There are a ton of different ways to plan your new year:
- Determine what you want your day to look like — take into account family obligations, personal work style, goals, etc. — and build your life/business around your ideal-for-this-year day (which may be different than your true “ideal” day)
- Plan your work schedule and determine what can reasonably be done in that time given your other priorities and set your goals accordingly
- Pick a revenue/profit figure and reverse engineer it to programs, products and services and, from there to marketing plans and content marketing
- Start with all the stuff you don’t want to figure out what you do want (hint: list everything you don’t want and go for the opposite to get what you may want)
And they all work. The question is which one works best for you. Personally, I do all four, beginning with what I don’t want to bring into the new year (think of it as releasing baggage).
Before you start planning however, it’s good to stop and assess where you are today. There are the numbers of course, but we’re not going to focus there today (I think I just heard your sigh of relief <g> ).
First, let’s get a handle on the current year. Jot down:
- What are your key accomplishments from the current year?
- What lessons did you learn?
- What will you definitely do/not do in the new year?
And, before you choose your next steps and goals, let’s take a look at your “to do” or “action” list:
- Take a look at everything on your action/to do list.
- How long have those projects been there?
- Given the answer to #2, is it likely you’re going to complete them or will you be better served by delegating or letting them go?
Now that you have an idea of where things stand (and you can certainly add in your numbers if you wish — they’re critical to know, but I don’t want them to paralyze getting everything else done), it’s time to do a quick brainstorm:
- Broad strokes — what pops into your head for the new year? Vacations, holidays, travel, conferences that you can make a note of?
- Are there certain activities you do at certain times of year? For example, I have a client who always offers a specific program during summer months and it does great at that time and not-so-well during other months.
- Are there certain people you’d like to connect with? What needs to happen to make that possible?
You get the idea…start with the big picture stuff, write that down and then fill in the details later. It eliminates a lot of the pressure around planning a longer period of time.
My Request to You
Take some time to enjoy the planning process and design a life/business that’s perfect for you. You’ll need to change or tweak things as the life happens and that’s totally okay. Embrace both the plan and the changes — it’s how we grow, in life and in business.