With only a few weeks to go until 2018 now is a great opportunity to work on turning your wants and dreams for the next year into reality.
Firstly, let’s get something straight, you’re very unlikely to achieve your dreams without planning. Without planning you’re bobbing around in the Atlantic hoping that the winds and tides will eventually get you where you want to go before you sink. Get yourself a rudder and GPS by following these 9 steps to develop a plan of attack:
1. Break down what you want into a series of goals
When you commit to goals they are generally to solve a challenge or give you something you want in your business (or life). Having agreed on what these are you need to define the solution in terms of a number of goals and/or objectives. Make sure you writedown what they are and stick it on your wall!
2. Generate a list of actions for each goal
Compile a list of actions to achieve each particular goal and record these below the goal. Arrange this list of actions in sequential order.
3. Prepare a timeline
Beginning with a time point labelled ‘now’ and ending with a point labelled ‘goal achieved’ build a timeline on which you allocate dates by which you intend to complete each of the sequential actions listed under a particular goal. It is important that you get both sequence and timing right if you are to reach ‘goal achieved’ effectively.
4. Allocate resources
Financial, physical and human resources must be allocated to each step toward achieving your goal. If resources are limited or fall short of requirements at any stage it may be necessary to revise the plan.
5. Identify possible problems
Take into account all of the things that could potentially go wrong in the process of achieving each particular goal. List these problems and identify possible causes and suitable actions to resolve them. If necessary these actions might need to be added to appropriate slots in the timeline.
6. Develop strategies for monitoring progress
Obviously it’s essential to monitor whether you are on target to achieve each goal therefore list ways in which progress of the action plan can be monitored. These monitoring stages should also be included on the timeline.
7. Assign tasks
Take each point on the timeline and decide who will do what and by what date to bring about the specified action. Allocate these tasks to appropriate individuals or teams.
8. Estimate costs
Consider any expenditure required to complete each task. All costs will have to be taken into account when preparing a budget. If funds are not available tasks will have to be reviewed and, if necessary, revised or eliminated.
9. Implement the plan!
Place all the information onto a nice clean copy and list the actions required. Then assign each action to the person responsible for a particular task and make sure you include a deadline. Having now finalised the plan for action in specific terms it is important to share this information with all those involved.
The above steps will give you direction and motive both yourself and your team. Make 2018 be the best year you’ve ever had.