Planning Ahead


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There are just under three weeks left in 2010. Three weeks until a new year begins again, and we get to correct what we did wrong in 2010 and build on what we did right.

Maybe you didn’t do anything wrong in 2010 (though I doubt that). Maybe you did more right than wrong, and that’s great – congratulations, that’s a great base to build from.

But maybe you experienced more bad times than good times in 2010, and you’re looking to make amends big time in 2011. So how are you going to achieve this?

Here are some things I’ll be doing in the next three weeks to prepare for 2011. Feel free to use if any make sense for you.

Lose the Bloat

We all have things we don’t need. Humans, by nature, are hoarders (it stems from caveman days when food and hunting was scarce in the winters).

Some might be useful, but more often than not, we don’t need have the stuff we have hanging around. So get rid of it.

From negative people to bullshitters; overheads to expenses; attitudes to work ethics – if something or someone is holding you back, ask if you really need that presence in your life.

It doesn’t matter if it’s your own business or your position at a company – ask what’s not working, why it isn’t, and decide whether you need it or if you’re just carrying it. The decision after that will be easy.

Pour Cement

You want to make changes, you need to make preparations. Nothing happens overnight – it takes planning, back-up planning and goals to build from and toward.

Think of your home and its foundations – your plans to improve are the cement blocks that were first laid to build your home from. So think about pouring cement as your plan foundations for 2011.

  • In your business, set quarterly goals for 2011 and where you want it to be by the end of each. What will be a success metric? A growth? A statistic you’d be proud of sharing? Now, what will it take to get there? Who will you need? What skill sets don’t you currently have and how will you combat that? Make a target, and aim for it.
  • In your job, ask where you want to be when you look back at the same time next year. Do you still want to be at the same company? Do you want to be in a different position? Do you want to manage? How realistic is a promotion or a raise? What do you need to do to get that? Think of what will give you job satisfaction, and if you can realistically achieve that this coming year or not.
  • On your blog, what do you want to do with it next year? Do you want to grow subscribers? Do you want to post more often? Get more comments? Make money? Think of what type of blogger you want to be, and how you’ll achieve your blogging goals. Do you need to join blog communities? Can you sell products via your blog? Offer a blog resource centre to grow awareness of what you do? Everything you need for your blogging success is in the questions you ask now.

Plan an Escape Route

Of course, as the old proverb proves, the best-laid plans still go astray. You can plan all you want – personally or professionally – but there will always be hiccups waiting for you.

How you plan for that will determine whether you can carry on with a slight knock, or if it throws you off course completely.

  • If you’re in business, are you planning for the possibility of losing clients? You’re not falling into a comfort zone, are you?
  • If you’re employed by someone, are you keeping some of your wages aside in case the company goes bust and you’re stuck looking for a job unexpectedly?
  • If you’re a work-at-home mom or dad, are you budgeting for quiet times while you’re working in good times?

Life is great when it goes to plan. But we all know nothing ever truly goes to plan. I know that 2010 saw some crappy moments for me, both personally and professionally. Some I dealt with better than others.

But I know that more challenges will come in 2011. Planning for them now will at least give me a fighting chance of kicking most of them in the butt, and that’s a better start than none at all.

How about you – have you started planning yet? Or are you just waiting to deal with it when it comes?

image: Sebastian Niedlich

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown is partner at Bonsai Interactive Marketing, a full service agency offering integrated, social media and mobile marketing solutions. He is also founder of the 12for12k Challenge, a social media-led charity initiative connecting globally and helping locally.


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