My-2017-Planning-process-blog-picture of a desk with sticky notes and pens

My 2017 Planning Process

Jan 24, 2017

A little while ago I did my planning for 2017 and posted a photo of it on my facebook page saying that I would let you know how I went about it.


If you haven’t already started to make some goals and plans for yourself or your organisation for this year yet, don’t freak out! It’s still only January – school has just gone back, and its not too late to start now.

This year I don’t want a repeat of last year – frantic –  So to NOT feel this way, I really wanted to do something different to the way I normally go about my planning.

Normally, I plan in a very striving and driven manner.  Identifying the goals I want to go for and getting very structured in the way I go about it. Identifying strategies, strict timelines, accountabilities, KPI’s and so on.

While that is really useful and has worked for me for a very long time, I didn’t want to do it that way this year.

Instead, I wanted to be more mindful and considerate of my mindset, health and well being, and tune into how it is I wanted to feel for this year

I think that was partly because 2016 was just so frantic.  There was a lot of activity, with a lot of work in my not for profit getting ready to move into major changes.

So I wanted to think more about how I wanted to feel this year.

I was guided by a planning diary that I was specifically drawn to– Danielle LaPortes “What Will I do To Feel the Way I Want to Feel”.

It’s a planning and scheduling diary, with a real focus on setting your goals and intentions and your daily activities based on your core desired feelings.

So that’s where I started.

Intention Setting:

I got a pad of A3 sized paper, colourful pens, and lots of coloured sticky labels.  I waited until my family was away camping (yay for me time!), the house was quiet and I could let my head just be in the space of tuning into my core desired feelings.

I asked myself that exact question “What are the core desired feelings that I want to feel and have throughout 2017”?

What came to me was that I want:

  • more joy.
  • more ease, I want to feel more at ease.
  • And to trust!

Trust was a big one for me. The whole concept of trust fascinates me and ranks highly in my values system. That’s why I want to make sure that I anchor myself in trust.

I believe that Trust touches everything – the way you interact with others, the way you are in your relationships, the way you respond, the way you are with your organisation, the way you respond to the world around you, and the way you show up in your community.

It has a mutuality to it, and requires depth.

I also want to feel calm, connected, brave, strong, at peace, and organised.

This exercise alone was really useful in setting the tone and intent I have for the energy I bring this year.

From there I did a few things that weren’t actually very different to what I normally do.

Goal Setting:

I identified goals that I wanted to achieve.

This year I limited myself to 3 major goals, that identified where I wanted to be, based on how I wanted to feel in 2017.

The next step was looking at how I want to achieve those goals.  What strategies did I want to use to make those goals a reality?

Now, sticking with the notion of feeling those core desired feelings, I focussed on strategies  and activities that played to my key strengths. The things that I know I’m good at and enjoy doing – because that’s where my genius zone is, and where I am in my greatest flow.

I wrote my 3 goals on 3 separate pieces of paper. I started writing the strategies on sticky notes and stuck them on the relevant goal.

As you can tell, so far there is nothing earth-shattering fancy in my approach!

Once I had finished identifying all the things that I could do to make my goals a reality that were in my flow zone, I then turned my attention to the things that would need somebody elses expertise or genious zone.

These are the things I’m not particularly good at or don’t enjoy doing. They are also the things that if I were to be doing them I would end up hindering my progress by stalling and procrastinating.

These particular strategies were sorted into either :

  1. Outsource
  2. Delegate
  3. Collaborate or
  4. Unnecessary.


 My normal approach is to map out my entire year! Broken up into quarters/months/weeks.  Wowzers!

This time I focussed on a 90 day planning cycle.  I cut back from mapping out the year, to become focussed on the next three months. I decided to do this to give me the flexibility I need to respond and be open to opportunities, whilst also keeping my eye on achieving goals

Change is rapid, there is a great need to be agile, to respond to the unorchestrated and unexpected and to act quickly on opportunities that arise out of the planned actions .

I asked myself “Where do I want to be by March? What do I want to be doing? How do I want to be feeling? And what will it look like by March?”.

I visualised this and made lots of colourful notes about how each of my goals were looking and progressing inMarch.

I then set out the months of January, February, March on separate pieces of paper. For each goal I then worked backwards from March allocating  the strategies that needed to be done  in the month prior.

I’m a big advocate of “If its scheduled it gets done”, because that’s certainly true for me.  So to keep me on track and accountable I then organised the tasks into weekly schedules.

Having this big colourful visual display of my first three months has been really good at giving me a big picture snapshot, but me – personally – I need a more portable “to-do” list and schedule.

This is where I use ASANA.  It’s free, easy to use, has lots of useful functions.  And because its on line its accessible anywhere I go with my phone (which is everywhere I go haha)!

I transferred my weekly schedule into ASANA, setting up separate projects for each of my goals and slotting in my tasks and dates under each project.

And taaadaaa…there you have it. My planning process.

As I approach the end of March, I’ll set aside some reflection time and do a similar approach for the next 90 day cycle.

I would love to know more about your planning, and your goals for 2017 and if there is anything you need assistance and support with.

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