How to Make a Personal Plan for 2018
A good plan is like new shoes. You’re excited to have them but they’re uncomfortable.
Safe plans waste time, energy, and talent. Good plans disrupt.
Real plans disturb the status quo.
How to make a personal plan for 2018:
Think about stopping.
Reflect on past failure before planning future success.
- What efforts produced disappointing results? If you went back, what would you do differently? Do that in 2018.
- What frustration still nags you?
- What drains the life out of you? What does that say about your values?
- What did you hope would bring fulfillment, but didn’t?
- What is failure calling you to try?
Let go of something old to make room for something new.
#1. What do you need to stop doing in 2018? (If you can’t completely stop it, how might you do less of what drains the life out of you?)
Goal setting is the last thing to do when planning 2018.
What did you do in 2017 that lit you up?
Think R.O.E – return on energy – more than R.O.I. when planning 2018.
- What projects jazzed you up?
- What personal values were in play when your energy went up?
- What do you learn about yourself when you consider the events, situations, or people that motivated you to change?
#2. What might you do that gives you energy in 2018?
Forget what you want others to do.
Planning is safe when it focuses on changing others.
Successful leaders focus on things within their control.
Think about what YOU will do to produce the year you want. Forget about controlling others.
#3. What are YOU prepared to do – that you haven’t already done – to get where you haven’t been?
What considerations need to go into making a personal plan for 2018?
Planning 2018 deserves a few more post. What topics might you suggest?
One approach to annual planning is to look at your life from a perspective of what are my key roles and relationships. What do I aspire for them to look like (my vision), why are they important to me (I use Biblical justification), where are they today, and given that gap between reality and aspiration, what is an action step or two I can make to move toward my vision/aspiration for the role/relationship. Answering these questions for each role/relationship provides a template for semi-annual or annual review.
Thanks Pete. A vision driven approach makes sense to me. This is especially true when relationships are part of the mix. I think it’s important to move from aspiration to action. What will we do to move toward those aspirations.
So glad you jumped in.
Love the ROE vs ROI for 2018.
Great post to start ideas for 2018 planning. I will forward this one on to a few people.
I have an idea for planning related posts: The Emotionally Urgent vs The Logically Important
I’m sure we all say we get it.
Focus on the vital (key) behaviors and monitor your progress, (plus the business landscape, what competitors are doing, etc.) and we should be successful, or at least learn where we are not, and have a chance to adjust it. To me this is “Important.”
Often Important loses the fight against Urgent.
I’ve tried exploring what makes urgent issues urgent. What is going wrong with Important that makes us bring in Urgent?
Why should we break our plan to focus on vital behaviors (important) that should be driving the success we need? (we should be measuring and knowing where we are and where we expect to be, and our reasons for these choices)
I like your opening line. “A good plan is like new shoes. You’re excited to have them but they’re uncomfortable.”
Thanks Nick. Your focus on urgency vs important is useful. I wrote some stuff on urgency for this post, but deleted it.
Perhaps the word distraction is important when thinking about chasing unimportant urgency. However, urgency in the right thing is essential for success.
You got me thinking.
The majority of people plan and then spend a lot of time wishing and hoping for things to happen. They don’t take responsibility for the action required. Thanks for today’s tips, Dan!
Thanks Frances. YES! Planning isn’t doing. 🙂
I just clued in that your post is about a personal plan.
My mind went right to a business plan. The urgent vs important is more business related to me.
From a personal plan perspective, I think you’ve got it nailed.
Thanks Nick. I’m still mulling this over. From my point of view, you bring up some important ideas for personal planning as well as business planning. 🙂
Love the analogy, and #1 and #3. For our annual performance evaluation, we had to create a 90-day plan with one goal so as not to overwhelm ourselves. Looking at that plan every day and the milestone dates keep my goal front and center. I also like your point about what we need to stop doing in 2018. Plan to share this with my supervisor and my associates. Thank you!
Thanks Williams…. Keeping our plan and goals top of mind is essential for success. We can’t set goals and put them in the filing cabinet.
I’m with you….progress is made in small increments, not giant leaps.
Also–who can help you let go of bad habits and acquire better ones?
–Personal board of directors
Also–what will you measure? New behaviors require new measures.
Great suggestions, Bill. The answer to progress is often WHO can help, not WHAT do I need to do. We often know what we need to do. We all need people pulling with us.
I wonder how I would plan if I thought 2018 would be the last year of my life? If a person knew he or she would stand before God for judgment Dec 31, how might that impact not just planning the year but actually living it? Thanks, Dan, for stimulating my thinking.
Thanks Pete. Your suggestion speaks to urgency, focus, and priority. I think I have to write something on urgency.
Excellent as always Dan, as leaders we have to see which shoe fits, some days it’s urgent, may rise over important, really comes down to prioritizing our list, “squeaky wheel gets the grease”,
for me it is making things better for others and ourselves, eliminating unnecessary steps, being thorough and accurate with what we share to make their lives simpler,whether its work related or life’s journey.
Thanks Tim… you took the shoe analogy to new places… 🙂
Also, I see some practical suggestions for stopping things in your comment. Very helpful.
Dan, how about a post about 2018 being a year to “Set a New Course” for those of us in the “middle-age” category. Many of us are having difficulty finding work with similar pay and are looking on the horizon for a new course, possibly, into being an entrepreneur.
What key ideas, plans, cautions, etc would you suggest to someone in this (my) boat?
Great suggestion Champion… I’ll mull that over.
I love this post. Especially the what you should STOP doing. We always are thinking about what we should do and never focus on what we shouldn’t do. I’m excited to do this exercise for 2018!