Operation 2018: Planning tips & strategies for a successful year ahead

Operation 2018: Planning tips & strategies for a successful year ahead
by Kylie Ryan /

What are your plans & strategies to make sure that next year is amazing?

How will you chart your course to success and happiness?

Many people are so exhausted and worn out by this time of year that they enjoy and relax over the Christmas break, and then hit January and February and are back to the same old routine. Then they quickly feel just as worn out as before — rest and relaxation quickly forgotten. “Where has the year gone? It’s already… March, June etc..” Yes, life is busy and moves at a seemingly ever-increasing pace. However, there are some simple strategies you can employ now to ensure you end next year further ahead, and on track to creating the life that you really want to live.

In the seminal business book the E-Myth, Michael Gerber makes the critical distinction between working “in” your business and working “on” your business. A very important distinction between being a technician, worker, employee, busily doing the daily details and tasks, and the CEO, entrepreneur, strategist, who oversees the business, thinks of the big picture, plans the direction and sets the outcomes for the whole company.

You can use this same distinction to set the trajectory for a balanced and successful life that you love. Over the holiday break is a perfect time to reflect and take a big picture look at your life, to see and feel if you are on the course to where you truly want to be going.

Strategies for success.

1. Stop doing your daily habitual routine. Rest. Recover.

Hit the STOP button and change your habitual daily grind. Share your kids with your relatives and give yourself some time to do nothing, so you can refuel and completely relax.

2. Reflect on the past year.

In your quiet time, reflect on what you enjoyed and what you didn’t, what you want less of and more of next year. Think through every area of your life systematically, leave nothing out. Family, Finances, Relationship, Sex, Health, Energy, Fitness, Body Shape, Social, Friends, Career, Spiritual, Personal Development, Education, Hobby, Travel, Rest & Relaxation.

3. Decide how you want to feel.

How do you want to feel in your ideal average working day? Many people set goals, achieve them and still feel unfulfilled, because they haven’t given any thought to how they would like to feel on an average day in their lives. What kind of feelings would you need to feel in order to know you were living a fulfilled, happy life? What were the feelings you experienced on your favorite days of the past year? To give you an example, some of my “ideal average day” feelings are: joy, love, inspiration, empowerment, growth, grace, vitality, strength, discipline, connection, contribution, peace. I make sure that I feel these feelings every day. Even just for a little bit.

4. Get clear on your priorities.

Knowing your true values is a key factor in success and happiness. One of the main causes of unhappiness is attempting to live your life by someone else’s values, in conflict with your own. Knowing yourself and being true to yourself will help you to shine and be a happy, loving person. A person who is an inspiring example to those you care about. What are the really important priorities that you need to experience and improve on in order to feel those awesome feelings every day?

5. Decide on your criteria for success.

By what criteria will you judge if 2018 is a success? My prediction is that you will judge 2018 a success if you live and make progress in accordance with your true values. So, what really matters to you? Quality time with loved ones? Dollars earned? Savings in the bank? Health and vitality? Slimness and beauty? Learning and growth? Laughter with friends? Career progression? Business Success? Travel? Spiritual connection? Contribution? Remember there is no right or wrong, so be honest with yourself.

6. Set your yearly goals by priority, and break them down into small habits.

Set your outcome goals for each priority/value area of your life, and then break those goals down into the small habits (process goals) that are required to achieve that outcome. Breaking your big picture outcome goals down into the small daily and weekly tasks, the process, is what will help you to achieve them easily and without overwhelm.

7. Diarise your holidays and rest and relaxation events.

Planning and diarising your rest and relaxation is a critical factor that gives your unconscious mind relief that there will be breaks and time to rest and recover. It also gives you something to look forward to when the days get long and busy.

8. Plan your key milestones.

Strategise your goals like a business. What targets do you need to hit by what dates in order to achieve your goals? If you aren’t sure how you will hit your targets, instead of shutting them down and saying, “It’s not possible,” ask yourself: “If it were possible, how would I….?” Your unconscious mind will mull over this question, see possibilities you would not have noticed before, and may come up with a surprisingly creative solution.

9. Diarise your priority events.

Diarise all your priority events into your life so that you know they are planned in, and won’t be forgotten or missed. If you are certain, plan and diarise for 2018, then you will easily be able to say no if someone asks you to do something that doesn’t fit with your priorities. Set your own course and you won’t be swayed and influenced by others.

10. Set repeating calendar reminders for check-ins to keep yourself on track.

Use repeating calendar reminders weekly, monthly or quarterly to review your goals and milestones. This simple strategy will help to remind you to step out of the daily grind and check in with your big picture plans and outcomes, and ensure you stay on track through the whole year.

When you chart your own course and stick to your plans, you will find yourself at the end of 2018 satisfied and relaxed, because you have achieved what you have planned and been true to yourself. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year break, and please give yourself the gift of a few hours or even a whole day to plan out a super successful and enjoyable new year.

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