2018 is fast approaching and we’re entering the season of New Year’s Resolutions and fresh starts. As you strive toward both business and personal achievement, the end of the old year and opening of the new is a timely place for reflection on your journey and for making plans for the future.

A roadmap for the year ahead will help you plot your course. If you intend to move into uncharted territory and go where you haven’t been before, you’ll want to ensure you know not only where you are going, but you will want to take the route that will best get you there. It’s also a good idea to understand where you’re coming from and how far you have progressed as you move toward your ultimate destination.

The lessons of where you’ve been will provide valuable insight into best practices for moving your life forward. When putting your success plan together for the year ahead, look both to the lessons of the past year, as well as your future destination. I use this two-part plan to help my coaching clients gain clarity around their development goals for the year ahead.

Step One: The Year In Review

Evaluate 2017 from a holistic perspective that touches on 6 key areas of your life (Work, Family, Connection, Health, Personal Development, Self-Expression).

  1. Rank yourself on a scale of 1 – 5 for each area, using the following criteria: 1 = Did not accomplish, 2 = Fell a little short of the goal, 3 = You met your expectations, 4 = Finished a little bit over expectations, 5= Far exceeded your expectations for the year)
  2. Answer the three questions accompanying each life focus area
  3. Write the 3 lessons learned in each area in 2017. For example: What would you change? How would you change it? What will you continue to do in the new year? Who and what will you focus on? Etc.)

Take time to do this when you will be undisturbed and when you have adequate time to reflect on each question. Sit with each of the six key areas; celebrate the wins and acknowledge the challenges. Ask yourself what worked well and what steps can be taken to improve the areas that fell short of your expectations this year.

  1. Work/Career: (1-5) _________
    1. One statement that best describes my level of work/career satisfaction in 2017 is…
    2. What career goals did I reach in the past year?
    3. Where was I challenged or where did I fall short of my goals?
    4. 3 lessons I learned in this area in 2017 are…
  2. Family: (1-5) _________
    1. One sentence that best describes the state of my relationship with my family in 2017 is…
    2. Where did I build my family relationships last year?
    3. Where was I challenged in the last year with family connections?
    4. 3 lessons I learned last year around my family relationships are…
  3. Connection (Friendships/Relationship): (1-5) _______
    1. My level of satisfaction with the status of my friendships/relationships this past year could be described as…
    2. How connected did I feel to friends in 2017? What went well and what could have gone better?
    3. How would I describe the state of connection with my significant other in 2017? Where did we connect where would I like to see improvement?
    4. 3 lessons I learned about connection with friends and significant others in 2017 are…
  4. Health/Wellbeing (1-5) ________
    1. How do I feel about the steps I took to improve my health and wellbeing this year?
    2. What health commitments did I stick with in 2017?
    3. What things could I have done to improve my health and wellbeing in 2017?
    4. 3 lessons I learned about my health and wellbeing in 2017 are…
  5. Personal Development: (1-5) ________
    1. How do I feel about the amount of growth I have experienced throughout the year?
    2. What did I do to increase my personal development in 2017?
    3. Where did I not challenge myself enough in 2017? Why or Why not?
    4. 3 lessons I learned about my personal development in 2017 are…
  6. Self-Expression (1-5) ________
    1. How did I express myself in 2017? Where did I engage in creativity?
    2. At what times was I my most authentic self this year?
    3. Where did I hold back in expressing myself this year?
    4. 3 lessons I learned around self-expression in 2017 area are…

Step Two: Your 2018 Success Plan:

Building on the knowledge of your successes and challenges in 2017, move forward to create your success plan for the year ahead. Much like a well-run business, you should have a vision, a mission, and core values driving you toward reaching your goals. Use the plan template below to create your 2018 success plan:

Part One: Vision/Mission/Values:

  1. Your Vision: What Vision do you have for your life? For example: I want to live in a world where I have balance between work and family, while allowing room for continued growth
    • Where do you want to be in 3 to 5 years?
  2. Your Mission: What is the Mission that will move you toward your goal in 2018?
    • What will you do?
    • Who/What purpose will you serve?
    • Why is this your mission?
    • How will you deliver on your mission?
  3. Your Values: What values will you call upon this year to accomplish your mission? Examples of values include:
    • Self-Improvement
    • Integrity
    • Honesty
    • Self-Discipline
    • Fairness
    • Collaboration/Teamwork

Part Two: Quarterly Goal Plan

Create your goals for the new year using the lessons learned in 2017, coupled with your Vision, Mission, and Values. Break your goals down into manageable pieces that you will deliver on each quarter. 

My Quarterly goals that reflect my Vision, Mission, and Values in 2018 are:

  1. Work/Career
    • Q1 (January 1 – March 31, 2018)
    • Q2 (April 1 – June 30, 2018)
    • Q3 (July 1 – September 30, 2018)
    • Q4 (October 1 – December 31, 2018)
  2. Family Relationship
    • Q1 (January 1 – March 31, 2018)
    • Q2 (April 1 – June 30, 2018)
    • Q3 (July 1 – September 30, 2018)
    • Q4 (October 1 – December 31, 2018)
  3. Friendship/Relationship Connections
    • Q1 (January 1 – March 31, 2018)
    • Q2 (April 1 – June 30, 2018)
    • Q3 (July 1 – September 30, 2018)
    • Q4 (October 1 – December 31, 2018)
  4. Health/Wellbeing
    • Q1 (January 1 – March 31, 2018)
    • Q2 (April 1 – June 30, 2018)
    • Q3 (July 1 – September 30, 2018)
    • Q4 (October 1 – December 31, 2018)
  5. Personal Development
    • Q1 (January 1 – March 31, 2018)
    • Q2 (April 1 – June 30, 2018)
    • Q3 (July 1 – September 30, 2018)
    • Q4 (October 1 – December 31, 2018)
  6. Self-Expression
    • Q1 (January 1 – March 31, 2018)
    • Q2 (April 1 – June 30, 2018)
    • Q3 (July 1 – September 30, 2018)
    • Q4 (October 1 – December 31, 2018)

Set up every quarterly goal to move you closer to where you want to be at the end of 2018. Take your goal for each focus area and break it down into 4 achievable steps needed to incrementally move you toward your overall goal in each of the six key life areas.

Put Your Roadmap to Work:

Keep your quarterly goals posted where you can see them. At the beginning of each quarter, evaluate your goals. Then check in with them on a weekly basis and keep a progress journal to understand where you are on target and where a course correction may be needed.

You have 12 weekly opportunities each quarter to stay on track. Invest the time for your 12 weekly checkpoints during the quarter. Then add a layer of follow up: At the end of each month in the quarter evaluate your overall progress. You should be 1/3 of the way to your goal at the end of month one, 2/3 to your goal by the end of month two and at the goal by end of month three. If you find yourself straying off course determine what factors are pulling you from your purpose. Renew your focus and take corrective action when needed.

Use the above process to break down your goals into manageable chunks and then keep driving toward your success. Download a free copy of my 2018 Success Roadmap Worksheet to get started.

Here’s to a prosperous and joyful 2018.