An Example of My Actual Annual Plan

Every year, I espouse the need to do an annual plan.  This year, it occurred to me that it might be helpful to show what one looks like.  So although it's very personal to me, I have scanned part of my annual plan, my 2012 Personal & Family Goals for your perusal. As you can see, there is nothing complicated about it.  In fact, it's quite simple!  My goals almost seem, at first glance, elementary or basic or maybe even rudimentary.  But that's also what makes them powerful. Here's what works about this kind of a plan. 

  1.  I center my goals around who I am, what I value and what my mission is - All the planning in the world won't help if it's going in the wrong direction.  We must ask ourselves "who am I and what am I here to accomplish?".  Once we're clear about our roles and our mission (which, by the way, we have a lot of freedom to choose), then we can select goals that align with who we are.  When we are in alignment, we are more likely to stick with our goals, because we truly identify with them.  We're not doing them because we "should" but because we want to. 
  2. I use brevity to my advantage - Using a "theme of five" for 2012, I create my goals in a way that I can easily remember and recite them.  I've essentially "boiled it down" and because of this I'll actually remember my goals come March or June or October whereas more complicated plans will fall by the wayside after a month.  Restricting my vision to only four main goals (outside my everyday "stuff") also helps bring focus and create a list of achievable goals.  I believe one of the biggest contributors to abandoned goals is simply having too many. 
  3. My "simple" goals are selected with their positive ripple effect in mind  - How so?  Well, by committing to ending "outside" work at 5pm, I become more efficient with my time during the day.  By committing to working out 5 times a week, I become more energetic and healthy to accommodate a faster, more efficient work time.  By preparing 5 home-cooked meals a week, I strengthen my relationship with my husband and family, while learning new skills (new cooking methods, new recipes, etc).  Additionally, I become more relaxed mentally and emotionally with a more reasonable schedule.   Finally, with the simple goal or target of reaching 5000 Home CEO website members, I ultimately will have to do those things that will meet the needs of those members, and therefore my detailed plans will have to do exactly that. 

 Your goals may look vastly different from mine because this is a very personal form and it will be unique to each individual's worldview and values. 

Can I encourage you to take some time to print this form out and fill one in for yourself?  Wouldn't it be nice to know what you're aiming for in life?  A conviction over your purpose this year?  Fill it out and then post it somewhere, anywhere, where you can refer to it frequently.  I keep my plan tacked to a corkboard in my laundry room.  I have used this form for the past several years.  

Each January I made a new one and it lasts the whole year.  At least once a month, or when you've hit a certain milestone, mark off your goals and watch as your life "falls into place" as you become true to yourself.  

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