Today I was contemplating the year ahead when I thought of that famous saying, “Fail to plan and you plan to fail.”
So I went ahead and nutted out my major goals for the dojo for 2009.
This included just 2 things that I want to increase (student count, revenue) and one I want to decrease (working hours).
From these three major goals I worked backwards to develop tasks, sub goals and a timeline.
I then created a mind-map displaying a workable plan for 2009. If you’re not familiar with mind mapping it’s simply a creative way to organize, plan and overview your thoughts.
(Just use Google images and enter “mind map” and you’ll see a bunch of examples)
So my mind map ended up looking something like this…
A circle in the center with the major topic – 2009 Dojo Goals. Then twelve branches extend out like petals on a flower, with the names of each month on each branch. Then each branch, branches again into the sub goals, and again to the weekly tasks.
This is a very clear way to map out exactly what needs to be done and when. Plus I can see it as a yearly overview, a monthly focus, and weekly tasks. It’s like a detailed blueprint for a building, but I can follow my circular timeline week by week, month by month and tell if I’m on track.
At the end of the day goals need to be qualified and quantified – that is they must be defined and measurable. Without these two factors you don’t know what you’re aiming for and there’s no way to tell if you’re on target or not.
Mind mapping is an easy skill to learn and an extremely powerful one you can use to organize just about anything. I highly recommend “The Mind Map Book”, by Tony Buzan which you can pick up at any major book store or online.
Have you planned your 2009 yet?
Remember, fail to plan and you plan to fail.