This week I received an email from one of the lawyers I am coaching. His email and my reply are below.

I wanted to follow up on our coaching session a week ago and  get your thoughts on year end planning.  Specifically, when you would do your year end planning, what areas would you focus on?  Thanks, and I look forward to receiving your thoughts.

I replied:

I do my year end planning between Thanksgiving and end of year. I especially like Thanksgiving weekend and the time between Christmas and New Years because I can relax and focus. (I could have added that I get bored watching football, do not want to shop on Black Friday, and after working out my mind is more creative.)

Here is my focus:

  1. I look back on what I have accomplished this year: What did I learn? What did I do? What results did I get? What could I have done better? What did I most enjoy?
  2. What do I want to accomplish next year? What goals? Why are they important to me? What do I want to learn? What do I want to do better? What would be a home run for me?
  3. What actions do I need to take? I always try to list 25 in a stream of consciousness. When will I do each?
  4. I write all of the answers to these questions and my list of 25 actions.

Why is that an important step?  Studies have shown that we are far more likely to do things we have committed to writing and when we set a date certain.

What year end planning are you doing this long weekend? What is your home run for 2015?