Business PlanningWhether you’ve taken every step with me along the Best Year Yet Blog series, or dropped in here and there, my wish for you is that you’re bringing this year to a conscious close and feel excited and equipped to make this coming year your best year yet.

Today, we are going to hit the pause button as you continue to compile your Master List of Goals & Projects from yesterday’s blog, and take a moment to put first things first.

It’s a concept I embraced years ago when I read Stephan Covey’s book, The Seven Principles of Highly Effective People. He suggests, that in order to be truly successful and happy, one must first design their life around the priorities that create the most meaning, significance and joy.

Secondly, you weave in your professional obligations and commitments that move you toward your vision. This allows you to address the day-to-day urgencies and interruptions, without sacrificing what’s most important to you.

That’s where we are going today… a first pass at mapping out your annual calendar with the things that matter most to you. We do this so that we can then design your business around your life, rather than design your life around your business.

  1. Grab some version of a Yearly calendar. You can download this Year-At-A-Glance or the Month-At-A-Glance free version, or invest in something online, but the key is that you can see the landscape of the entire year at one time.
  2. Fill in your personal priorities, so your work evolves around your life rather than your life around your work.  I’ve listed birthdays, reunion, special holidays, vacations, a quarterly get-away, bi-monthly date nights, a monthly couple’s gathering and trips to see family.
  3. List your professional commitments such as speaking engagements, mastermind retreats, personal development weekends, or any small live events or VIP Days you have already booked with clients.

With this eagle’s eye view of the year ahead, you’ll be better equipped to take the next step when you consciously plan out your key business projects such as launches, list-building campaigns and events.

You can get as creative as you like with this step. The key is that you take this time to make in the coming year for what matters most.

If you have a life partner, you’ll want to engage them in this step, so the vision you are crafting honors and supports their role in your best year yet.

I’m curious… as you scan the year ahead what do you notice?

  • Is it too full or too sparse?
  • Is it balanced with a mix of business and pleasure?
  • Are your values and priorities reflected in what you see?
  • Have you made time for the people you cherish?

With a little reflection, you get to decide what adjustments need to be made.

What needs to come out?  Is there something missing?

The goal is to arrive at a place where scanning the year ahead elicits anticipation and excitement, knowing you have prioritized what matters most.

From this place we can move to the next step tomorrow… mapping out your Quarterly Plan.

*If you have not grabbed my Quick Start Guide To Planning Your Best Year Yetyou can do that here.

You’ll notice that we give you the option of picking up the blog series wherever we are, or starting at the beginning. My recommendation is the latter. By looking to the past to inform your future you will be better equipped to create a vision and a plan to make these next 12 months, your best year yet.