Here are my 4 tips to effective planning to start off the new year. January sparks thoughts of new beginnings and, more importantly, reflection on the year past.
How have you changed since January 2020? Are you currently in a better position than you were last year? Do you continue to have areas in your personal and/or business life that are stagnating or not progressing at the correct pace? Has your business plan or personal plan overcome these initial challenges?
Hindsight is 20/20 (pun intended). We can only work on the present, and the decisions we make today affect our tomorrow. Start by envisioning your future personal and business plan. What do you want your January 2022 to look like? The only way to adequately answer this question is through comprehensive planning.
To help break down some of the barriers, here are my 4 tips to effective planning.
If you did not achieve the progress you wanted in 2020, find out why. Was it time? Finances? The pandemic? Be absolutely honest with yourself. Is this something you wanted or needed to do? Simply put, did you fail to achieve this goal because it wasn’t really that important to you? Is the objective aligned with your values and big picture? Was the goal truly worth the necessary investment required to achieve it?
Tip: Do not start work on something you do not genuinely want to achieve.
An easy way to increase your completion of a goal is to write it down and share it with others. You will instantly increase your chances of making progress and ultimately, achievement. Try telling someone and putting your goal out there into the universe. If you want something, you have to clear a path for it. Sharing your goal with others allows them to help support you, often in small but meaningful ways.
Identify any information gaps and utilize all the resources at your disposal. Your smartphone gives you access to an endless amount of information and allows you to connect with professionals who have the technical knowledge to fill in the gaps. Make that call. Ask for help. You may be pleasantly surprised by how generous people can be if you ask for their assistance.
Just do it!
Overthinking is a mind game we can easily play on ourselves. It can deceive you into believing you are progressing toward completing your goal. In reality, it keeps you insulated from the perception of failure, rejection, and embarrassment by keeping your actions to a minimum. It is important to plan, but keep in mind that it can become a barrier to effective planning. It often results in over planning. Allocate the appropriate resources (primarily time) and take the first step. Getting started is usually its own reward. Have you ever noticed that when you finally got started on something you’d been putting off because it seemed so daunting, it was actually not as hard as you taught? That’s what I’m talking about.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that we only have control over what we focus on and how we choose to spend our time. If you have goals you want to accomplish in 2021, make them a priority and take practical steps to achieve them. Use 2021 to make sure you start 2022 in a better place. You will thank yourself for it.