I spend a good deal of time at the end of each year not only preparing my goals for next year, but reviewing the previous year’s successes and shortcomings.
The template I’ve been using to do this for the past few years is the program outlined in Ginny Ditzler’s excellent book, Your Best Year Yet. For the uninitiated, the "Best Year Yet" program is a values-based goal-setting system that I think works well for a few reasons:
- It’s rooted in your heart’s deepest desires—the uber-goals that really get you ticking.
- It forces you to frame your goals in actionable terms, rather than vague wishes that are difficult to quantify.
- It recognizes the many facets of you, and helps you carve up your life into meaningful segments, then distributes your goals across them.
For example, some of the many hats I wear in my life include "Friend," "Girlfriend," "Designer," and "Communicatrix"—my catchall term for my brand and life’s work (with a capital "W"), which lives outside of any particular "work" (with a small "w") I may be engaged in at the time.
Rather than lash myself blindly to the mast of business, Best Year Yet first helps me identify my overall values, then helps me see where they apply across my various roles. I assess the strengths and weaknesses of each role in its current state, and come to a decision on which one I’d get the most bang for my emotional (and, sometimes, financial) buck by focusing on this year.
What’s nifty is the point where you get to brainstorm all the great goals you could set for yourself with each role—it’s like being a kid in a candy store! After it’s all out there on paper, again I decide which single goal for each part of me would net me the most; part of the decision is which goal I’m most juiced about tackling.
You wind up with a maximum of 10 goals for the year across 8-10 roles. Then it’s up to you each month, week and day to break those into smaller, actionable goals. (Hint: if one of your roles is "marketer," the Marketing Mentor Grow Your Business Plan/Calendar is a good tool!)
What are your goals for next year? Do you have a particular method for coming up with them?