by Jessica Thiefels | Featured Contributor
I’m starting to hear the 2020 planning talk, but I’m not a big New Year goal setter. In fact, it stresses me out as January 1st gets closer and it’s all anyone can talk about. I’m more a year-round goal-setting kind of girl. This allows me to ebb and flow with changes while staying excited and on track—rather than putting undue pressure on one time of the year, which inevitably leads to giving it all up… but that’s a topic for another day.
Even still, I go into each year knowing what I want to accomplish and I realized recently that I hadn’t painted a clear picture of what 2020 looks like for me. Someone asked: “So, what do you hope to accomplish speaking-wise next year?” I was like, “Ummm, to do it?” Not a great answer. I’m traveling the world, running a business and writing a book—planning for next year hadn’t quite crossed my mind with all of that going on.
A few days later, I was talking with my coach and he said, “What’s possible if you start planning 2020?” My first thought was, “Well I’ll have a roadmap. Just like I talk about in my book. If you don’t know where you’re going, how can you get there?”
As I kept thinking about that question though, I realized: With a plan, I can do the work, visualize the outcome, and manifest my way there—and baby, I’m manifesting some seriously big things!
If you’re ready to kick ass in 2020, now is a great time to start thinking about what you want to accomplish and manifest into reality. You don’t need to have specific, quantifiable goals. Simply outlining what you want to do is an important step toward committing to create the life you want to live.
To start this new decade off on the right foot, use my 5-step planning process. I do this myself and love the flow and exploration of the planning experience when done this way.
Step 1: The Dream Dump
Start with a brainstorm, or what I lovingly like to call, a Dream Dump. Separate your plans into the various areas of focus for planning. For me, these are:
List out all the things you want to accomplish within those areas. Then, let it sit for a few days so you can come back and add to your lists as more ideas come up. Remember: this is a list of the WHAT, not the HOW. So don’t hold back. If you want to accomplish something in 2020, it belongs on this list.
Step 2: The Action Steps
Once your list is complete, it’s time to look at the HOW. Start on a fresh page and break each area of focus into lists of action items. Some of the items on my book’s action list are:
- Improve speaking (I.E. should I hire a coach?)
- Create website
- Outreach to podcasts
Your lists will likely be long, but this is your chance to get it all down on paper. Big or small, add the task to your list. We’ll come back and refine later.
Step 3: The Resource List
This tip is from my upcoming book and it’s crucial if you want to be successful: create a Resource List. This is a list of all the people and things that you can leverage to start moving toward those goals and checking off those action steps.
Think about people you know that can help along with things like a Udemy credit that hasn’t been used yet. My Resource List includes:
- Previous speaking connections at local college
- Editorial relationships
- Someone I met on an airplane (yes, I’m serious)
- Client connections
- Networking groups that I find beneficial
You may need to create a list for every area of focus—for me, many of them overlapped. You’ll figure it out as you start brainstorming.
Step 4: The Refining
Now that your general action steps are written down, and you have a big ol’ list of potential people, places and things that you can leverage, it’s time to refine your action list and prioritize. This way, when January rolls around, you’re ready to hit the ground running.
Start with the refining. Take the big action steps and break them down into smaller ones. Don’t forget to add action steps based on your resource List. I.E. Reach out to old boss or Buy tickets for conference.
Now, you need to prioritize. A prioritized list ensures that you know what needs to happen first. If you’re like me and have a lot of action steps, this will help reduce that overwhelm. Much of my initial 2020 work will revolve around my business and lining up experts to tap into when my book gets published. Then, when my book is out (and on the bestseller list!), I plan to move into the next area of focus: speaking, workshops, and general book promotion.
Consider how your action steps can be refined and prioritized in this way to head into 2020 with a plan you can rely on.
Step 5: The Manifesting
You know what you want. You know what you have to do to get there. Now it’s time to manifest your goals into reality. To do so effectively, follow a simple equation:
Visualize + do the work = manifest
I’m giving you this “equation” because I want to make something clear: visualizing alone, won’t allow you to manifest what you want. Not to mention, doing the work without a vision doesn’t get you far either. To manifest the big-amazing-holy-shit things, you have to do both! And you can start right now.
Start Your 2020 Planning
Now’s the time to start thinking about 2020—before the holidays hit, along with the stress, chaos and distractions that come with them. Use this 5-step process to get your big plans out of your head and onto paper. With a crystal clear picture of what you want to accomplish, and even better, how to make it happen, 2020 will undoubtedly be a year to remember.
Jessica Thiefels is the Founder and CEO of Jessica Thiefels Consulting and an upcoming author. Living life with intention has helped her move across the country, build a thriving business, and travel the world. Now she’s sharing her experiences to help others live powerfully and create a life they’re stoked to call their own. Follow along on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.