Are you ready for 2018?

It is now 2 weeks until the end of 2017 and the start of 2018.  Perhaps like me, you have reflected on what you have achieved this year and reviewed against what you had hoped to achieve.  You can see my thoughts on progress in 2017 in my post PM Majik End of Year Review 2017.

Looking back is good.  However, the new year, represents new possibility.  It is like having a clean sheet of paper and freshly sharpened pencil that allows you to capture your plans and dare I say dreams for 2018!

So, with such a wonderful gift, it is important not to waste it.  How can you make the most of this gift?  Very simple, as with everything in the project world, you should make a plan.

Where to start?

It is a good idea to start with what you wanted to achieve in 2017 and what you actually achieved.  When you completed the review, was there anything that you wanted to achieve but didn’t or, were you not happy with what was completed?

Important, before you simply add this activity to your new year plan, you should ask yourself, “Is this objective still relevant?”.  Over a year circumstances change.  What may have been important at the start of last year may not be so important this year.

Beware of “finisher syndrome”.  Some people have to complete an activity they have started i.e. finish reading a book even if it is not interesting.  The need to finish is more important than the time wasted reading a book that is not interesting or relevant.

Only continue with the same objectives if they are required and / or you will gain enjoyment and satisfaction.  This is important and you should try to use this with anything you do in life.

New objectives / goals

Consider what new objectives you have for the year.  What steps do you need to take to achieve them?  Is there a project you have always wanted to complete at work to improve the service you offer?  Perhaps you want to improve your own skills by learning a new discipline such as Agile Project Management?

If you do, build this into your plan so that you make time to make it happen.  Create a plan to complete the project at work, or at least a plan how you are going to gain support from your manager to complete the project.

Look into what training is on offer to learn the new skill.  Think how you will present the case to your manager to agree to the time and pay for the course.

If your company will not pay or allow the time, there are other options ranging from purchasing a book, using a site like Udemy for online training or joining a membership /community that can help (like www.pmmajik.com Members Area).

Perhaps you have some goals for your PMO?  If so take a look at my post What will be your new year resolutions for your PMO?

You may even decide that you want to change jobs or even career.  If so you may find the following post of interest, Action you can take to secure a role in a PMO.

Don’t forget personal stuff!

This is really important.  Life is not just about work and business.  Your personal life is equally if not more important.  So make sure that your plan for the new year includes activities that you personally want to achieve.  Perhaps you want to take up a new hobby?  Break a bad habit?  Lose weight?  Become more healthy?

Whatever it is, you need to include it in your plan otherwise it will not happen!  Remember, not everything has to have a purpose.  You are allowed to relax and have fun.

Make a plan

When you have captured the items you would like to complete next year, it is important that you do some goal setting.  This can be as simple as creating a simple table that contains what you want to achieve, the date you wish to achieve it by and a brief description of how you will achieve it.

For example

Example of capturing New Year goals

Check progress

Like with many things in life, you will only achieve the desired outcome if you monitor progress (just like a project).  So make sure that you review progress against your goals.  This can be as simple as checking the list every Sunday to see if you are on target.  If you are not, determine what action you will take in the coming week.

If you are really serious about achieving your dreams and objectives, you might want to invest in a journal.  It can be as simple as a book that you collect your thoughts and progress in each day or a diary.  Alternatively you can use online tools to capture this electronically.

There are also some good bespoke journals such as the Daily Greatness Journal.  This allows goals to be set on an annual, quarterly, monthly and weekly basis and progress to be tracked.

Accountability

If you are worried that you will have great plans but then not take the necessary action on a consistent basis to achieve the outcome, make yourself accountable.  When you have your objectives and plan, share it with your spouse, children, friends, work colleagues, etc.  You will then feel accountable to them and this will help drive you on.

This is the reason training partners, a gym buddy, works when getting fit.  If you commit to getting up at 6am every other day to complete a 5 mile run.  If it is cold and wet one morning it is very tempting to stay in bed and say you will go tomorrow.  If you have a buddy who you run with, you will not want to let them down if you know they will be running on their own.

Summary

The new year is so exciting as it is full of possibility.  With such a wonderful gift why would you not want to make the most of each and every day?  Best of all it is up to you to take action.

The simple steps you can take:

  • Review the results for this year
  • Think about new objectives and goals
  • Plan for personal activities
  • Make a plan
  • Check progress
  • Accountability

Follow these steps and you will have a great year.  However, remember to have fun and not be too hard on yourself if it does not go quite the way you planned.

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