It’s the start of the New Year and a perfect time to reflect on where you’ve been, what you’ve learned, and where you want to be in this next year. I’m a fan of simplicity so this process is all about keeping it simple. Keep your energy focused on what is important for you. Reflect on your strengths, passions, values, and goals.
Do not agonize over any elements that will discourage or slow you down. Don’t worry whether your plan fits on an index card, one page or one hundred pages. Simply begin the process, and see what you discover.

Here are four headings and a few questions to consider. Each is related to your dream or goal, whether it is personal or professional.

1. Vision and Mission – Clearly articulate who you are and what you do. Your clarity provides clarity for others. Separate Who you are from What you do. Remember, You are not your role.
2. Assess where you are in your life or in your work. What are your strengths? Your weaknesses? What do you enjoy? What’s missing? What are the opportunities?
3. Strategic Direction – Where do you see yourself in the next three months, year, three years and then five years? What are the key components of your life or your work?
4. Action Plan – What actions are required to ensure success? Define what success looks like for you. Commit your plan to writing. Keep it simple and useful.
Use your plan as a navigation tool to begin your journey. Your journey will have direction and purpose. The time and effort committed to mapping out a path will have enormous payoffs down the road, keeping you focused and on track. Most importantly, you remain in control and are not permitting random circumstances to determine your outcome. Trust yourself, and never lose sight of the fact that You are the variable that determines success!