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Don’t make Resolutions – Plan the New Year

January 4, 2010

I am deep into my annual planning process for the New Year. I just reviewed a post from Chris Guillebeau over at the ANOC blog that lays out his process for year-end planning. In short, he advises the following steps:

Step 1: Review the Previous Year
Step 2: Outline Goals and Overall Focus for Next Year
Step 3: Make Decisions in Support of the Goals and Focus

His explanation of the steps are well worth a deep read. I think, however, he misses an important step which is to prioritize the roles you hold. The role construct has helped me focus during this process. I make a list of what roles are important to me. They can be specific or generic: Father, Friend & Family Member, Self Developer, Business Owner, Writer, Leader at … I scrub the list to ensure they match my overall mission, commitments and values and to determine if any need special focus in the coming year. I like to then picture where each role will be 5 or more years out and in the next year. With this list, I then set long and medium term goals similarly to how he describes step 2. Thinking in terms of roles also helps in planning each week to ensure you make progress toward each role’s goals.

I’d love to hear what you use to plan – please share in the comments.

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