lot of things in mind, and I suppose you, too, but in order to avoid forgetting something important it is necessary to elaborate a plan, both professional and personal, of goals and accomplishments we would like to achieve this year.
On the net you’ll find plenty of blog posts written by coaches, influencers, marketers and in general people who created a plan which can be implemented by anyone.
I found some interesting posts, for example a free, online workshop by Tammy Bjelland, who provides very useful worksheets to keep track of our goals and ideas for the upcoming year, called Personalized Professional Development.
The End of Year Ritual by Denise Duffield-Thomas is also particularly interesting, and can be applied to every moment of the year, also every month or quarterly so as to keep everything under control.
Plus, you’ll also find several how-to blog posts: how to plan your future, how to find an easy method to help you achieve your goals, etc. For example I found this article by Jessica Nazarali, 3 Steps To Not Let Other’s Opinions Prevent You From Achieving Your Goals, particularly inspiring.
You see, a number of plans and programmes are available, you just have to surf the net and find what really suits you. For this reason, I’m not giving you a plan to follow, nor a spreadsheet or pdf to fill out, because that would be a mere repetition of something that already exists and that you can easily find on your own.
My desire here is to provide you with some tips on how to plan your year.
Have you already established your own goals for this new year? Are they specific or very general goals? This is a first aspect to consider: the more precise you are when defining your goals, the higher chances to succeed you’ll have.
There’s no point in saying, for example, that you want to attend some personal development courses, but you have no idea of what exact courses there are out there. You have to be specific, find out what courses or meetings might interest you, your personal development and your career. You have to take notes of the dates, the price, the place, etc., so as to have all the details in mind and see if that course/meeting is something affordable for you in terms of money, but also time.
Second point, write your ideas down. I truly believe that writing things is a great exercise which helps you keep track of everything and remember what you set.
I usually tend to forget pieces if I don’t take my planner and write them down. In the past I used to have a spreadsheet or a Word document on my pc, but I realized a physical, real organizer is much better, also because it’s more immediate to use and browse and my computer is not always switched on, especially in the evening.
Thirdly, don’t waste time and set your goals now, at the very beginning of the year. If you procrastinate this important step of your job, it’s probable you will never set them. I made this mistake in the past, don’t do it yourself.
I know that the end of a year and the beginning of the following year can be overwhelming, because you feel you need to plan your life and job, but you realize that probably there won’t be great changes and the new year won’t be so magical as they want you to think.
Your usual planning system (if you had one, obviously) didn’t work? If so, it’s likely you don’t want to repeat that experience and you no longer believe in the power of planning the year ahead.
But you’re wrong, because goal setting and planning can be powerful, if done the right way. You just need to find the planning system that really suits you, something you are at ease with. I usually made a great list of things I wanted to achieve in a year on a piece of paper, but then I never had a look at that list during the year, or I even lost the paper somewhere in my office. So what? There’s no point in creating something for which you spend a certain amount of time (because making a plan DOES require time), and then you don’t use it. So go for a specific planner, or your usual organizer, invent a system with a computer programme (Excel, Word, etc.), or “steal” someone else’s method!
Just remember to do it now! Don’t put this task off!
Another tip I want to give you is to revise your goals every two-three months. Things can change in the middle, maybe you have more time and you can add something to do, or maybe you don’t have time anymore for something you planned to achieve by, say, June, and you decide to postpone it to October. You see, a lot of things can happen during the year, and you have to be prepared to deal with them properly if you are really determined.