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Purposeful Planning: How to Plan and Achieve Your Goals

white ceramic mug with coffee on top of a planner

Did you know that only 8% of Americans keep their New Year’s resolutions for the entire year?

We are quickly approaching the end of the year and we will soon be overrun with year-end recaps and rushed New Year’s resolutions. How can we set ourselves up for success?

What if we pause a moment and, instead of reacting to the noise, we intentionally forecast our journey. Planning for the future should not be left for the busiest of seasons, instead, we should be purposefully preparing our plans.

Most resolutions fail and goals go unmet when they lack key ingredients, it is easy to walk away from nebulous and vague goals. It is also easy to abandon plans that have no accountability or record.

Let’s change that.

When goalsetting or resolving, increase your odds of success by building guardrails:

  • Write it down
  • Be specific
  • Make it measurable
  • Create accountability
  • Be realistic
  • Include a timeline

Next, when making plans, I propose using life-fitting categories. What do I mean by “Life Fitting”? I mean using categories that make sense to you and your situation. Goals are not one-size-fits-all, neither should the categories in which you put them.

I use the following framework:

  • Marriage
  • Physical
  • Finacial
  • Relational
  • Business
  • Home
  • Things to Try
  • Recreational

Once I have the framework, I spend time considering what I want for each of them. Some are fairly quick (“Paint shed”, for example, showed up in my Home category), but mapping how to reach $10,000 MRR for a side project (Business) took more time and attention.

How much time should you commit to planning? I think the 10% Rule is a good starting point:

  • Planning a 1-2 day project = 1-2 hours
  • Planning a 1-2 week sprint = 1-2 days
  • Planning a month = 3-4 days
  • Planning a quarter = 1-2 weeks
  • Planning for the year = 1-2 months

Many of us would not run a marathon without properly preparing ahead of time, yet when it comes to annual planning, it seems we leave it until the awkward week between Christmas and New Year.

Not anymore. Because you’re prepared. You have more than a month to start laying the groundwork for a successful year in all facets of your life.

What will you accomplish?

All the best,


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