Twelve months. 365 days. In each of those days there are twenty four hours in which to get things done. You are a month into 2016 and the calendar is calling.
Every December, magazines and news shows and even adult webmaster sites, devote space and time looking back on the previous year. The Best of the Year. The Worst of the Year. A waste of a year, if you ask me. It is not that I have anything against retrospection. In truth, I love these little journeys backward. It is enlightening and entertaining to see just how much can happen during so many turns of the sun.
The problem is that the past is immutable. What good is remembrance without understanding? We can not change what we have done or not done. We can not relive the worst or the best moments. While we expend energy on recent history, the future nudges closer and closer. A future that can be molded, mapped out and with a little luck, made better.
2016 is HERE! What are you going to do about it? Are you going to sit on your victim butt and just let it roll over you? Are you going to experience yet another 12 months of aimless aiming? That kitten calendar that your auntie gave you has these wonderful little boxes, just waiting for you to apply your planning genius. Why not make auntie proud and put her precious gift to better use than just a simple way to remember birthdays and holidays? Why continue to pussyfoot your way through another 365 days when you have the chance to start your year off right – with A PLAN.
PLAN. It is a wonderful word. It is a wonderful thing. Planning means control. Planning means order. Planning means that you have a goal in mind. When you plan, you set things in motion. You control your fate. You become the master of that fate.
What kind of plan do you have for 2016? What is your goal? Is it something general, like Make More Money? Is your plan more involved, dealing with specific achievements you want to accomplish?
For example, maybe you want to complete a new website by April 10th. With that deadline in mind, planning means that you will have a design done by a certain date. You will have the content purchased, edited and uploaded by another date. All these little goals can be marked on your calendar, written down on sticky-notes or added to your scheduling software.
Perhaps your goal is more general in that you want to just make more income than you did in 2015. Then, planning involves a set work schedule, where you assign yourself tasks that are to be achieved on a daily/weekly basis. Tasks such as: Build gallery on Monday. Submit gallery on Tuesday. Build free site on Wednesday. Submit free site on Thursday. Promote free site on Friday. If you do not know by now, the trick to making more money in this business is not genius, it is consistency and production. The more pages you make, the more money you earn.
The point is, when you plan for things, you have a better chance at attaining those things. When you just sit around and bemoan that you “need to get around to blah, blah, blah”, you are selling yourself short. You are allowing yourself to fail because you never gave yourself a goal in the first place. When you plan for something, when you set a date, then you make your goals real and not just some idea, spinning around in your brain.
2015 is going, going, gone. Most of 2016 still awaits. That kitten calendar is sitting there, all blank and ready for your pen. That scheduling software is not going to program itself. MAKE A PLAN.
More importantly, STICK TO YOUR PLAN. Do not look up on the wall in June, and suddenly realize that you have not even flipped the monthly pages over on your awesome kitten calendar. Planning without follow through is a futile as the year-end retrospectives I mentioned at the opening of this article. Your plan is your gift to yourself. It is your own, personal guide to your year. It would be a real shame if December 2016 comes around and all you have to show for it is twelve months of aimlessness.