It may be cheesy, but I get almost too excited for the New Year. It’s like Christmas again, but for the future of the next 365 days. It’s a free slate, a new start. New Year’s is our opportunity to dream BIG for the future and make a fresh plan to get there. I love having permission to go float among the clouds. I plan where I want to be at the finish of my life, where I want to be 10 years out, 5 years out and what I need to do in the next year for my personal (and professional) success.
I follow a lot of people online, especially female entrepreneurs and online business bosses. One of the most frustrating things about the majority of them is they have these plans; “wake up at 5am and you can achieve my success” or “use this planner and all your goals will come true”. As a person that has tried so many of these “no fail” methods, I’m here to tell you that if you try to use everyone else’s system for your dreams, you will always come up short. Why? Because they are theirs and not yours. Finding the methods that work for you are your job, so take ownership in that. As a person that goes through multiple planners a year (that’s another post coming up), I have a thing or two to say about this. There are so many methods of dream and goal setting, you just have to find the method(s) that work for you.
What most people miss during their New Year dream process is how to plan it out and execute! The quote “A dream without a plan is just a wish” is 100% right on. Unless you have can hit red every time, you have to have a plan in place to make those dreams a reality. For my personal planning, I have a mind map with focuses and mini-goals, a vision board to look at something pretty, then a final breakdown of steps for my action plan. These are realistic, little picture benchmarks and deadlines to get me where I want to go big picture.
Mind Mapping is my all-time favorite “start here” New Year’s planning method (you can grab your template here) both for personal and business planning. This is where it all starts. You can’t vision board or create an action plan until you have an idea where you want to go. So this is where I start. My mind map has everything that I want to focus on for the year and then they are broken up into smaller mini-goals. When I teach a workshop on Mind Mapping we stick to about 3-4 focuses, but my actual map usually has 6. This year my focuses are Self-Care, Financial, Family, Business, Personal Development and House Renovations. Maybe you want a focus to be Travel or Saving Money, it’s your map. From there we find a few (I used 3) mini-goals that need to happen to make your focus succeed. For instance, my House Renovation focus, includes Outdoor (remodeling our pool and backyard landscape), New Spaces (building a new fireplace and entry way) and new kitchen counter tops mini-goals.
After my map is done, I like to Vision Board. This is completely not necessary, but for me it helps to create something pretty that I can reference regularly. My Vision Board highlights those 6 focuses I created in my mind map. It can have pictures from magazines and the internet, but if I say I want to have more quality time with my family I prefer to use to a picture of my actual family. There could be a picture of my house for “Renovations”, or just the countertops I’ve already picked out. Your vision board is special and incredibly personal, take some time to make it something that you will look forward to looking at throughout the year. With that being said though, many people choose to re-craft their board mid-year. That can help keep your vision fresh and refocus on the things that need a little more help.
Once mind mapping and vision boards are complete, it’s time to make an action plan. This can go on for as long as you need it to. For a girl that adds things to my Daily List just to mark them off, my action plans steps can get very specific with the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW. I love marking them off! Small victories are victories and we have to experience them to get the taste of success. Maybe your focus is “Travel”, a mini-goal is “Go Camping”, then your action plan is when and where to go. DONE. Most focuses aren’t that easy, though they follow the same format. You just may need a longer action plan with multiple steps and time deadlines. Give yourself real deadlines, then reward yourself for hitting them. Celebrating the completion of a goal, even if it’s a mini-goal, is huge. Enjoy it!
For my entrepreneurs out there, our business goals are set up much the same way. Of course, I have number goals based on data from previous years (ie. number of studio member, percentage of increase), but we also have “Dream Goals” to keep us focused on what we want to get out of the year ahead. Dream Goals are my business’s mind map focuses. This year we picked 3 words as Dream Goals; Community, Educate, Groups. To map out our dream goals, we charted each goal into 3 smaller Mini-Goals, then created an Action Plan Checklist for each. That gave us actual steps to take, but also checklists to check off. Remember those small victories? We celebrate them at work too! Then as we sit down to plan the year, quarters and months, we could ask ourselves “How does this affect our Dream Goal? Should we put our energy into it if it does not?” That alone has made planning out focuses, specials and events for 2019 so much easier and will end up being more efficient, because it will get us closer to those Dream Goals.
A huge thing to remember during all your planning is that nothing is permanent. If you need to refocus, allow yourself that. It can be at the middle of the year, after the first quarter or after a month. If you discover that the goals or focuses you set aren’t serving you, change them. You don’t need to keep reaching for something that doesn’t set you on fire. This is your permission to regroup, whenever you need to. There are so many methods to planning, remember this is just what works for me. Find a process that make your soul happy and plan your little heart out. You can be as successful as you want to be, but you have to set it into motion.