Plan it out
Wow, this holiday season has certainly been full of fantastic parties, fun family traditions, and my annual ‘I’m going to make all my Christmas gifts and then totally freak out because I have no time.’ But alas, my late night hours have given me plenty of time to consider how next year I am definitely going to buy all my Christmas presents. And perhaps put it in my calendar.
And that is exactly what the second (and third) session in creating the best year ever is all about. Planning and your calendar.
Last week we went through a process to get clear about what we really want in 2014. If you missed it, check it out here. Writing down what your goals is certainly a step in the right direction. But, please, don’t. stop. there. It’s like buying a gym membership and thinking that will make you fit. Or getting organizational tools and thinking that will make you organized. Or making a match.com profile and thinking that will make you happily married (or even just happily laid.)
Knowing what you want isn’t enough. You have to plan to make it happen. You have to take action. – Tweet it
To get started in this session, take the sheet that you complete during your last session and review your top three goals. Then decide when you want those goals accomplished. Everyone will decide this differently – perhaps you’re one that wants them spread throughout the year, one goal accomplished every four months, or maybe you’re like me, and you want to get them all done by August so you can eff around the second half of the year. Whatever feels really good for you.
Now you’re going to put those goals and their due dates in this handy-dandy spreadsheet I created for you. Download it HERE .
As you can see there is a place to write your goal and then in the same row write the due date for the goal, under ‘due.’ Do this for all three goals leaving space for projects and tasks under each.
The next step is to break down your goal into projects. A project is something that takes more than one step to complete. For example if your goal was ‘publish a book’, then one project under that would be ‘get book edited.’ Getting a book edited takes more than one step to complete – so it is a project.
Go through each goal and write down all of the projects that will be required to complete this goal. (Not all goals have projects, but most do.) And write down due dates next to these projects in the ‘due’ column.
Now, go though each project and break it into tasks. Tasks are things that do not require more than one step. When you have a step to complete you should know exactly what to do in that moment. In the example of the project getting book edited, your tasks could look like this: ask friends for a referral for an editor, contact editors, interview editors, choose editor, send editor my book, set due date to receive edits back from editor, review edits from editor, and make edits.
As you can see, each task is a doable thing. If you get caught up on what tasks are necessary, just ask “what would be the very next step after the last task that would get me closer to completion?”
Then go through and put a due date on each task. Do this for each project.
Next, take the time to go through and put any necessary notes you have in the notes column. This column will get used a lot throughout the year, so let it be fluid. Then, if you have a team, put who is in charge of each task in the ‘who’ column.
Whew! You’re done with session two. I know this is a lot of work. But trust me, it’s going to move your goals forward more than you can possibly imagine. This is where the rubber meets the road and magic happens.
Are you serious about getting your goals for this year? I am. I’m in this with you, and we’re gonna totally rock 2014.
When you’re done with this exercise, tell me in the comments below. You have big goals, and we need to celebrate these major steps!
Next week is Christmas, so we’re going to take a small break from our three planning sessions and then resume with some major calendaring.