We are headed into the final days of 2014. The heat is on for us to complete the resolutions we so determinedly put in place in December 2013 – or wait… you forgot what they were? Don’t worry – so did millions others who steadfast made plans to lose weight, change their ways, save more, eat less, be kinder and whatever else people decide will make them better, happier and more productive members of society. But this year I have decided NOT to make resolutions! Nope – I am not going to do it – I am jumping off the bandwagon of empty intangible promises and personal punishments without accountability.
Instead, I am going to give my life, dreams and goals the serious attention they deserve. Making plans for the new year should not be taken lightly or treated like throwing darts at a board full of society’s fashionable dysfunctions. Please join me in making real tangible, measurable and accountable goals and plans for the new year. Consider this your opportunity to write a “personal business plan” for 2015!
You don’t have to wait until the new year – start today! You will be that much closer to your goals! I know it seems like a daunting task, possibly so big and impossible that you may consider putting it off for another year… but DON’T! I am here to tell you, setting goals and creating an action plan WORKS – and it’s empowering and encouraging beyond words!
Start your personal business plan today:
- What do you want your life to look like on December 31, 2015?
- For you as an individual
- For your family
- For each of the categories listed above, ask yourself:
- “How will I get there?”
- “What needs to be done?”
- “What needs to change?”
- “How will I measure my success?”
- Break each of your goals into three steps:
- Big picture changes
- Middle level action items
- Finer details
- Keep in mind that all your action items must be measurable and tangible.
- EXAMPLE: you want to learn more about the financial markets. Specify WHAT that means to you, what skill you wish to develop, what degree do you wish to obtain. Getting there may require that you take a course; specify which course at which school. Instead of saying “I will read about the markets every day,” say “I will read the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times every day.” Make sure that you are as specific as possible, otherwise you cannot hold yourself accountable.
- EXAMPLE: you wish to speak Spanish fluently by the end of the year. Where do you start? What does “speaking fluently mean to you?” Do you wish to travel to South America without relying on your English? Decide how you will measure your own success. Then decide which courses will you take, which books will you read? Will you get a tutor? Finally, determine how you will make time for these courses and the studying. Will it cost you money? Will you need to first save up for any of it – break everything down until you have all the logistics figured out. Your goals are within reach when you have an overview of the scope of the projects down to the details of who will watch the kids while you study and how will you finance the books and courses.
- Set monthly goals (long term), weekly (short term) as well as daily (immediate) tasks.
- Write it down!
- Make it visual! Find a picture of an object that symbolizes your dreams and goals. If it’s a particular new car – print a picture of it. Find a map of the area where you wish to move – you get the picture (see what I did there – pun intended). Keep the image of your goals in front of you: at work, in the car, on the bathroom mirror – wherever you will see it daily!
- Check in with yourself weekly.
- Look at the week that passed, did you complete your tasks?
- Make any necessary adjustments to ensure that you reach your immediate goals, because they lead to the completion of the short term goals… and eventually you WILL reach your long term dreams!
- Share your plans with someone:
- your spouse, a friend and if possible, you can work TOGETHER towards your goals.
Do I have goals? I sure do! Do I have them written down? You bet I do, and I have shared them with my husband (especially because they involve him and the boys) and a couple of close friends.
I will keep you posted throughout the year as I reach my goals… but until then, please join me in scrapping the New Years resolutions!
Instead let’s make our dreams a reality by planning and preparing for success in 2015!
Are you with me?