colorful calendar

Your Yearly Strategy

We are making it through C2C (Concept to Completion) at a record pace. I hope you are having fun with it! Now it’s time to make it REAL!

I love this next step because it involves all kinds of office supplies, and it’s like making one of my collages! I put down a few pieces, move them around, add a few more, then step back to see if I like it!

As I mentioned at the beginning, I use a year-at-a-glance wall calendar, colorful dry-erase markers, and a whole bunch of post-it note page flags. It’s all so colorful and fun!

Let’s review how we got here, and where we’ll go next. Here’s the overview of our path through C2C:

You can review the prior articles by clicking on the titles above.

So, now you’re clear on your Big Picture. You’ve found your Big Rocks, broke them down into smaller rocks, and made them S.M.A.R.T. You went a bit further and made those goals even more detailed by adding some time parameters and additional resources. You’ve “chunked” everything down into manageable pieces. You’re now ready to build your strategic plan.

Let’s get started!

Let’s move to the calendar and start mapping everything out. Now depending on how detailed your goals are right now, some of your tasks may not make it onto your calendar. We’ll visit weekly and daily planning later. Let’s use this time to map out the major “stuff” and some of the secondary important tasks.

Gather your calendar, your colorful markers, and your post-it notes. Give each one of your goals a color. For example, for my recurring course launch activities I used orange and lime. (Gotta love some citrus!) For my online course content goals, I used turquoise. For any goals and tasks related to my mixed media collage work, I used pink and yellow.

Have fun with this! As you begin this exercise, remember you can, and probably will, move things around a couple times. (That’s why I use dry erase markers.) You’ll be able to move the post-it notes around as you discover your schedule is getting too tight or you have overlap in major projects. It’s a great way to get started without fear. 

After you’ve decided on your colors, start putting tasks from your goals on them. Write out each task on a separate post-it. Remember your color-coding system! As you go, add more that come to mind.

Remember in my example, when I put in a time parameter on my list, I just wrote X-date? Well, now’s the time to try out some dates! Step right up and place those post-it notes right on the calendar!

Keep going, and don’t worry about getting it right or wrong. This is an experiment, and you can change anything you want. Start with one goal and everything associated with it. Then move on to the next goal, and then the next. The good thing about using dry erase markers and post-it notes is that you can move them around. Keep moving things around until it feels right. There is no wrong answer!

Now, step back from the calendar and review your work. Things that need to change will be clear right away. Think about these questions:

  • Is there any major overlap or lots of tasks in a row?
  • Am I giving myself enough time between tasks?
  • Am I doing the steps in the right order?
  • What about rest and family time? Do I have any?
  • Where are things getting to crowded?

Move things around if necessary and then step back again. Review your work. Space them out more so that you’re giving yourself enough time to complete each task. And don’t forget about travel, vacations, or other personal activities.

Now take a look again! You may need to do this several times. You’ll know when you’ve finished. And once you’re there, it will feel so good! This process sets you up for real progress when we start working on the Daily Implementation next week.

So, take this week to really hone your yearly calendar, then grab your planner for next week.

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