How to Create a 1-Year Plan


Today is my birthday and I turn 31 years old.

A birthday is a great time to take a break and reflect on your life.

Similar to New Years Resolutions, it’s a good way to keep track of your progress and take some time to recalibrate.

It’s less about making a new goal for yourself, and more about having a deep appreciation for your life and how far you’ve come along your journey.

It’s more about looking ahead in how we can grow as a person and achieve new levels of personal freedom.

Learning how to create a 1-year plan and actually applying this in your life, is going to pay huge dividends in the future. For several reasons, such as:

  • You’re keeping track of your process.
  • You’re measuring your success and failures (or lessons learned).
  • And you’re investing into your future by taking those few extra steps now, so you can be even more extraordinary in the future.

As I reflect on my life and the journey that I’m on, I’m remembering how powerful setting 1-year goals are and how happy I am that I continue to do that for myself; documenting my journey of personal growth.

While things haven’t always manifested or come to fruition, I’m glad I’ve been setting these yearly goals because I’ve still had a lot of success in achieving many of those goals and I know there’s even more ahead.

So in addition to the video, I’ll share a little more information below on creating a 1-year plan.

3 Benefits of Using a Goal Hierarchy System

Goal hierarchy is structuring and breaking down larger goals into smaller sub-goals. Structuring the pursuit of an overall goal into a set of sub-goals has several benefits.

1. Greater motivation and persistence.

First, research shows that creating subgoals reduces the difficulty of the pursuit and provides positive reinforcements that lead to greater motivation and persistence.

For example, an individual whose overall goal is to write an article might be more motivated to work on the article when this goal is broken down to 5 sub-goals because this seems more easily achievable and motivating than the overall goal of writing 30 pages, which seems excessively difficult and, hence, discourages goal engagement.

This positive effect of subgoals is particularly relevant for individuals who have difficulty summoning motivation in the beginning stages of the pursuit of a large goal, a phenomenon labeled “the starting problem.

Researchers believe that one of the main benefits of dividing a goal into subgoals is that breaking a large, daunting task into smaller, relatively more manageable, and more proximal tasks can promote goal initiation and persistence.

For example, people believe a runner who sets a goal to run 1000 miles over three months is more likely to persist in the early stages of goal pursuit when the runner thinks of the goal in terms of running 11 miles a day rather than in terms of running 330 miles a month. Similarly, an article titled “Small Wins,” by Weick, argued that large social problems are too enormous and overwhelming to tackle without breaking them down into smaller issues that are easier to control

2. Easier to monitor goal progress.

Second, subgoals can help monitor goal progress. Because subgoals are subordinate endpoints in the pursuit of an overall goal, once reached, they inform the individual about the progress toward the overall goal, especially when the overall progress is uncertain.

3. They’re easier and quicker to accomplish.

Third, because sub-goals are easier and quicker to accomplish than the overall goal, and they provide a greater sense of progress. This sense of progress can enhance self-efficacy and competence, leading to greater persistence and motivation.

Final Thoughts

It is important to note the potential negative consequences attached to the formation of sub-goals.

The achievement of sub-goals can lead to a sense of self-congratulation and encourage relaxation, thereby interfering with the progression toward and the attainment of the overall goal.

In the example above, completing an outline may result in feelings of achievement and generate the idea that one has “deserved” some time off.

The different types of goals and their defining dimensions are summarized in Advanced Goal Achievement.

Click this link if you want to learn more about the psychology of goal setting.


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