It is a tradition to spend time reflecting on our accomplishments at the end of each year. It is also a common practice to make new year's resolutions as we ring in January 1st. A fresh calendar offers clear perspectivesand an opportunity to finally grab our dreams from the clouds. Maybe 2019 is finally the year to reach that long sought-after goal.
Reflecting on 2018
Experts teach us that reflection is one of the greatest tools of learning. We can enhance our reflections by writing or recording our stories and lessons learned. So, as we close out 2018, do take time to reflect on what you have accomplished and what goals you achieved.
If you're like me – and like most people – you will be able to create a good list of achievements. But when you compare your 31 December 2018 list to the aspirations you laid out on 1 January 2018, the two lists will be quite different. That's okay. Life brings changes to our plans and being flexible gives us the choices that allow us to experience adventure.
Previously, we've talked about the importance of setting strategic goals and in differentiating them from tactical and operational objectives. Maybe you had a big strategic goal from 2018 and didn't accomplish it. Don't feel bad because it is likely you were able to move forward on the tactics and operations measures to meet your strategic objective.
As I personally reflect on 2018, I realize I am accomplishing a strategic goal and I approach it with a degree of sadness. I want to increase my contributions to consulting clients and enhance my availability to coach and facilitate master mind groups. However, to do so, I need to stop teaching.
For over five years, I have taught project management at the undergraduate and graduate levels at an online university. I enjoy teaching and being able to share the lessons I've learned in my career with people just embarking on their own career paths. Yet, the bureaucratic burdens of teaching are outweighing the benefits of learning and knowledge sharing. If you feel that your enjoyment of anactivity in 2018 has lessened or that the task has become a chore, it's time to consider whether your 2019 strategic plan should eliminate that work.
So, as you reflect on 2018 and your own productivity, ask yourself what you should stop doing, what you should start doing, and what you should continue doing. And, classify these items as strategic,tactical, or operational.
New Year's Resolutions
Anybody that knows me well knows that I don't really believe in New Year's Resolutions. If you have something to change in your life, why are you waiting until January 1st to do so? Why not make the change right away?
My other gripe with New Year's Resolutions is that they are just promises. If we don't create the tactical and operational action plans to enact these resolutions, they will fade away. It's hard work for a nicotine addict to quit smoking. It's hard work for us to commit to a healthier lifestyle. You have to make daily choices to eat carrots instead of cookies, and to work out daily. No 'resolution' commits you to action.
Finally, I don't like New Year'sResolutions because a lot of times, people swear to these great life changes after staying up past midnight, eating and drinking to excess. If you're really committed to starting with a clean slate, a clear calendar, and a new approach, why are you dooming your start by being tired and hungover?
Productivity and Goals
What we really need to achieve our goals is time and focus. These two elements are inseparable. The way you will accomplish your strategic goals of 2019 is to approach them with rigor and a plan. You should resolve to act on your plan daily as a new year's commitment.
After you've reflected on yourlist of 2018 accomplishments, consider which of your 2018 strategic goals still need work in 2019. Remember that life changes and we need to be flexible. I started 2018 claiming I would teach forever and anywhere, as long as I had an internet connection. Now, I'm starting 2019 with a glad heart to free myself of administrative university tasks and with a renewed commitment to training and knowledge sharing to help individuals and companies reach higher levels of achievement and success.
Next, list your big strategic goals for the year. You'll only have a few. Divide these into tactical and operational tasks. Then assign time blocks and deadlines to accomplish these tasks. Each month compare what you've done with what needs to be done to meet these strategic goals. You can download a 2019 goal planning worksheet below.
Strategic goals might not be very detailed but focus on our long-term perspectives and the things that are really important. For example, I want to release an updated version of the NPDP 24-Hour Prep Guide in 2019. Tactical actions are specific and are steps to achieving the strategic goal. For instance, I need to write a new chapter on life cycle management and sustainability. Operational 'to-do' lists tell us how we'll get there. For example, each week, I will research one new article and write 500 words on life cycle management and sustainability in new product development (NPD0.
It's a good idea to break down the strategic goals to quarterly objectives because we can reflect on our accomplishments and adjust our focus accordingly. InspireYourPeople.com tell us that there are only 61 workdays in the first quarter of 2019, 64 workdays in each of the second and third quarters, and 62 days in the last quarter of the year. Using a rigorous planning tool allows you to focus those very short days on the specific tactical and operational activities needed to accomplish your big strategic goals.
Your Strategic Plan for 2019
Please share your plan with me. As I aim for my own 2019 strategic goals to increase the coaching and mentoring side of my business, I want to help you achieve your strategic goals. Join me in a pilot session of the Innovation Master Mind on 23 January 2019 from 1 to 3 pm Central Time. If you want to increase the productivity of your teams in 2019, contact me for more information on Virtual Team Model and Situational Team Leadership. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 281-280-8717. I love helping individuals, teams, and organizations achieve their highest strategic innovation goals!
Download your own 2019 Goal Planning Worksheet here and you will also be registered for our 5-Day Strategy Planning Challenge.
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