More meaningful planning - your 3 words for 2014

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You want 2014  to be a really good year for you - better than 2013. This means better for you personally, your family, friends & your work. And, you've already made enough resolutions.

Your work objectives for 2014 matter. Having them written down is useful. Those goals, aims, targets (whatever you like to call them) may even be SMART  [short for Specific,Measurable, Achievable, Relevant & Timed.]

Remembering long lists is hard. So when you're making decisions every day, it's not easy to be guided by all your competing objectives.

It's easy to be blown off course - isn't it?

Thanks to Chris Brogan, here's  a simple way of preventing yourself getting lost in the storm. 
(Yes, 2014 will be a stormy year).


1 TAKE AN ALL-ROUNDED VIEW OF YOUR LIFE.

This means you have to give a bit of time to this - don't rush into the first 3 words that pop into your head.  You're a 360 degrees person - so you need the mentality of a curious person.  This works best when you're  keen to hold all the balls in the air while you consider which words will best express you in 2014.  Above all, the 3 words are to serve you well - not to be invented & quickly forgotten.


2  FIND 3 WORDS THAT STAND FOR ALL YOUR AMBITIONS IN 2014

Make sure they cover your work, family and you personally.  You're a rounded person, multi-faceted - you are not single-minded.  You know you have other things to attend to than your business.  You know you have a home life & you need time for relaxation and personal development.  

You know others depend on you - they too have needs that generous you will want to attend to. You'll probably be generous & selfish - you'll need balance in your life.

Your 3 words take the complexity of you into account.

3 TREAT THESE 3 SPECIAL (LOADED) WORDS AS LIGHTHOUSES

They're to guide you through every stormy sea during the year.  They are easy to remember.  They shine light into ambiguity, uncertainty, confusion & mixed feelings.  They're your criteria too.


4 USE THEM

Let them help you make all your key decisions - to keep you on track. When a new idea, wish or intention hits you during 2014 - ask yourself "Does this  tick all my boxes?"  If it does - that's a go ahead. 

If something ticks no box, that's a no-no.  You can  figure out what to do with the in-betweens.

Share your 3 words  with people that matter to you.  Put them up on your wall -  anything that helps you to keep them front of mind. 

HERE'S A REAL EXAMPLE: 

Our company, ChangeAgents Branding, faces an uncertain future in 2014 (like everyone else). We control only a small part of that future.  We'll be faced with many decisions.  

It would be easy for us to get blown off track - pushed in unexpected directions - pulled by attractive forces. We could even find ourselves lost in the middle of the year. 

WHAT WORDS WILL KEEP CHANGEAGENTS ON TRACK? 

Capacity

We need to attend to our ability to take on new work.  We need to ensure we have the people & time available to do our best work. This means we have to anticipate & forecast realistically & prudently.  Otherwise, we'll have to turn away attractive & profitable work.  

We need to be thinking ahead all year, building relationships with ideal people so we'll be able to serve ideal clients. Every week we need to be making contacts with new people, deepening rapport & ensuring we are not found wanting. 

Focus

 We need to become ever clearer.  Both our internal policies, systems, standards - and our external strategy & implementation. In other words - clarify our offerings & methods.  

We must attend to our brand development.  People must find us easier & easier to deal with - otherwise we won't be able to give our best service to those for whom it is most relevant.

Catharsis

 Yes, emotional impact. We don't just do satisfactory work. We're not here for that. We're here to change hearts & minds for our clients. But ChangeAgents need to give customers such a positive emotional experience they'll feel the game has been changed - overjoyed they've crossed the Rubicon (or whatever metaphor appeals to you). This is big stuff - totally un-boring.  Meaningful in the deepest sense.  

After all, more meaningful marketing means big emotional impact - for clients and their customers. So all year we need to be emotional.

You? 

When you've found your 3 words, you'll feel good.  They'll feel right.  And you'll be well able to give a 30-second presentation to anyone about where you're going in 2014.

That'll do wonders for your confidence.

You'll have a more meaningful year.
______________________

PS : An audio version of this post is here - recorded by Paul O'Mahony - after the text version 

Photo credit:  The photograph comes from Steve Jervetson Creative Commons on Flickr

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