Annual plans, all too often end up as a file on your computer hard drive. Or a new one-inch white binder wedged next to the procedures manual on the bottom shelf of your bookcase.
For the most part planning starts and stops by setting a set of outcomes. Declaring your desired result should be powerful enough effect change, right?
What’s lacking is an approach that is grounded in the issues that matter most to you and you organization: vision, mission, values, your edge, strategic priorities, success metrics, key professionals relationships and how to become more effective.
Even if you do use a comprehensive approach planning you may not consider what structures to put into place to support executing your plan. I’ve done that too.
And the time, energy and thoughtfulness poured into creating your plan is for what? Not much if not much happens. Or when circumstances change (and they will) and you don’t get stay focused.
How to Make Your Annual Plan Work
Discipline. Discipline is the self-created, support mechanism(s) used to lend structure to your time and efforts. These are never arduous must haves, rather they are the simple, often small modifications, that if you attend to make implementing a plan smoother.
- To build a stronger referral network, spend 10 minutes a day, 5 days a week contacting your current network to cultivate relationships
To spend more time on strategic issues and less time on low team morale, spend 20 minutes assessing how much you know about your employees as individuals. The more you know the easier it is to see what motivates each, where each persons’ talents can be best used and to develop the messages each needs from you to be focused and feel engaged.
- To write more, get up 30 minutes earlier 4 days per week and use that time to just write, editing happens at an other time.
- To ensure maximum thinking and energy capacity, take one day off from responsibilities entirely (household, weekend professional reading etc.)
When your discipline slacks don’t dwell. Just start again. Because discipline is self -imposed there is also a restart button with in reach.
Planning and acting do not need to be hard, or heavy. You simply need to start with the discipline feels most aligned with how you work best. A modification to how you currently operate.
What small modification would create the discipline you need to move forward this year?