Now Is the Time to Plan

Posted by Kristin Arnold on December 29, 2011

We just finished our 2012 planning and I feel so energized and excited for the coming year!  We just finished our new branding initiative (do you like the new website look, feel and logo?) and our term as national president of the National Speakers Association and now it is time to take the business to the next level.

This year, we are introducing:

  • A new and exciting hybrid between speaking and facilitating that I have termed a “MainStage Conversationalist”
  • Two new Executive Forums – one in Phoenix and the other in Prince Edward Island
  • A new quarterly webinar series
  • More YouTube “how to” videos

As well as our current mix of facilitation, training and speaking services around the whole notion of teamwork and collaboration.  So stay tuned for more details!

And, just in case you’re curious, here is the process we use to set our annual goals:

First, brainstorm a wish list.  Jot down potential goals for the next year.  Remember not to criticize yourself for what you did or did not do in 2011

Then block out two separate days.

On the first day, review the numbers.  Take a look at what you have done in the past year.  If you don’t have hard facts – go get them and crunch the data on a spreadsheet.  Ask yourself:

  • Who are my customers?
  • What are my products or services?
  • How do I add value (to the top and bottom line)
  • What are my core processes?
  • How am I performing my core processes – those things I must do exceedingly well to survive?

Then list and recognize your accomplishments.  Don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back!

Take a look at last years’ goals, and analyze why you met or fell short of last year’s goals – Be brutally honest with yourself and look at your performance and results.

For the rest of the day, share this information with your “kitchen cabinet” – those colleagues, friends and business contacts whom you respect and value their opinions.  Ask for and listen to their feedback as allies, not as adversaries.  Then take some time to think about this first day.

No more than a week later, go hibernate someplace where you won’t be interrupted and revisit your “wish” goals.  Keep only those that are going to significantly propel you forward.  Don’t be intimidated by those “BHAGs” (big hairy audacious goals) – they often inspire us to great things!

Create your goals in concrete sentences: “I will earn $**** this year.  I will expand my market by 20%.”  Write each goal at the top of a piece of paper, then answer “why?” you want to achieve each goal.

For each goal, ask “What are the roadblocks to achieving this goal?” and then identify strategies (the how) you are going to achieve it.

From these strategies, create an action plan – specific items to write on your “to do” list, calendar or planner.  Then go ahead and write each activity in your planner.  This part can be tedious and time consuming, but well worth it.  Each day, when you open up your planner, it will be your decision whether you really want to do that small activity that will help you achieve your goals.



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