The start of a new year brings the gift of opportunity and it starts with questions.
What can I achieve this year?
How can I be the best version of myself?
How can I spend more time with the people I care about and experience more happiness?
How can I spend more time doing my best work?
What can I deliver the universe?
These are just some of the questions to ponder over a summer break.
Now we are back on deck for the year, I thought I’d share with you 9 Tactics to set up your year for extraordinary success.
1. Body, Mind & Spirit
Start by conducting a holistic review of how you want to improve your body, mind and spirit.
Your body, mind and spirit are the engines that drive all your actions.
Everything hinges on having plans around optimising these three elements to be your best.
Plan your activities here first and then schedule everything else around it.
If your body, mind and spirit aren’t right – you’ve lost the game already.
I break these into three elements and think about what routines and habits I will commit to.
In relation to body, I am committed to 10,000 daily steps and a 5/2 eating plan (fasting two days per week) plus scheduled exercise.
For my mind, I have scheduled reading, brain training and other personal/professional development.
For my spirit, I have family and friends time, scheduled meditation and good sleep hygiene.
Get the idea?
2. Goal Setting
Now move into goal setting phase.
Consider your goals before you do your strategic plans.
I like to set 5 Big Goals for the Year.
Think really hard about what are 5 big things you would like to achieve this year. For example, you might have three specific business goals and one personal and financial goal.
With your annual goals defined, it is time to draft some one-page strategic plans.
I’ve found using a 90-day rolling quarter keeps me driven in the short term, so I simply draft my actions and goals for the next 90 days. At the start of the calendar year, this would be the March quarter.
Within my 90-day quarterly plan, I target one big project that I want to achieve. That means that I set and hopefully achieve four big projects (effectively four big goals) throughout the year.
Next set your annual strategy noting the five key goals you set previously.
And finally, it is useful to think about your goals over the medium-term (5 years) and long-term (8-10 years). Extend your thinking out to the horizon and focus on where you want to be then.
If you don’t keep score, how do you know if you are winning?
That’s why it’s critical to keep a Scoreboard on how you are progressing on executing your strategy and achieving your goals.
I keep a Weekly Scoreboard where I allocate myself points for actions completed and have a target I aim to hit every week. This is an objective fact-based measurement on how I’m progressing.
For me, scoreboards keep me accountable and I celebrate hitting my target.
On a monthly basis, I review my Weekly Scoreboards and my overall Scoreboard for the month.
The ultimate annual scoreboard is my Annual Strategic Plan and measuring how I performed in achieving my Top 5 Goals for the year.
5. Daily/Weekly Planning
Use Day Sheets in conjunction with Outlook Calendar to plan your days (5) and working week. A key discipline is drafting this on Fridays for the week ahead.
Planning starts with a review of the prior week’s Scoreboard noting where you won and lost. Deficiencies should be highlighted to focus on hitting targets for the week ahead.
Start by scheduling fixed meetings or key projects as these are the rocks.
Then schedule exercise (as a meeting with yourself) so it just happens.
Now schedule important keeping in touch activity with family and friends.
Allow capacity for creating content, marketing and business development.
Don’t forget business administration, boring but important, as it is the lubricant that keeps business moving.
And finally, personal and professional development.
Remember your peaks, troughs and recovery time zones and schedule tasks appropriately to coincide with these (see my previous blog on this).
With my Day Sheets in hand at the start of the week (drafted previous Friday) I can start my week with a clear plan and my most important tasks scheduled for execution.
At the end of the week, simply carry forward any incomplete tasks forward on your Day Sheets for the week ahead.
6. Monthly Planning
Review your 90-day Plan noting achievements and shortfalls for action next month.
Book a Catch-Up Day for you to clear the decks (see my earlier blog Catch Up Day)
Reflect, recover and refresh for the month ahead.
7. Quarterly Planning
Review your 90-day Plan noting:
· Activities and goals that have been achieved and can be removed
· Activities and goals that need to be carried forward to next quarter
· New activities and goals you wish to achieve next quarter
Now simply update your 90-day Plan for the next quarter and set your one big project.
Review your Annual Plan with a big-picture focus on progress.
Book a Quarterly Personal Retreat for reflection and renewal. Ideally, schedule this at an external location for an overnight stay.
8. Bi-Annual Planning
In addition to quarterly planning, I recommend you book a mid-year holiday to refresh at the halfway mark of the year.
By scheduling this in advance, you have something to look forward to – delayed gratification is powerful.
9. Annual Planning
And so, the circle never ends.
You are back to the beginning.
Schedule a great end of year holiday and book in your annual planning. I find that the longer annual vacation is a great period of reflection. I take a journal and note down my thoughts and musings to be used in my strategy planning upon my return.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a meeting (at no cost or obligation) to discuss how I can help you achieve your business and personal goals this year.