February is almost over. Can you believe it? Each year seems to move faster and faster. Is the year going like you hoped so far? If not, now is the perfect time to adjust.
How can you do that? By planning for the year ahead.
I know your task list is long, and you have a lot on your plate. It may even seem impossible. There’s no chance you can start looking ahead to the months beyond, right?
I’d suggest that it is not only possible for you to start laying plans out for your next year now. You’ve still got plenty of runway left to map out your intentions for the next ten months. So why not do it?
Even though I start my year in September, I’m going to share with you how you can start mapping out the year you want anytime you want in just one hour.
Keep in mind that one hour equals the following:
- 4.2 percent of a day
- .6 percent of a week
- .14 percent of a 30 day month
- .011 percent of a year
My point is that one hour may seem like a lot, but it isn’t.
Here are the things you need to do up front to make this work:
- Schedule the hour. (If you need help choosing an hour, I’ve set aside the perfect time to do this. Just scroll down to the bottom of this email to see the day and hour I’ve chosen for you.)
- Make sure you have ZERO interruptions during that hour. Put your phone in Airplane Mode. Turn off all notifications. Close your office door. You must be certain that nothing will get in the way of you mapping out your year over that hour long period.
- Get 3 sheets of paper and a pen. You will not need digital devices for this hour of work. You’ll want to have them for the fine-tuning of your planning, but this is simply the mapping of your year that we’re doing over the hour. Save the electronics for afterward.
Once you’ve got all of the above items taken care of you a can start to map out your year. The hour officially starts once you start putting pen to paper.
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Capture the Three Words that you want to embody over the year ahead
This practice was introduced to me by Chris Brogan several years ago. Take one of the sheets of paper and start brainstorming some words that will best represent who you want to be in the year ahead. Take 20 minutes to do this. (Set a timer if you need to.)
2. Capture the big projects you want to accomplish in the year ahead
Take the second sheet of paper and brainstorm all of the major project you want to work on over the next twelve months. These projects can be personal or professional (they can even be both). Write anything that comes to mind on that paper. Take another 20 minutes to do this.
3. Assign the top projects to the months of the year best suited for them
The third sheet of paper is the key. It’s going to be your initial map for the year. Write down all 12 months of the year on that sheet of paper and then assign your most compelling and fulfilling projects to them. Keep in mind that some may take more than one month to complete. Take 20 minutes to do this as well.
There you have it. You have a basic map for your year and that map will help you realize projects that may have sat on the back burner – or were allocated to the wrong time of year – with more focus and attention.
Want to dive even deeper into this? Then check out the course I created to help you start the year you want anytime you want, The NOW Year™ Action Plan Course. It’s just $199 and you can learn more about it here.