At this time of year, we may be starting to think about the next 12 months.
Creating a 12 month plan is a powerful method for achieving goals. It’s helpful to have a plan because it gives you the structure and the accountability that are so important when you’re trying to make big changes in your life or try to maintain a status quo.
The plan also helps keep you focused on what you want, which makes it easier to avoid distractions and stay on track. The best way to think about writing a 12-month plan is as an open conversation between you and yourself about how your life will look over the next year or two, with some specific details along with general ideas of what needs improvement or change.
Step 1 : What kind of plan?
The first thing you need to do is figure out what kind of plan you’re going to write. This will depend on:
- The purpose of the plan
- What you want to achieve
- The context in which it’s being written
- Who it’s for and what they already know about the subject matter (you can use this in your writing)
Step 2 : The Style
The second thing you need to do is make some decisions around what should be included in your 12 month plan, and what should be excluded. This will include:
- Formatting; how much detail do we need? How many pages? Should it be a text document or something more visual?
- Detail vs brevity; how much detail should we go into?
- Will our audience have access to all of this information, or just some of it? Are there any other resources that we could refer readers towards if they want more detail (eg online forums)?
- Style – Is there anything specific about our voice that would help us convey this message? Is there a specific tone we want our readers/audience members’ mindsets when reading/looking at our work?
- If a detailed plan is required, a conversation about how the plan will be measured is useful. How will you be held to account?
For example, if your plan is to write a report on the effectiveness of a new training program that you’ve developed for your company, then there’s probably going to be quite a bit of detail required. You’ll need to explain what the training is about and why it was created in the first place; what its goals are; how much time and money have been invested into it; what kind of results you’re hoping for from the program (eg increased productivity), etc.
Step 3 : What to include.
Once you’ve established that, you can start thinking about what your plan should include. A good 12 month plan will:
- Set out a clear goal that’s achievable within the time frame.
- Identify the resources (time, money and people) required to achieve it.
- Address any risks or barriers that might get in the way of achieving it by outlining how they might be overcome.
Include the tasks that need to be done, with a clear timetable for when each will be completed. You’ll also need to decide who’s going to do what and when.
The plan should be reviewed regularly to make sure you’re still on track. If not, you’ll need to adjust it accordingly.
Step 4 : Start living the plan
Once you’ve got your plan in place, it’s time to start living it. It can be easy to get distracted by other things, but if you focus on the things that need to be done first and foremost, you’ll soon find yourself getting closer to your goal.
You can use tools like Google Calendar or Trello to keep track of the tasks that need doing and when they’re due.
Don’t forget: If a task isn’t completed by its deadline, then it needs rescheduling or reverting back to Step 3.
We hope this article has helped you learn how to write a 12 month plan. Remember, it’s important that your plan be realistic and achievable. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry! We are going to be sharing some great resources to help you develop that goto and achievable plan over the next few months.
We start with a Webinar on 2 December 2022 @ 12 – More details and Register for this FREE Webinar