The person with a plan

It’s the beginning of the year and it’s only fair that I read the room and jump onto the goals train. You know the saying, to fail to plan is to plan to fail and all that positive jazz on new beginnings. Planning isn’t just a new year thing though. I love planning because it makes things make sense. It explains why of everything. Why my family is amazing, why my marriage needs to grow, why my friends are in my life and most importantly, why I am in this place at this very moment. It guides me to my purpose.

Everyone in my life has a plan. My family does the Year in Compass , one of my sisters introduced us to it and it’s a phenomenal tool for personal introspection. I love it and totally recommend it. Since our dating years, my husband and I have always set some time to reflect back and dream for the coming year. With that standard set, we naturally introduced the Year in Compass to his family as well and grown this planning circle. I have a group of friends from church with whom, on the first meeting of the year, we set targets for our spiritual growth, our friendship, our outreach plans and challenge each other to do more. With other smaller groups of friends, we don’t go into so much detail but we do make it a point to share our goals and hold each other accountable.

Strategy means making clear cut choices about how to compete.  You cannot be everything to everybody, no matter what the size of your business or how deep its pockets.”

Jack Welch

At work, goal setting comes in different aspects. In most instances, there will be a conversation briefly summarizing the achievements of the previous year then the aspirations for the coming year. In others, your goals for the year come from the client. After all, marketing is bringing the big business picture into mind so without the client’s input on goals and objectives, we would just be punching in the dark. In others yet, we would have a session presenting the companies detailed areas of focus; what product we are focusing on pushing alongside current offerings, what magic number will justify getting that new set of hands you have been complaining about, the history of the company because it’s good to tell the new people where you have come from. The last approach is very wholesome, you really feel like you know why you are there and/or what you are meant to accomplish.

Your values fuel your daily habits.

Robin Sharma, Mastery Sessions

Now, let’s be honest, new year resolutions got turned into a hoax. They are made in the euphoria of a perceived new beginning and are drowned out by the reality of routines. We are over resolutions. It’s more wholesome to think up a plan or a strategy or a course of action. In marketing, there’s nothing you are doing if you don’t have a strategy. It’s also ironic that marketing can be hard to measure- things like brand awareness, recall, etc are not so simply quantified as the bottom line but the workflow aspect is best judged with constant monitoring. This tracking helps to show accountability to constantly check progress and follow-through, it also helps justify the money trail of course. While marketing objectives are still quantifiable with certain formulas, the challenge of quantifying the abstract keeps you constantly curious and creative. It’s important.

The biggest benefit of phrasing resolutions as a strategy is then, as with a properly done strategy at work, you have set quantifiable goals, you trackback to make changes where need-be and you can always change your methods. For example, I started a new workout routine in December. Hilarious timing. I got interrupted by going upcountry which was a workout all on its own and unsurprisingly the trip was followed by a further burn out that ended up with a two-week break from the set workout routine. But! We set a plan and the plan must be followed. So here I am, walking like a duck because no matter how much you think you have prepared, you are never ready for leg day. Trackback, regroup, adjust, proceed.

Another benefit strategy addresses is the most important question, WHY? When you reflect conclusively, you should be able to outline the real reason why you are going for those goals. The strategy says I want to get fitter because consistent exercise fuels my daily creativity vs the resolution that says I want to lose weight because I’ll feel pretty. Answering Why crafts concrete reasons why you are doing what you want to do and ensures that you are doing it for yourself. The material or shallow outcomes will come as fringe benefits. A friend last year called me to lament that she got a six-pack she hadn’t planned on. She got no empathy from me but she is a perfect case for this point. She began her workout regimen because she was having constant back pain and had got a running injury that limited her favourite workout. The goal was just to make her happier in her life. Now she’s on track to win a bodybuilder contest if she wanted to. And that’s even better: she could do something that would be an accolade, but she also doesn’t have to. That’s a great power to have over oneself.

Every single day is a platform of possibility and opportunity.

Robin Sharma, Mastery Session

So, resolutions are so 2008, now we have a plan and purpose. This year, we are putting into practice what was put into perspective in 2020. Happy New year.