02 Jan Making the Most of Your Year (part 2)
Step 1: EVALUATE…
To create an effective plan, begin with a careful evaluation. Most people are constantly evaluating their present state without much problem. We are constantly assessing, “What do I really want right now?” We look at things around us and talk about what we would like to be different in our life. We talk about our goals, New Year’s Resolutions, current intentions, etc. We often state them as fact and sincerely intend to accomplish those in our life. We see how they would make a positive difference and desire for them to happen. There is a small percentage of people who also evaluate the questions, “Where am I headed?” and “What will it take for me to get there?” Evaluation is a tool that allows you to anchor where you are now, determine where you want to go and create markers along the way to ensure you stay on course. Without a longer term vision, we tend to react to current situations, “I need to make more money, I need to lose weight, I need to get this business off the ground, etc.” This leads to wandering through life without focus or purpose. Evaluate the present and then also evaluate the future and what it would take to get there.
Step 2: GET REAL…
Then, get real. Does this fit in with where you are headed with the long term goals in your life? What is doing this going to get you? What is the cost (consider time, money, energy, emotional, etc.) Are you willing to pay it? If you do really want this, what is going to be important that you do? What is distracting you from making this happen?
Identify Key Result Items:
- Write exactly where you are headed and what this is going to get you.
- Identify what you will have to do and write that down.
- Identify what you will have to say “no” to and commit to 3 things you will have to stop to make this happen. Identify what this will “cost” and write down how you will “pay” for it. (This is not just financial, it may be something intangible like – COST: time with the family, PAYMENT: work later during week, but home Friday for dinner and family day all Saturday.)
- Identify 5 main distractions and how you can eliminate those.
Step 3: PLAN…
Next, plan what it will take to make this happen. You already have some Key Result Items from your Get Real Exercise. Take those and add to the list other ideas of what you know you will need to do to accomplish your goal. What are specific action steps you will need to take? Stop a minute and in your mind focus on your long term goal. See it in full and complete form. What is there? What are you doing? What do you notice about yourself and your actions? Now, in your mind walk backwards what did you do to get there? For example, if part of my long term goal is to have a thriving independent business, I may visualize myself in an office with the flexibility to be remote. Part of what I would need to do is establish an office, design portable systems, have a virtual assistant, have tools and resources for office work, etc. This becomes one Key Result Area: A functional Office. Then I walk backwards and plan steps I would have taken to create this functional office. Put dates on each broken-down action step and estimate what it will take to make each step happen (time, cost, etc.). Allocate completion targets accordingly.
Christy Geiger, Executive Business Coach & Trainer, Minneapolis, MN