I started this year with The 2011 Plan and today it’s time to see how that turned out. The plan consisted of three key words: customers, content and strategy. I arranged those three words visually on a page in my notebook. While I didn’t look back at the plan often, I did look back about once a month and a strange thing happened. Most of what I did in 2011 supported the plan and the plan in turn led to more success. But how and why did that happen?
When our thoughts become ideas and then we commit those ideas to paper, it’s a powerful process.
I carved out some quiet time and sat with my notebook and a pencil. I jotted short notes about what I wanted 2011 to look like. I flipped back in the notebook to see what was working and what was not. I started writing lists of words. Then I went back and crossed out the words that didn’t resonate or were not core concepts. I needed words that could be applied across a broad, over-arcing strategy.
Over the course of a few days, I ended up with customers, content and strategy. Then I arranged them on a page of the notebook and, with arrows and additional words, developed a strategy that has served me well for 2011. As I write this post, I’ve already started work on the 2012 words and will be drawing the picture in the next few days. I’ll share it again next week, just as I did at the beginning of this year.
The human subconscious is probably the most powerful force ever known to man. Plant and properly nurture thoughts in the subconscious and it’s almost impossible for them to not come true. I create my three-word plan as a picture because I’ve found I’m a visual thinker. When I can’t remember all the words, I can see the picture in my mind’s eye and piece it back together. Maybe all words or a painting works better to feed your subconscious. Try out different ways of seeding your subconscious and see what works best.
Then nurture those thoughts by reviewing the plan about once a month. Carve out a few quiet moments with a cup of coffee and your notebook. Sit and review the overall plan and write down the to-dos that pop into your mind. Progress is almost inevitable.
The strategy to create better and more meaningful content to locate more customers has worked. Our readership on this blog has increased and that didn’t happen by accident. Working with Shelby Sapusek, we’ve put together editorial plans and then she edits each post prior to publication.
What we’ve written has helped me refine our business plans for ColorMetrix and our products are much tighter and more clearly defined than at anytime in the company’s history. Our ColorMetrix customers frequently talk to us about the writing we do on this site. We’re making a difference with this content.
That’s my planning process. What’s working for you?