Updated: Oct 5, 2021
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Annual planning is a great practice for making progress in the right direction and ensuring the feeling of satisfaction in the end of the year.
Your annual planning will allow you to set specific personal goals in line with your values and overall personal objectives, will hold you accountable and will help to translate your overarching objectives into the daily practice.
5-step approach for annual planning
Step 1. Start with the End of Year reflections
You may have already reflected on your 2020 and have drawn all the key learnings.
In case you haven't, follow this Quick Guide to Annual Reflections and close your 2020 chapter first.
Doing that will allow you to ensure you build on top of what's already working and let go off the things that don't serve you anymore.
Step 2. Review your Life Vision
You've now learned a lot from reflecting on your 2020 and can't wait to start afresh. Before you do, take a step back.
Think about your life holistically:
What is your purpose?
What are your top values?
Who are the people in your tribe?
What do you stand for?
Those are big questions, if you get lost, we are here to help. This step will ensure you are considering a big picture and making a meaningful progress in line with who you really are.
Step 3. Set the Theme of the Year
While it might be tempting to set a lot of goals, one overarching theme of the year will help you focus.
Your theme can reflect your biggest personal or professional aspiration, it can be abstract or concrete, very practical or more spiritual in nature.
Here are a few example themes:
A year of less
A year of expansion & new horizons
A year of being a chef (not a cook)
A year of joy
You get the gist.
Step 4. Set 2021 priorities by area
In line with your theme and life objectives, what would you like to focus on and achieve in 2021?
Reflect on these questions:
How do I want to grow? What do I want to learn? What skills and capacities would I like to develop?
What areas of my life need some refreshing? Health, mindfulness, relationships, work?
What do I want to put my focus on, if I could just choose 4-6 things to focus on?
If I were looking back on 2021 a year from now, what would be fantastic to see? What changes would I be psyched to have happened?
Step 5. Add anything else that matters to you
What new habits would you like to develop?
What books do you want to read? Podcast you want to listen? Films you want to watch?
What topics would you like to explore?
What dreams would you like to pursue and things on your bucket list you want to tick off?
Write it all down, you'll be surprised to find out how by simply writing things down, you will get so much closer to reaching all your goals!
Now you are all set for an awesome year ahead, well done!
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