Plan for 2018 NOW

It’s almost here….

No, not Halloween. I am talking about 2018. Where did the past 10 months go?
The reality is, time flies whether you’re having fun or not! So how do you prepare? Do you wait until December 31 to scratch out some quick resolutions? Or worse, do you wait until February to realize you had better start thinking about what you need to do this year?

New Year’s Day has been my favorite holiday for a long time. I love the fresh start. Of course, nothing actually changes. Time doesn’t know it has entered a new year. But the symbolism is inspiring to me. Something about it gives me permission to forgive myself for past failures, and dream again. I have been thinking about 2018 for some time now, possibly to a fault. It is critical to be present in TODAY as well!

But this is about planning. In our new book for coaches, Taking the Leap, Marc Steinberg explains yin and yang. The male energy (yang) derives its momentum from MAKING things happen, while the female energy (yin) abides in the serenity of LETTING things happen. The key lies in the ability to live in both.

Planning for the new year starts now. So, I am discussing yang.

I coach organizations and leaders on the art of planning. Here is a little mental exercise to try in preparing for 2018:

  • Start with the 2017 plan, and separate the big-picture items items into the following categories:
    • What got done? Celebrate those things!
    • What still needs to get done? Put those things in the 2018 plan.
    • What is no longer important or relevant? Remove those things.
    • What new work needs to get done? Put those things in the 2018 plan.
  • Now ask yourself, “What items do I want to make sure end up in the “celebrate” category this time next year?
  • Ready for this part? Remove everything else from the 2018 plan! If you don’t fully intend to be celebrating it at the end of next year, why would you include it?
  • Take the remaining big picture items, and determine the action steps that will be required for each. Map out the year’s work based on the timing of those items.
  • Final step — You now have a draft plan you can live with, right? Good. You can relax a little. It feels good to have charted the path. But wait…

Now allow yourself to really dream. What if you could take a quantum leap forward in a single year with a bold action? What would that bold action be? How might you go about adapting your plan to allow for this bold action? What would it take to get you to commit to that bold action in 2018 and not put it off for yet another year?

None of this is in stone. You can massage it, adapt it, or even start it over if you want. But it gets the brain and the heart working together. If you are not inspired by looking forward to 2018, you may need to pause and dream again. Within 2018 lies a field of amazing possibilities!

Once your plan is in place, get to work on making it happen. But as you do, be present enough to recognize and appreciate serendipity, and be willing to simply let things happen. The marriage of the two will produce amazing things in 2018!

That’s the Jinks Perspective!
Have an amazing day! MAKE an amazing day!

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