So a friend asked me today about the process I use for strategic planning and goal setting – well, I’m not sure if she asked but I was excited to share with her. This is an outline that anyone could use. 

First 15 minutes

Review the prior year. What went really well? I go through my calendar and see what types of things filled my days. Am I happy with them? What would I do different? 

Minutes 16 to 20

Pull out a sheet of paper (or use my Goal Planning & Tracking template). Now take 4 minutes and set three focus points for the upcoming year. Do you want to go somewhere? Do you want to learn a language? Doing this quickly will help you see what is really important. Need inspiration? I imagine the one thing I want to say about my year when it is over. “This was the year I finally …” or “I loved that I completed ____ this year.” 

Minutes 21 to 40

Now that you have your focus goals now work backwards. In order for your first goal to happen in December what needs to happen by November? What needs to happen by July? Be realistic.  For example: I want to publish 100 blog posts by the end of the year. That means I need to publish 50 by June and 25 by March. I put those mileposts on my calendar in the appropriate months. 

Minutes 41 to 55

Now set a weekly goal to accomplish your monthly goal. In my example above if I need to write 100 blog posts by the end of the year I need to complete 9 (or so) in January. So for the first week of January maybe my goal is to brainstorm 9 ideas and schedule time to outline my first post. 

Last 5 minutes

Set a date to check on how you are doing for your weekly goals. Preferably, you want someone to do this with – a spouse or accountability partner. Choose someone who is reliable and is interested in doing her own goal planning. This can be done in-person or just a simple phone call. 

Whew! Take a deep breath. 

Disclaimer: Don’t get caught in the details with this. Do you need four hours for step one? Go for it. And don’t worry if what you come up with in January doesn’t look the same in March or August. Adjust. Do what works for you. 

Go Live a Life Well Read!