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Update: It turns out that Business Planning can actually be fun!

Posted by Ilise Benun on

In a December 15, 2009 Marketing Mix blog post, Peleg Top explained how he planned for a new year by reflecting on the year just passed – coming up with obstacles overcome, accomplishments and what he celebrated.

At the time, I realized I couldn’t follow his lead because I only had a handful of specific memories of what had happened in 2009. It was a good year, but detailed particulars to reflect on? I didn’t have many.

I wanted 2010 to be different, so I put it on my calendar and every Friday afternoon for the whole year I spent a few minutes making notes about what happened that week. My categories included: Obstacles Overcome, Special Moments, The Happy Unexpected, Accomplishments and What Was Important To Me This Week.

Since I took Dyana Valentine’s up on her suggestion and gave myself permission to have a non-traditional fiscal year, I recently finished my reflection and review of 2010 with the goal of planning for my Fiscal 2011 (April 1, 2011 through March 31, 2012).

Having 15-months’ of weekly notes – January 2010 through March 2011 – made it the most amazing and fun “New Year” planning I have ever done. Going through them, I could easily see what was significant in 2010, how much had happened. And I was reminded of some big things that would have gotten lost otherwise in the day-to-day hurly-burly.

To my complete surprise, ideal Next Steps became instantly apparent, and coming up with my Goals and Intentions for 2011 was really a joy. (Which it never was when I was trying to cram it all in – without notes – during cold, dark, too-short weeks between Christmas & New Year’s!)

Making the weekly notes took such a relatively-small amount of time, but the pay off was unexpectedly huge. It turns out that the past is prologue – and a good and useful one to the chapters yet to be written. Thanks again to Peleg and Dyana for the big, got-me-out-of-the-box ideas.

Patrice Robertie specializes in working with professional services firms whose offerings have to be persuasively and compelling described because … they’re service businesses … there’s no “product” to show. She can be reached at

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