Plan for a Better 2011

checklist

I’m working with Julien on a new book. I’m working with Rob Hatch on a business plan that we can sustain and where we can succeed. I’m working with the team at CrossTech Ventures to build revenue and expansion models for our projects. You could say that planning is pretty heavy on my mind right now. Some thoughts you might take into your own 2011 planning:

Your Plan For 2011

  • Make a section that defines your roles (parent, employee, project lead, etc)
  • In that section, make a one-line description of the best possible outcome you’d want for that role for 2011 (Reach $50K in extra revenue on side project, etc)
  • Below, for each role, list out major initiatives by name, by target you wish to hit, and by a deadline.
  • Below that, for each major initiative, list out potential resources, possible problems, and next steps.
  • Write out more next actions, starting with what to do first for each one.
  • Throw everything else away but the bottom part of the list.

My point, said another way, is that you need goals and targets and plans, but you need to take actions more than anything else. Pick a direction, pick a goal to hit, and then work all the time on your actions.

Thoughts?

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  • Anonymous

    I always write down the steps required to meet my goals right next to the goals themselves. I have also learned to be extremely fluid with my goals and plans every year. Sometimes trends, marketplace and other factors can affect your outcome. I’m always willing to change direction even if it means moving away from my original plan.

    • Gail Margolies Reid

      Your comment reminded me of a quote I just came across as I was cleaning up my desk (another good end of year tradition). I copied it from a post by Erik Qualman on Social Media, although I think the idea resonates beyond a specific context:

      “Be stubborn with the vision (for Social Media) but flexible with the plan”.

    • Gail Margolies Reid

      Your comment reminded me of a quote I just came across as I was cleaning up my desk (another good end of year tradition). I copied it from a post by Erik Qualman on Social Media, although I think the idea resonates beyond a specific context:

      “Be stubborn with the vision (for Social Media) but flexible with the plan”.

  • http://linkedin.com/in/joesorge Joe Sorge

    One of the most important parts of planning for the next anything lies within my ability to make record of how I have performed in the past and be able to measure each against eachother.
    Great post Chris.

  • http://linkedin.com/in/joesorge Joe Sorge

    One of the most important parts of planning for the next anything lies within my ability to make record of how I have performed in the past and be able to measure each against eachother.
    Great post Chris.

  • Anonymous

    One of the things that I have learned is that being recognized #1 is worth a lot more than being 1 of the best.

  • http://www.sitesketch101.com Nicholas Z. Cardot

    Thanks for the reminder to use this time of the year to look over what’s going on in my life and reign in all in with some specific direction. Sometimes I think that simply stopping and putting it down on paper is even more important than how you put it on paper.

  • http://Twitter.com/Ed Ed

    “Make a section that defines your roles” – Do you have a favorite template?

    “Throw everything else away but the bottom part of the list” – could you expand on / clarify this?

    Thank you.

  • http://Twitter.com/Ed Ed

    “Make a section that defines your roles” – Do you have a favorite template?

    “Throw everything else away but the bottom part of the list” – could you expand on / clarify this?

    Thank you.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Your roles: dad, worker, whatever. Define what you want to work on. Here are mine:

      * Husband/Dad
      * President/King
      * Media Maker

      When I say throw everything else away, I mean that working on the executables is far more important than any other part of the plan.

      You’re welcome.

  • http://www.tyrellmara.com Tyrell Mara

    Good article Chris!

  • http://www.tyrellmara.com Tyrell Mara

    Good article Chris!

  • http://www.tyrellmara.com Tyrell Mara

    Good article Chris!

  • http://www.thinkinprojects.com Rafal

    Great reminder of what needs to be done before new year starts.
    Planning and visioning is important but action and execution are critical for making things happen.

    I would recommend to anyone to start this on paper and see what’s pop up, then gather all up and look for patterns and sequences.

  • http://www.simon-dodd.com Simon Dodd

    Great idea, I do all my planning on paper and try to dial it all down from the end goal to what I need to do right now to start the project.

    Plan certain goals at different points through the year and then you can see what you need to do by when to get to those goals. From that you can work backwards to the present day to see where you need to go. Make sure you have the next week planned ahead and a detailed plan for the next day should be written at the end of every day.

    Great post

    Simon

  • Sal

    Chris, this sorta goes back to the GTD movement. Many people try to put projects down as actions and it completely overwhelms them. I know I struggle with this all the time. For instance, my goal list would be – make and extra $1,000 from freelancing, but without having specific tasks to get me there, my mind avoids it like the plague.

    New years resolutions are the same way. Think of the general “loose X number of pounds.” Without having an idea of what that would entail, people get overwhelmed and stop going to the gym all together. Yes, taking action is the most important thing, but knowing what action to take helps you start in the right direction. After all, a forward step is nothing but a controlled fall.

    BTW, did anyone else notice the pen in the picture was WAY to fine point to make the thick check marks on the list?… Darn that military attention to detail, I can’t ever get rid of it! :)

  • Sal

    Chris, this sorta goes back to the GTD movement. Many people try to put projects down as actions and it completely overwhelms them. I know I struggle with this all the time. For instance, my goal list would be – make and extra $1,000 from freelancing, but without having specific tasks to get me there, my mind avoids it like the plague.

    New years resolutions are the same way. Think of the general “loose X number of pounds.” Without having an idea of what that would entail, people get overwhelmed and stop going to the gym all together. Yes, taking action is the most important thing, but knowing what action to take helps you start in the right direction. After all, a forward step is nothing but a controlled fall.

    BTW, did anyone else notice the pen in the picture was WAY to fine point to make the thick check marks on the list?… Darn that military attention to detail, I can’t ever get rid of it! :)

  • http://www.summerhills.com Bangalow Accommodation

    Love this post! So practical. And I love the suggestion to start with a goal and write actions underneath, then throw the top bit away. Love it. It’s such a wake up call that goals won’t get there on their own, we need focussed actions towards that goal to make our dreams a reality.

  • http://cloverdew.com/blog cloverdew

    So right you are. Actionable items are worth much more than vague plans. Let’s make this year one of actions. They speak louder than words.

  • http://cloverdew.com/blog cloverdew

    So right you are. Actionable items are worth much more than vague plans. Let’s make this year one of actions. They speak louder than words.

  • http://sunshinestudios.net Jsanborn

    This is wonderful advice, Chris. I LOVE doing this – it helps me to focus, working on 2011 now. It won’t all get done, but I’d be nowhere without my plan of intentions. It’s great to refer to, and when you have just a moment there’s alwlays some possible action to fit the time you have. Thanks, Chris!

  • http://joshmuirhead.ca Josh Muirhead

    Excellent post Chris, and I feel the way you summarized your point at the end speaks values to how most people get “tangled” in planning.

    It’s all well and good to “Say” what you want to do in the next year, but to actually “Do It” is another story all together.

    Quick advice for anyone looking to making planning easier – Pick-up the book “Switch” by Chip & Dan Heath. It talks about making changes in our lives, which all goals are changes (even those to maintain)

    Josh Muirhead

  • http://joshmuirhead.ca Josh Muirhead

    Excellent post Chris, and I feel the way you summarized your point at the end speaks values to how most people get “tangled” in planning.

    It’s all well and good to “Say” what you want to do in the next year, but to actually “Do It” is another story all together.

    Quick advice for anyone looking to making planning easier – Pick-up the book “Switch” by Chip & Dan Heath. It talks about making changes in our lives, which all goals are changes (even those to maintain)

    Josh Muirhead

  • http://twitter.com/bchesnutt Brandon Chesnutt

    Chris,

    Sound advice. Putting things on paper helps to remove all the junk that prevents you from doing great work. More importantly, it helps to clarify your vision for the year.

    Here is to a great 2011. Hope to shake hands again soon.

    Brandon

  • http://twitter.com/bchesnutt Brandon Chesnutt

    Chris,

    Sound advice. Putting things on paper helps to remove all the junk that prevents you from doing great work. More importantly, it helps to clarify your vision for the year.

    Here is to a great 2011. Hope to shake hands again soon.

    Brandon

  • Vangile

    Great advice. i recently advised some entrepreneurs to ditch 20 page business plans and get addicted to the 5 page business plan so they can avoid overwhelment and simplify their lives

  • Vangile

    Great advice. i recently advised some entrepreneurs to ditch 20 page business plans and get addicted to the 5 page business plan so they can avoid overwhelment and simplify their lives

  • Sherman Rockwell

    Timely topic and good advice. I just completed two plans for next year – and they are really, really simple. Basically stated goals and trackng mechanisms.

    BTW I am so happy to hear that you and Julien are collaborating on another book!

  • http://brianaford.info Briana Ford

    Besides wasting paper (hehe) sounds like a good plan to me. Glad to hear you’ve got a book in the works.

  • Kim Tucker

    Great article. Since I discovered the “One Page Business Plan” I actually wrote one for 2011. I always thought they had to be this 20 page book and I did one of those once…. It sat on my shelf never to be looked at again. What a waste of time that was!

  • Erik Proulx

    Chris, are you a software guy when it comes to planning (ie, Things), or do you just go for the old pen & paper?

  • http://www.TwentyFeet.com/ Paul Herwarth von Bittenfeld

    Thanks for the post, Chris. I do also like “role based planning”. I will definitely try your whole approach within the next days.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_F2WRK4W7KF5YIUSGFPMRKG2UUU Robert

    Hi Chris, great post on goal setting for 2011. I’ll be honest I am one
    of the worlds worst goal setters, I’m full of great ideas and even right
    them down in detail but, taking actions on my goals is something I
    really have to get to grips with in 2011…

    I am in the process of setting up a new online business for myself
    as of just 2 short months ago so really need to get to grips with
    applying what must done to achieve results.

    Thanks for the great tips here… I’ve bookmarked your blog and will
    be sure to check back often for more goal setting pointers…

    Wishing you the very best in 2011,
    Robert Simpson :)

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  • Westgateok

    Excellant post!

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