Success in the coming year will look different for every individual. For some, success might look like effectively harnessing opportunities to make a substantial improvement in one’s life. For others, life improvement may be solving difficult problems or enduring tough emotional challenges. For most, it will be a mixture of both. Regardless, planning will help.

If you’d like to start your year off right, we offer a simple format to guide your planning. The template provided here is designed with the following in mind:

  • Intended for individual use.
  • A one-page format to promote concise thinking.
  • A philosophy of empowerment: Specifying objectives and goals that require you to make decisions and take action. We believe that your knowledge, your skills, and your behaviors determine your future.
  • Use of a comprehensive framework to prompt a holistic consideration of life’s essential elements.
  • The development of a complete listing of the objectives, goals, and actions required and/or desired in the coming year.
  • Encouragement to use SMART objectives, goals, and actions where possible.
  • The flexibility to focus on key areas or performance. As needed, mark areas of lesser focus as not applicable (N/A) or eliminate them within the editable template.
  • An accommodation to “think big.” As necessary, capture stretch goals and aspirational objectives and actions in italics so as not to limit one’s thinking or potential.
  • The need for periodic progress and performance review. Consider how you will evaluate each objective, goal, or action at the year’s end. Where possible, define opportunities for shorter-term, “quick wins,” and periodic reporting on progress. Example: The goal of “read one book a month” allows for immediate action, periodic successes, and an accurate determination of performance against the target.

By taking the time to plan out your year, and set goals for yourself, you can have a better understanding and vision of how your year may turn out.