5 Tips to Make a Killer Plan for 2017

Some people wait until New Year’s is long over before they start thinking about what they want and how to get it. They work reactively, then wonder, “Why can’t I ever seem to get ahead of the curve?”

Whether you run a company, a team or just your own life, you should put some thought and intention into defining your objectives, strategy and tactics for 2017. Your personal plan doesn’t need to contain a book’s worth of detailed research — a couple of pages will do. You can get a lot done with something simple and clear enough for anyone to understand.

You don’t have to do this yourself. Grab a friend or teammate and go to lunch to discuss 2017. Here is an easy template for the five items that should be included in your plan. Do this as soon as possible to avoid falling too far behind.

1. The What

Make a simple list of the five things you absolutely must complete in 2017. Describe them in enough detail so people can articulate what the outcomes should look like. Make sure you create tangible and measurable goals. 

2. The Why

If you don’t have solid motivation for what you are doing, most likely, no one else involved will either. Spend a little time reflecting on the value of your objectives. Why do you want to focus on these specific things? List out the impact of success and also the repercussions of failure.

3. The How

Don’t just assume everyone knows what to do. If your objectives were easy to get done in a year you probably would have finished them all by yourself in 2016. List out the process required step by step. Identify potential obstacles and remedies. Consider contingency plans so there are few unmanageable surprises.

4. The Who

It’s possible you are the only one who can make this stuff happen. But if the objectives are worthwhile, you’ll likely need to engage others. Make sure that someone is responsible for each and every step in your plan. Get them to verbally commit and be ready to hold them accountable.

5. The When

Deadlines make a difference. If you don’t decide in advance when something should be completed, you won’t be able to tell if you are on track to meet the objectives. Set specific target dates for each task. You may miss deadlines, but at least you will have a reference point so you can adjust deadlines and expectations.

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Kevin Daum is an award winning and bestselling author of 5 books. He is a marketer, speaker, and columnist for Inc.com and Smart Business Magazine. As an Inc. 500 entrepreneur, his sales and marketing techniques resulted in more than $1 billion in sales. Drawing on his background in theatre and business, Kevin is a compelling speaker who has engaged and inspired audiences around the globe. Kevin is a graduate of the MIT Entrepreneurial Masters program and has received the Global Learning Award 3 times from the Entrepreneur’s Organization, where he held several board positions. Kevin has designed, produced, and led award-winning executive training programs and events for C-level executives and entrepreneurs on four continents. Previously, Kevin was named one of the 40 people to watch under 40 in San Francisco by the Business Times and in 2006 was named Distinguished Alum of the Year by his alma mater, Humboldt State University.