Are you making your plans for 2012? I hope so because if you don’t have clarity about what you want and where you’re going, how will you ever know if you have achieved any of it?
Today we’re going to focus on the future and some of the planning techniques that I like to use. Specifically three areas that can help you get more of that all important clarity on what you want to achieve in the sports arena or in any area of your life for that matter…
Focusing on these three areas will let you pinpoint the most critical goals, and make achieving them easier than you might have thought possible.
Roles, Goals and Priorities
First, Let’s Define Our Roles…
Have you gotten through 2011 yet? Good.. That means you’re ready to get started planning for 2012. First of all grab a pen and paper, you’re I pad or whatever you like to take notes with and write down all the roles you have as a person. As an example:
- I’m a cricket coach
- I’m the Director at StrengthSpeedAgility
- I’m a cricketer
Knowing my roles helps me separate and get clear on how good of a job am I doing in each of those roles. So I think about the roles that I have; the responsibilities for that role; and how much time I am spending in that role.
Am I spending enough time in each role?
Then what I like to do is I like to look at what are going to be the priorities for my roles this year?
Not my goals – I’ll do that in the next step. What I want to determine is simply what the number one role is that I would like to focus on this coming year.
Is it the cricketer role? Is it the coach role? Which role is going to take precedent over the others? I then try to rank all my roles by value. It helps me get clear about my priorities for the year.
Once you have Prioritized your Roles It’s time to Take on Your Goals
Next, I look at what my goals are going to be for each role. Try to come up with about 3- goals for each role. As a cricketer my goals might be:
- To score 2 centuries in the last half of the season
- Improve my in-field (catching and throwing)
- Get better at playing spin
Once I have done this I will move on to my next role and write down all my goals for that role until I have a list of all my goals for the year. Then what I like to do – and this is important – is value rank all the goals that I have listed. What’s my number one, highest ranked goal this year? What’s the second highest? Etc and I put them in priority order.
The reason I do this is because if I were to only accomplish one goal, I want to make sure that it’s that first and most important goal.
Finally, Determine the “How”…
Then the last question I ask myself is how can I make sure that I’m going to achieve the greatest number of my goals as possible? What needs to happen?
To get a handle on this, I look at three different areas.
First I ask, what are the steps to achieve that goal? What do I need to do?
Second I try to determine who I can get to support me; either because they stand to benefit or because they have information, resources, etc. that would be helpful for me achieving the goal.
And finally, am I looking at the achievement of this goal in the right context? Is there an easier way to achieve it? Do I know others who’ve achieved the same goal? Can I get greater clarity on achieving the goal itself by either doing more research; talking to people, etc?
This way I don’t get locked into one way of thinking about achieving my goal.
A Final Thought for You…
It’s often said that your experience is the best teacher that you’ll ever have because it’s real and it’s directly related to you. That’s why you want to make sure that in any planning that you do, you take into account what has happened; what could have gone better; what did go well; and what are the big takeaways from it all? Bring that over into your planning for the current year.
The other thing you want to remember to do no matter how you go about planning is prioritizing.
It’s often challenging to decide what your number one goal is. Why is that one goal so much more important than these other goals?
But it’s critical to do because if you don’t prioritize, you run the risk of achieving the least significant as opposed to the most significant.
If you decide not to answer these questions, then at the very least, make sure that you do everything you can to harness your experiences, bring them into the present and prioritize what’s most important to you in the future.