In the last week, I’ve been on a complete organizational kick with regard to my goals. Something about entering the last quarter of the year, and the immense things I’ve got coming up later on this fall and into early 2015, has had me jonesing for new oversight of what remains in my 2014 outlook.
Maybe you’ve felt the same way too.
To me, there’s nothing that feels better than having a PLAN.
So without further ado, this week, I’m letting you in on my three-step process to get your goals organized for the last quarter of the year.
1) Design Your Calendar Roadmap.
The first step in my process for getting organized for fall was to print out, on hard copy thick weight paper, monthly calendars for the last three months of the year. You can download the template I used right here.
Then, using three color coded pens, I put all my major upcoming professional and personal deadlines and goals on each month’s calendar, with a color key in the upper right hand corner.
The photo attached to this blog post shows you what the results look like for my month of October. Nice stuff, right?
Next, I tacked up October, November and December right next to my desk so that I can see everything I need to see in one handy-dandy spot. Knowing where I’m headed for the next three months instantly put my mind at ease.
And over time, I’ll be crossing off each day, and adding in new events that might arise, to keep everything streamlined and current.
2) Review Your Big Picture Issues and remaining goals for the year.
Reviewing your Big Picture Issues from time to time gives you an opportunity to make changes to your workload and lifestyle to make sure you stay on track for your goals. As you might remember from this post that I wrote at the end of August, I refined my Big Picture Issues for the fall season at the end of the summer, and also drafted up a new list of goals.
This year, my Big Picture Issues for fall included things like getting our taxes taken care of, reducing stress, and working less.
While I’ve got our taxes taken care of, and I’m actively working on a daily basis with some new stress management techniques, the “working less” part still needs some work.
Realizing this through my review has allowed me to tweak some things in my daily schedule, particularly for the month of October, so that I can streamline my current workload and make sure I stay on track with this goal.
Your review should then conclude by asking yourself if there are any new goals that have arisen since you decided on your Big Picture Issues, adding those to mix, and making sure you’re doing what needs to be done to achieve them over the next three months.
3) Start planning for 2015.
You may wonder if it’s too early to do this. The answer to that is no.
And particularly if you know you’ve got some big things coming up in early 2015, as I do, starting to visualize your goals for 2015 now is a good way to get a jump on success from the get-go.
For me, this involved one seemingly small, but actually tactically quite big decision this week: purchasing a hard-copy planner for my entire 2015 business planning.
This took quite a bit of research. I checked out this one. I checked out this one I used last year, and decided it hadn’t really met my needs in the end. And then I checked out this one, which has an entire section on year-long goal setting at the very start that suits my sensibilities to a T.
I went with the last one, and will have it by Monday, at which point I will be launching into year-long business planning full-bore.
Checking out these planners also led me to start thinking about my Vision Board for 2015 (more on that soon), and to begin to do some much needed organizing around our household goals, our long-standing desire to put a weekly meal-planning strategy in place, and to continue with some legacy planning as well.
All of this makes me exceedingly happy, because as we all know:
When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. (tweet this!)
Now, I want to hear from you. In the comments below, tell me: what are your goals for fall? How are you planning to achieve them?
Have a great week of organizing your life!
All the best,
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