Every December, I schedule one week to work on my plan for the coming year. I create the space, energy and solitude that is required to ensure I can be as detailed and specific as possible about what I’d like to achieve and realise in my life in 2012. I have a well-defined process of ensuring that I’m evaluating and planning constantly so that I remain focused with laser-like precision. I’d like to share this with you here, if I may.
First, I look at the year just gone. I shall review 2011. I take each key area of my life one at a time and I make a list of at least 10 accomplishments and 10 key areas for improvement. These are the things I may want to repeat again in 2012 or scrap if they have proved too hard with little reward.
As John DeMartini says, how you prioritise your life determines what you value in your life. Identify the key areas of your life because this is where you will want to spend planning for success.
My key areas, in no particular order, are:
- money management
Let’s take “business” as the theme and continue exploring the rest of my process using this key area.
Once I’ve made a list of 10 accomplishments, I ask myself which of these accomplishments I want to bring about again in 2012. Whatever worked in 2011 is worth investing more time, money and resource in next year. I then look at the improvements I’ve listed and ask myself which of these I want to pursue in 2012 and which I’m no longer interested in.
Here are some questions to help you get clear on this area:
- What have I achieved this year?
- What progress have I made?
- What have I accomplished?
- Where have I let myself down?
- Where have I invested resource with little or no reward?
- Where can I improve?
Taking this forward, I move onto the next step and begin to brainstorm all of the things that I could possibly do in 2012. The first step of this process is to be clear on your vision and your overall outcome.
My vision is to impact the world through business owners. By teaching and sharing my strategies for lead/sales generation and helping people make more money, not only does the business owner benefit… their staff, family and friends also benefit. The ripple effect comes into play and shifts start to happen.
No matter whether you just want to make money on the side, or you want to transition to a full-time automated online income stream, you need to have a vision that drives you and your team forward and helps you transform the way you work online. Meaningful work creates meaningful profit. “Doing good” is something we just cannot avoid, no matter how hard we try. Get clear on where your impact can be made.
Once I know my vision, I brainstorm as many ways as possible to achieve this. I write down all the ideas, partnerships, mediums and strategies that I can think of to make this happen. I do this without thinking too deeply. I just write whatever comes into my mind.
Once I’ve exhausted all my ideas and I’ve got everything down on paper, I go through each idea one at a time and look at the benefits and drawbacks. Many ideas look powerful and profitable at first, but when I start to ponder on each one, think a little more about the strategy involved and the time and resource required, they may not be great.
I also list the potential return on investment each will give me based on the resource required (time, energy, money, staff, etc). At this point in the process, I usually give myself 1-2 days to do something totally different. I eat well, I drink well, I don’t consume any junk. I clear my mind as much as possible. I meditate. I allow myself to be free.
When I do all of this and come back to the task at hand with a clear mind and a fresh perspective, I can see the ideas for what they are and quickly get rid of 95% of things I’ve written down and end up focusing on the 5% that remains. This is where huge progress will be made in 2012.
I always like to focus on 3-5 key things for each area I’m planning. In business, for example, I’m focused on fine-tuning and refining 2-3 key programmes and working on reaching more people as opposed to creating many different offerings and reaching just a few people. In the same way, when it comes to traffic generation and marketing, I’m focused on refining and fine-tuning 4-7 key methods in my business as opposed to mastermind 10+ strategies to bring traffic. If I do a few items really well, as opposed to doing many things averagely, I’m going to get a far better result in my life and in my bank account – and I’ll be many steps closer to realising my vision each day I wake up.
Ask yourself, what are the 3-5 things I’m going to focus on? What are the 3-5 key things that I’m going to devote my year to master and profit from? These are the things you want to focus on.
Once I’ve identified the key projects and factors that are going to be crucial to my success in 2012, I begin to draw them into a calendar putting down product launches, events, new websites and anything else into the appropriate month. I try to do only 1-2 projects per month so that I can give enough focus to each one. I take out my journal and write up all the months and beside them I put down the key work I’m going to do in each month. At this stage of the process, I’m just writing down the activity and not getting deeper.
The next step in my process involves a detailed planning session. I take each quarter one at a time and begin planning in depth about how I’m going to realise the project. I create realistic deadlines for each activity and I get clear on the resources I’m going to require (time, energy, money, staff, etc). I do this for each quarter, starting at Q1 of 2012, right through to Q4. I also work out the numbers for each activity. For example, if I’m launching a product and I want to make $100,000, how many sales am I going to need to make? How many sales a day will I need to reach my goal in 60 days? Etc. I get clear on these specific milestones and goals so I can tell if I’m reaching my goal or not and what I need to do to get there.
Once I get all of the above complete, I’m usually feeling pretty chuffed. It’s taken a lot of determination and hard-work to plan in such detailed way and less than 5% of entrepreneurs do this kind of thing, but I’m content knowing that my year is going to be simpler and more fruitful because of the time and energy I’ve invested doing this now. Only with clarity can you achieve total joy, peace and success in your life.
You’re most welcome to follow my structure above and do the same in your life and business. If you have your own method, that’s cool too. What is really important is that you set aside time to review the year and to look ahead and become clear and focused on the priorities you want to make in 2012.
I’m running my last event of 2012 – an intimate closed-doors private session called the Apprentice Mastermind on Saturday 17th December, 10am-1pm in Covent Garden, London.
In true Masterminding style, we will use this event to review the year gone and plan ahead for the next year working diligently individually and as a team to overcome any obstacles we may have in front of us. You can ask all your questions and get them answered. You’ll get to network with some of the most committed internet marketing minds in 2012 and form partnerships for success. There’s no need for laptops during this particular session.
You will leave the session with a plan for success in 2012 and be motivated and inspired to focus on only what matters in your life and business. You’ll have a plan for also developing the skills and resource required to help your business flourish so you can make more money online and achieve life’s others goals.
The fee to attend this 3-hour session is £49 including VAT. There are 8 spaces left now and if you want to use my support to plan for 2012 as well as mastermind with others, this is a wonderful opportunity and one you should not miss.
If you’ve got any questions, please contact us.
Let’s make 2012 our best year yet.
PS. What did you think of the article above? Please share your ideas and strategies on planning for success. Your own tips and methods will greatly help us ALL improve…