Make 2011 a Productive Year by Having a Plan
hat goals or expectations do you have for 2011?
Let’s be honest, most of us have not thought about what we want in 2011. For the most part we are recovering from the holidays and working to get back to our daily hectic schedules. But how much more productive would you be if you had a plan for 2011?
Recently I began a coaching program with nationally known business and career development coach, Cordell Parvin. My first assignment in the coaching program was to write a 2011 "Business Plan." If you are unfamiliar with a Business Plan, it is essentially a written blueprint of what you want to achieve, how you plan to achieve those things, and includes metrics to track your progress.
I’ll admit I slightly dreaded this exercise because it required me to really think through my goals on multiple levels. Setting goals has never been my problem, but developing a clear path on how to get there has been more of challenge.
However, putting my Business Plan on paper proved to be a great exercise.
It forced me to develop an action plan that (1) makes me FOCUS on how to achieve my goals; (2) holds me ACCOUNTABLE for following through on those steps; and (3) MOTIVATES me.
For my Business Plan, I first laid out my goals for the year. Then, I categorized those goals into either (1) business development, (2) professional development, or (3) personal development. Under each goal I listed action items and target deadlines to help me reach that specific goal. For example, one of my business development goals is to generate $500,000 in new business in one year. Under that goal I listed the action of creating a blog geared towards my target market, owners and operators of emerging and growing businesses. In order to create an effective blog, I identified the need to find out from my target market what legal issues affect their business. Thus, I included the action item of meeting with six business owners per quarter for informational purposes. Next I identified which business owners I would like to meet with. For each goal, I created this type of stepping-stone action list.
Your Business Plan will be tailored to your needs. However, here are some general tips that may assist you in developing your plan:
- It is not so much about goals as it is about HOW to reach those goals. Be sure to include step-by-step actions that can get you to your ultimate goal.
- It can include professional and personal aspects, which may allow you to see how the two interact and maximize your time more efficiently.
- Be SPECIFIC: include concrete metrics and milestones that allow you to measure progress.
Make 2011 a productive year by getting FOCUSED, holding yourself ACCOUNTABLE, and staying MOTIVATED.