Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Template For 2013 Goals & Planning





As the pace of life on this planet seems to increase every year, planning becomes that much more important to ensuring that life doesn't speed away and leave your hopes and dreams in the dust. 
In the midst of all your holiday festivities and get-togethers with family & friends, find an hour to sit down and think about all you're thankful for this year, the people who've been most influential in your life and the most memorable moments you've had. Think about the accomplishments you're most proud of and the projects which made the most of your passions.

Once you're in awe of everything you've done this year and feeling good about the wonderful people in your life, use this template to jot down some of the things you hope to do, see and learn in 2013.


Some rules of thumb I follow for medium- to long-term planning:


> Balance
your larger-than-life dreams and goals with realistic thinking. Don't try to tackle all your bad habits in one month (namely, January), and sprinkle in some sure bets.  A quick feasibility analysis never hurts.
> Prioritize. What do you really want to do, and what are the extras that are really just the icing on the cake?  If, like me, you have a million projects going at once, be prepared to compromise at some points. It helps take the edge off the situation if you've prioritized in advance (and even better if you can notify co-workers & teammates of these priorities way before the time conflicts arise).
> Overestimate the time you'll need to prepare and the time any given project or task will take. If you want to spend a week in Tokyo in late July, your calendar should have a "start looking for flights!" reminder in early to mid-June (at the latest). Building in some buffers will make you feel good if you manage to get ahead of schedule. If you get a bit behind schedule, these buffers might just be your saving grace!
> Cushion your fears. What things are you dreading or scared about?  Don't feel like you have to tackle those unprepared.  Gain traction by getting some small victories behind you early in the year, then use that boost in confidence to build up the courage and momentum to take on those bigger, scarier things you're dreading.  Once you're past the worst of it, give yourself a nice time cushion to relax on before the next big challenge, and celebrate your accomplishments thus far!
> Phone a friend. Is a project too big for you alone?  Think you might get lost on that epic bicycle trip around Ireland?  Bring someone else in on some of your projects; you never know - maybe you'll find someone who's just as passionate about the goal as you are!
> Create rewards which support your goals. I made the huge mistake one time of starting a new workout regimen and 'rewarding' myself with ice cream every Friday. I never actually looked forward to the 'reward' because I felt like I was undoing everything I'd worked for that week.  Instead, look for rewards that build on what you've accomplished!

Above all, enjoy reflecting on the experiences you've had this year and everything that lies ahead.  Unexpected things will pop up, but at least now you have a general sense of direction and a context for dealing with those unexpected situations!


Americans Beware
The template I made uses Monday as the first day of the week. 
Also - the date formats follow the continental style of dd.mm.  
03.01 = 3rd of January = Jan. 3. Good luck! ;)

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