Tag Archives: annual plan

Developing Your Strategic Plan For The Future – Part 1

17 Dec

The best way to predict the future is to invent it. -Immanuel Kant

Anyone who knows me knows that I always have a trillion and one ideas, goals and to-do lists swirling around in my head at any one time. One way for me to actually harness some of these ideas and stop myself from going mad is to put them down to paper and develop action steps around them. I generally set aside a couple of days in December to develop my “strategic plan” for the upcoming year. This will be my third year doing this and I thought it may be helpful to let you into my process.

Some of you may be wondering – is it really necessary to go through such a lengthy process just to set some goals? And trust me, there was a time when I was right there with you. But after feeling like I was just drifting along and not really accomplishing anything I saw how helpful it was to set some intentions and actually complete them. It helped move me out of my 20-something crisis because even if I had a crappy house or a dead-end job at least I was actively working towards something better. And I don’t want you to think that you should be planning out every detail of your life. I’m just talking about setting up some goals or intentions to work towards for the year.

Ok so now onto how this process works. There are 2 basic steps which each have mini steps nestled under them:

1. Review the Previous Year

2. Determine Your Goals for the Upcoming Year

Let’s look at Step #1 – Reviewing the Previous Year:

I find it easiest to look back on the past year by making myself answer tough questions. Below I’ve listed out the questions I use and my abbreviated answers. Feel free to add to this list. In fact, if you do add, let me know so that I can maybe begin incorporating it into my own process. [Oh – and as a note, I’m also the founder of a natural bath & body company called Safiya Beauty so many of my notes or goals may make mention to that company.]

  • What was awesome about this year? I got engaged! I deepened my relationship with two close friends. I became an entrepreneur. I became certified as a life coach. I became closer with my mom. I traveled to 3 states I had not been to before. I turned 25 without having a total meltdown
  • How did I personally kick ass this year? What am I  most proud of from this past year? I successfully launched Safiya and took it from an idea in my head to a profitable business.  I followed my heart and became certified as a life coach – something I had been thinking about for a long time. I’ve become much more assertive about what I want for myself and my life. I figured out how resourceful and scrappy I can be.
  • What are things that I’d like to repeat in the upcoming year? I’d like to continue being very clear with myself about the direction I want to take in life. I’d like to continue profitably growing my business. I’d like to continue strengthening my personal relationships. I’d like to continue thinking of ways to challenge myself and push myself to my limits. I want to continue to travel.
  • What goals did I not reach? Why? I failed to get a marketing team/plan together for Safiya. I did not join a mastermind group or find a professional mentor. I didn’t network as much as I would have liked to. I missed the boat on several personal fitness goals. I didn’t reach these goals because I didn’t feel I had enough time for them however I believe I need to better schedule them into my life going forward.
  • What was the toughest challenge I faced? Finances – both personal & business. Juggling a lot of top priorities at once and making sure everything was accomplished to the best of my abilities. Figuring out how not to let things I can’t change bother me. Learning the let go and not letting myself become too overwhelmed.
  • What would I like to change in the upcoming year? I need to get more organized. I definitely would like to prioritize my time more effectively so that I can be super productive and efficient. Not getting overwhelmed when faced with a lot of obstacles. I need to better understand my finances – I need to really dig into how much money I truly need to live on and what can be saved away. Also need to look at what can be cut out. I want to really focus on my fitness and health by making good exercise & diet choices. I want to focus on maintaining a balance in my life and cutting out negative self talk

Really think hard about 2009. What rocked your socks? What made you happy? Sad? Where were you triumphant? Defeated? I don’t want you to harp on the negative or beat yourself up about goals not accomplished. Simply take stock of what occurred this year, decide what you did or didn’t like and let’s figure out how to make 2010 that much better.

Once you’ve really thought long and hard about 2009. Go out and celebrate. If you were honest with yourself then I know you have a list of really great accomplishments that you’ve achieved in the past year. It’s important to acknowledge them. So go out and treat yourself to something fabulous. I’m planning on indulging in an expensive sushi dinner & some red wine. I’m also taking a week off from my business, my coaching & my smart phone to just relax and spend time with my family. How will you celebrate?

So there you have it. Step 1 of my strategic planning session. We’ll review Step 2 in detail in the next post but what do you think so far? Is it worthwhile to have a strategic planning session? Is this something you already do on your own? Is this helpful to you?

When you come up with your list of 2009 in Review questions, feel free to email them to me or post them in the comments. I’d love to see what you’ve all accomplished in the past year. And don’t forget to acknowledge yourself for all your hard work – you deserve it.

Until next time,