Lesson learned from the 2016 retrospective
One of the things I observed in my 2016 retrospective was — I had achieved the goals that were clearly defined and had a clear action plan to execute them.
For example — I achieved the goal of improving my fitness by doing P90X3 routine, which required exercising 30 mins/day for straight 90 days.
On the contrary, I did not achieve the goals that did not have any clear action plan. For example — reading a book per month or blogging actively.
Strategy and plan for 2017
So for my 2017 goals, I thought why not apply a methodical approach so that I can be sure to achieve those. I know what I want to achieve, but it didn’t have a clear strategy and specific action plan.
For strategy, applying a top-down approach helps me start with a big picture and then break that into smaller milestones.
At the same time, for a specific action plan, using a bottom-up approach helps me define a day-to-day routine.
One of the goals for 2017 is — to exercise for 9–10 months. So from a top-down strategy perspective, I plan to do 3 repetitions of P90X3 routine. So every 3 months, I will complete a P90X3 routine, and in between take a break for a few weeks.
At the same time, from a bottom-up tactical perspective, I plan to allocate 45 mins to exercise on 6 days a week — preferably at a consistent time every single day.
Similarly, for reading one book per month goal, my strategy is to read ~300 pages book per month.
And my tactical plan is to read ~15 pages per day. So I need to allocate dedicated 15–30 minutes to read ~15 pages every single day.
You got the point. I have done a similar exercise for my other goals about blogging, programming and building a startup venture.
My hypothesis is – having some kind of system and method in place will be crucial in making consistent progress on the goals I have defined.
The top-down strategy is important as it removes the uncertainties of how I’m going to achieve a bigger goal by breaking it into smaller steps.
The bottom-up plan is important as it creates daily habits by consistently allocating a dedicated time every single day.
Now this is a plan. Certainly, it might work or fail. We will see. I will update in 3 months if it worked or not.