Don’t do this if you already know exactly how to reach your goals

It’s that time of year at work where teams are putting together their business plans for the following year. We request and justify headcount, talk about growth opportunities to support new ideas and layout our priorities of the work we will do to reach our goals.

 

At Amazon, we call it Operating Planning or OP1. OP2 is a check in 6 months later to see where we are on track and where we need to refresh our strategy to reach our goals and re-set expectations.

 

Creating a solid OP1 that we can deliver on takes a lot of work. We look at all the data from the past year showing our strengths and growth opportunities. We forecast growth for the coming year and detail our strategy on how we are going to hit our growth goals. Leadership teams work together to write multiple 6-page documents detailing these things. At the end, we have a unified plan detailing our goals, resources, and priorities for the coming year.

 

I love this exercise because it creates a clear expectation on what we are prioritizing, what our goals are, and what resources we will have to get there.

 

I also hate this exercise because it is so much work and there are always more requests for resources than what gets approved in the end.

 

Have you ever thought about applying this same concept to your own goals and ambitions?

 

If you are like me, I’ve always got a goal I’m working towards, but my plan to get there is a little fuzzy. This year, I’m writing an OP1 for myself. I’m looking at this past year and getting honest about what worked, what did not, what milestones I need to hit to reach my goals, what obstacles I need solutions to, what resources I have available, and what success looks like.

 

Going through this exercise for myself has helped me better level set how I’m spending my time. It’s made me realize how many resources I have available to me that I’m not taking advantage of. It’s made me realize how quick I am to deprioritize things for myself when they get “hard” or are “not fun.” It’s also made me realize how much I really do want to hit my goals and that I can have a plan to get there.

 

So, what do you want to have accomplished a year from now? How are you prioritizing your time to get there? What resources do you have available and how are you going to track things along the way to know if you are going to get there?

 

Write an OP1 for yourself and work just as hard at it as you will the OP1 at work. Seeing what you are personally able to accomplish is a year is what it’s all about.

 

You got this!

LB

 

P.S. What help applying this to your specific situation? Let’s jump on the phone and come up with a plan together. Grab time on my calendar here.