Planning out the year – where do you want to be 1 year from now?

Happy New Year!

Many folks are getting back to work today after enjoying some downtime during the holidays. If you had some time off, I hope it was refreshing and re-energizing.

If you didn’t have time off, I’m with you. This was the first holiday season I can remember where I didn’t have downtime, so I’m starting 2016 a bit rushed – or at least not as prepared as I want to be.

A new year is a good time to set intentions, goals, plans (whatever word you prefer) for the upcoming 12 months. Of course you can start at any time, but January is quite popular.

Here is how I am capturing my goals (and dreams) for 2016:

Start with the big picture:  One year from now, what do I want to have accomplished / done / tried (in any or several areas)? ie. business, personal, relationships, health, free time, financial, community/charity

  • Focus on one area at a time (if more than one) and capture big steps; tasks and ‘things’ that are definitely required to achieve the outcome. I don’t worry about “how” anything will get done. For now, I write down what I see as required to reach the final outcome.
  • Take one ‘big step’ at a time and capture the next level of tasks to achieve the big step.
  • Repeat as often as needed until I have as comprehensive a list as possible. There are going to be steps or tasks I am unaware of, but they’ll work themselves out.PostItFlags
  • Transfer the goals and tasks to post-it flags (I like how many colors there are and they are easy to move around, and they have a little bit of stickiness to them). I use one color for each area, and number supporting tasks so they can be realigned later on.
  • Pull out a 12-month calendar (seeing all 12 months at same time) and start placing the tabs onto the months when I want them accomplished. Sure all the BIG overall goals may end up in December, but the smaller supporting tasks will spread out over the remaining 11 months.YearAtAGlance_example
  • Once I have the tasks spread out over the year, I can immediately see which months are a bit too heavy and which are too light, so I move flags around until the year feels comfortable.
  • Then I work with my actual calendar and start documenting the tasks into months and weeks. (I move my visual paper information into a scheduler).
  • And I get to work!

Are you starting to tackle 2016 this morning, or are you a little behind in setting goals, as I am?

Here’s to a successful and prosperous year!

Lisa_2015Lisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with manufacturing, software, and technology businesses of all sizes. She loves researching topics, interviewing experts, and helping companies tell their stories. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

48 thoughts on “Planning out the year – where do you want to be 1 year from now?

  1. Well, I’ve started this year with a nice cup of tea and have thought deeply about what I am going to do. I don’t do time lines for my writing, but I’ve got a list of prioritized projects to work on. Now for a second cup and a bit of toast.

  2. LOVE the idea of using the sticky tabs to track your goals and when you want to achieve them by! I’m going to sit down with my diary on my lunch break and have a go at it, thanks for the idea!

  3. Thank you for sharing! I’m trying to make each day in 2016 like a new page on a vast canvas. Even if it is only one spot of paint, one sentence, one phone call etc. ( I have a big picture …but to have peace in each day….. each day one beginning…..perhaps one of these days will expand and a huge hunk of the big picture will be achieved).

  4. I’m usually all over the planning for the year ahead. This year I’ve got a general good vibe and a short to-do list that counts as my plans for the year ahead. I feel like a more detailed plan is sure to be derailed. My one big ambition is to slow down enough to here my heart beat and feel into the moment so I know what to do next.

  5. Thanks for the great post! I like this and will give it a try. I tend to try and do everything at the same time, I hope this will help me get clearer on where to put my focus each day/week.

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