Plan vs Panic: Beat the Rush, Plan 2013 NOW

This recommendation is a little different from my usual post on a tool or bit of technology. I’m going to recommend that you take some time over the next week and start thinking, really thinking, about 2013.

I don’t care what method or tool you use! I’m fond of pencil and paper, whiteboards and sticky notes, erasable yearly calendars and little sticky flags, Word docs and Excel spreadsheets, and electronic calendars, whether web-based or on my local computer. In fact, I generally use some combination of just about all of them to plan stuff.

The method isn’t important. What’s critically important is the thinking I need to do before ever taking pencil to paper or marker to whiteboard or fingers to keyboard.

Remember I posted a few weeks ago about clarity? As part of my series Get Unstuck and Say Goodbye to Overwhelm, I wrote that the first step was to Get Clear.

Clarity is, for me, a required precursor to planning. If I’m not clear on what I want, how can I plan on how to get it?

It’s the middle of November. January 2013 is coming up fast. Will you be ready? Will you have a good idea of what you want to do, who you want to be, next year? Do you have, if not the specific action steps, at least the big picture strategy that will move you forward in the direction you want to go?

Beat the end-of-the-year rush: start planning NOW!