As the year winds up, how do you go about planning for a successful year ahead?
One opportunity we have at the minute (a lot of business to business organisations have a quiet period of Christmas) is a little more reflective time. I have to admit I am massive fan of a walk and a think at this time of year. No technology, no agenda, simply time to mull over ideas and play with new concepts and approaches.
How do I get ideas out of my head?
If you prefer, try just a brain dump, producing a mind map or your ideas, lay them out on a whiteboard or make good use of a pack of post it notes. The important part of the process is simply to get as many ideas, thoughts and perspectives out of head and captured in a way that works for you.
But what exactly can help you frame your specific thoughts and plans for the year ahead. There are my two most productive approaches to this:
1. End game plans. Ask yourself: What is the end game for me and my business? I hate to break it yo you, but you can’t be there forever. Plan what your exit, or your end game looks like. What do you want that to look like, feel like and when do you want that to happen?
2. Plan into Perfect! Think about a time frame, say 5 years from today and spend some (not all) of your time thinking about what a perfect position would be for you in that time frame. Top tip here – most people think too small and underestimate what can be achieved in 5 years.
Finally, what should you produce?
A plan that brings your goals and aspirations to life, something you will be able to see regularly and something that allows you to easily reflect on your plan and strategy. Many people like to get all of the key points on a single page. Once you have this, it will be something you can use day to day, share with others and make part of your day to day and week to week thinking and activities, this really help you to bring your plans to life.
Working with a number of individuals, business owners and teams at the minute, these are some of the things that I am hearing as benefit of taking the time to plan right now:
“It’s made me stop and think about what I have achieved this year and how I can repeat it next year.”
“Linking my personal and business goals has given me real clarity on what is most important to me”
“It’s saved me time and helped me focus on what I need to achieve”
I know planning can be tough at the best of times, but the very process of planning and getting ideas out of your head creates both clarity and focus. I encourage you to think about your own plans, goals and aspirations from a personal and business perspective and start mapping your personal strategy to make this happen.
We are operating in uncertain times, so investing time now in planning will help you and your business grow, develop and move towards your own goals.