How to create the best plan upon a new year


2017 is upon us - despite many of us being in holiday mode - what's your plan for this year?

There are many ways to create a vision when a new year begins. Some like to create new year's resolutions or create vision boards or specific goals or some like to invite new experiences, states, or emotions. It's a worthy use of your time given that it's a proven fact that if you know the results you want you will be more likely to move toward it and achieve it!

I encourage you to write, paint, or plan up a vision that is enticing, compelling and exciting.

What's right for you? For your business or career? What's important is that you are clear on what you want and why you want it; rather than making yourself do things because you feel like you have to, should do (I invite you to delete the word 'should' from your vocabulary given it creates guilt and shame to the user).

Setting goals or intentions are powerful ways to bring into your life those things that you want; given that what you focus on is what you create. Knowing your outcome, why you want to create it (your big why) then choosing to build on your dreams by aiming for them daily propels you toward your goals or intentions. Our minds are like a big dark warehouse; what you shine light on is what you focus on.

One method of goal creation which has proven itself over and over again is The 90 day goal setting technique (I personally use this technique as do many of my clients). In simple terms, Their is easy 5 steps to creating 90 day goals:

Step 1: List what you want to achieve in 90 days; identify your outcomes so you know where you want to head. 7 +/-2 items is a good start. For a more advanced approach write out your goals using the 'SMART' formula makes your list of goals more powerful and enticing:

S = Specific -> the What, Why, and How M = Measurable -> If you can't measure it, you can't manage it A = Attainable -> Important to you to enable you to naturally move toward it

R = Realistic -> Realistic, in this case, means "do-able T = Timely -> Set a timeframe for the goal

Step 2: Identity, then list what you need to do:

Make a ‘will do’ action list for next month and next week. To start with, select 7+/-2 action items that you commit to actioning that will support you achieving your 90 day (and 6 month goals for those that want to take it further).

Step 3: Take action:

The difference between success and not succeeding is taking action. Those that take action are moving towards their outcome, results and success. You can have the best laid plan, but without action, it will remain a plan. My belief is that there’s no such thing as complete failure, only feedback; I invite you to fail quick and move on.

Be honest with yourself about what you need to do to achieve your goals and then do it. If you’re not familiar with taking action, start taking small steps every day; these small steps will give you confidence and momentum. You need to be willing to create momentum; motion creates the emotion. Build up the emotion and momentum through taking action!

Step 4: Review your results

Look at the results you’ve achieved often and then evaluate whether the results are what you want. Ask yourself whether the actions you are taking are effective. Choose to have the behavioural flexibility to change your actions if your aren’t getting the outcomes you want until you do create the results you want. This can be tricky – ask yourself how many times in the past have you changed your behaviour? You need to be willing to change your behaviour as many times as it takes to get the results you are looking for. 

Optional Step 5: Are you goals aligned with your values?

Know that if you set goals that are not congruent to what’s really important to you (your values) it will be unlikely that you will achieve it. The topic of ‘values’ is worthy of an independent blog dedicated purely to values... 

Setting and reviewing goals + taking action will propel you towards what you want in your life; a worthy use of your time!

Keep in mind that setting structured goals might not always suit your needs and be OK with that. I don't always create specific goals in all areas of my life and sometimes I even take a break from setting structured 90 day goals; replacing structure with intentions of what I want to bring into my life; for example last December I created a list of experiences that I wanted to invite into my life including joy, fun and creativity. I then planned out ways to achieve this (so I was still goal setting, but in a more loose creative way). Because I've been using goal setting techniques for a good 20 years my goal creation process happens organically - regardless of whether I use structured 90 day method or more loose methods. What is important is that you know where you want to go and take steps to move towards your vision. 

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