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How to R.O.C.K Out Your Goals For the New Year [Day 2-30 Days to Changing Your Game}


This is Day 2 of 30 Days to Changing Your Game. Yesterday I talked about preparation and commitment. Without these two things in place, the remaining 29 days will have little impact. Today, the amazing Sherman Hu is going to kickstart the challenge by digging in deep on his unique planning process. Hang on cuz it is AWESOME!

How To R.O.C.K Out Your Goals For The New Year

by Sherman Hu

At the end of 2010, what would you realistically like to say has happened?

If you could wave a realistic magic wand and look ahead to the end of the coming year, what would have to have happened in each area of your life for you to be happy with the progress you made in the year?

Or, it’s December 31, 2010. You’re having dinner with friends. What would you realistically like to be able to tell them has happened over the past year?

3 Reasons Why You Will Benefit From Planning

My incredible mother-in-law, Ann Griffiths, a savvy business owner and coach, sat me down 7 years ago to flesh out my values and impart lessons in effective planning I’ll reveal to you below. Ever since, I’ve had the tools to live and accomplish with purpose, along with helping ourselves and others.

I remember my session with Ann in her living room like it was yesterday, and the feeling of new found freedom with the wisdom she shared with me. I’d like to pay it forward and share it with you today. Shall we?

We’ll get to the 3 powerful questions above in a moment. Before we do, let’s unpack 3 reasons why Yearly Planning is important:

Living With Purpose

Motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, once shared, “I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps it’s because escape is easier than change.”

If we want to be intentional and purposefully live out the various areas in our lives that matter, it makes sense to invest more time and focus on this than on vacation planning, don’t you think?

Help Yourself, Help Others

Success psychologists reveal 95%-97% of people in the world do NOT have written goals and fail, while 3%-5% have written goals and succeed. Let’s stack the odds in our favor, shall we? You’ll help yourself and in turn others around you when you choose to be the 5% of people who succeed with written goals.

You and I can make the choice to breakthrough and realize our talents and potential. Here’s one of my favorite quotes exemplifying how you help others by allowing yourself to shine first…

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Accomplish With Purpose

Though I’d be lying if I tell you I stick or follow my plan throughout the year after planning for it, there’s something magical about planning your new year and watching it unfold throughout the year, sometimes in the most mysterious ways.

There have been times in the past where my wife, Sarah and I would plan for the upcoming year, and conveniently forget to refer to our plans, but yet, our goals would come to fruition through us sub-consciously working it out to our favor. I’m not recommending you do this, but it happens. What I’m proposing is a way to effectively plan and accomplish your goals on purpose.

When you live with purpose, helping others around you by manifesting your genius, you’ll accomplish your goals on purpose with the strategies I’m about to share with you. Let’s begin…

What Is This R.O.C.K-ing Concept?

R.O.C.K. is an acronym for this planning concept. Let me unpack it for you…





“R” for Review suggests before we can plan ahead, we need to take some time to remember our “Accomplishments & Frustrations” of our current year. As I unpack this strategy for you below, you’ll discover some easy and effective ways to do this.

“O” for Observe proposes we identify trends and indicators of our victories from our list of ‘Accomplishments’. Similarly (and for me, often more importantly), observe the pain, frustrations and agony of missed goals and setbacks.

“C” for Chart refers to mapping out your vision, next year’s intentions, quarterly goals, and monthly actionable items.

“K” or Kick-Start is the part most of us are geared up for, to mobilize our new year with productive actions. After reviewing, observing and charting for the new year, it’s time to kick our plans into high gear.

Tip: If you’re organizing a yearly planning session – solo or with your significant other – I highly recommend a remote location, eg. local hotel, resort, some getaway somewhere. There’s peace in being away from the natural stresses and interruptions of life, and you’ll be more engaged in this process. Trust me, Sarah (my wife) and I have tried both ways, and our getaways are definitely more productive.

“R”: Steps To Reviewing Your Current Year

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” ~ George Santayana.

Everytime I review my Moleskine weekly calendar or my iCal for the current year, something magical happens. Memories of events, happenings, victories, and shortfalls flood into mind like opening a jack-in-the-box. I mentally return to that event in time and emotions stir again.

For example, I had a near-death emergency flight experience in August this year. Recalling that day’s event conjurs memories of panic and the fear I wouldn’t see my family again. It brought to mind how precious my family is and how fragile life and time is. As a result of reviewing it with Sarah during our planning weekend getaway in November, I’ve since closed several ‘active revenue’ practices in my business, and turbo-charged my plans for ‘passive revenue’ in 2010.

Can you see the value in ‘reviewing’ now?

I believe a life worth living is worth recording or journaling. And the review of one’s current year helps us to remember the past – not to repeat our failures and to savor the victories and journey well traveled.

If you have experienced this, you are tracking with me now. If not, I recommend you do. If you have not recorded events and memories, attempt to remember them and begin journaling.

What did you accomplish this year?

What were your main frustrations?

Do this across your different Life Areas. Below are some Life Areas you can use.

8 Sample Life Areas

Just like when you shop for groceries at your local grocery store, take what you like, leave what you don’t. Not all Life Areas will work for you or everyone. But these Life Areas work for me, so I’m sharing what I personally use.

With these sample Life Areas, journal what you accomplished in each area this year, along with your main frustrations. Personally, I prefer to work per Life Area at a time. This means I’ll determine my victories and my main frustrations in my Business Life Area first, then move on to Spouse & Romance, then on to the next Life Area. There is no one Life Area that is more important than another, as they are all part of your ‘Wheel Of Life’.

If you’re tracking with me or are action-oriented, I suggest pausing here, and journaling your Accomplishments and Frustrations now.

“O”: Steps To Observing Your Accomplishments And Frustrations

Let me define ‘observe’ according to Observe is a verb, whereby you see, watch, perceive or notice. To regard with attention so as to see or learn something. To watch, view or note for a scientific, official or other special purpose.

Do you perceive or notice any trends in your year in review?

Did you learn something or anything from your year in review?

Did you note any actions, events, disciplines, and habits that made you smile? On the other hand, did you observe events or trends in your year in review that frustrated you to no end?

At this point, rate yourself on how well you did – on a scale of 1 to 10 – in coming close to your vision and goals for this year, as set last year. Naturally, if you did not set your vision and goals for 2009 in 2008, this is a guesstimate. This rating will come easier at the end of 2010, when you’re planning for your 2011 year, as you would have planned your work and worked your plan as per this R.O.C.K.-ing system.

Can you see why this is important? I may not have to spell out the obvious, but this observation process is critical to how you pace yourself for the upcoming year’s plans. Let’s move on now to step C: Charting your next year.

“C”: Steps To Charting Your Next Year

1 Year Charting

I’ll share 3 questions that has been very effective in helping me chart my next 365 days. Use 1 or all of these questions to help you chart your next year’s plans for each Life Area. They key is to write (or type) your one year plan in first person, as if you’ve already accomplished it. My favorite question is #3, as it’s easy for me to imagine enjoying a great meal with friends and sharing all the happenings over the past year.

Question 1: At the end of 2010, what would you realistically like to say has happened?

Question 2: If you could wave a realistic magic wand and look ahead to the end of the coming year, what would have to have happened in each area of your life for you to be happy with the progress you made in the year?

Question 3: Or, it’s December 31, 2010. You’re having dinner with friends. What would you realistically like to be able to tell them has happened over the past year?

Planning for the upcoming year is super, but in years past, I’ve setup yearly goals only to lose sight of it during the year. A system that keeps me accountable throughout the year is more effective. One that keeps me on track quarterly and monthly is even better. Let’s unpack these systems now, shall we?

90 Day Charting

With your one year plans for each Life Area in hand, determine the 90 day goals for each Life Area.

When you flesh out your quarters for each Life Area’s 1-Year Plan, you get to see how they build upon each other to accomplish your 1-Year vision. You’ve just introduced some structure and ‘legs’ to see your vision come to fruition.

Personally, I set a maximum of 3 strategic focus per quarter (90 days). As we look at the 30 day charting below, we’ll expand each strategic focus with 2-3 action steps per.

30 Day Charting

For every Business Strategic Focus (90 Days), expand it with 2-3 action steps per month (30 days). Doing this helps you determine what actions steps you need to rock out each of your 90 day goals.

The natural progression is to plot each action step (eg. A, B, C) in your calendar (digital or paper is fine) and focus on making these a reality.

You might have come across the phrase, “Sometime is not in the calendar”. Without inputting an event into your calendar, there’s a tendency to let each action step pass on by, which leads to failing to meet your strategic focus, and each Life Area’s vision for the year.

In my situation, Sarah and I have great intentions to start ballroom classes as a fun alternative to our date nights. Due to ‘busyness’ and claiming we’ll do it ‘sometime’, it never panned out this year. Guess what is in Month 1 of ‘Spouse & Romance’? I’m calling the local ballroom studio, booking and attending our first few classes with Sarah! We can’t wait, it’s going to be a blast 🙂

The agony of purposeful intentions without purposeful living out of those intentions is painful and haunting. Don’t let 2010 slip on by. Make it happen and R.O.C.K it out.

“K”: Steps To Kick-Starting Your New Year

With your 1-year vision for each Life Area, 90-day strategic focus and 30-day action steps in place, it’s time to kick-start your 2010.

Ever come across the phrase, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” In the same way, focus on one action step at a time is your best bet for success.

If you’re action-oriented and have completed the above exercises, select the first action step you’ll take action on RIGHT NOW. Momentum is a powerful force, so kicking one of your action steps in motion – no matter how big or small this motion is – is a positive step in the right direction. Do it now.

Are You Going To R.O.C.K. 2010?

When you REVIEW your current year’s accomplishments and main frustrations in each of your Life Areas, OBSERVE trends and patterns to your victories and defeats, CHART your 1-year vision, 90-day strategic focus and 30-day action steps into your calendar, and KICK START your new year’s plans with motion, you’ll be on your way to ROCKIN’ OUT your 2010.

Would you care to share your thoughts and feedback? Would you like to chime in on which portion of the above R.O.C.K-ing strategy that’s of value to your 2010 planning? Appreciate you weighing in … and let’s ROCK OUT 2010!

Sherman Hu is a husband in love of 14 years with Sarah and proud parent to 2 fabulous children whom they homeschool. They reside in Vancouver BC. His definition of success is the love and respect of his family.

Sherman is a web marketing subject matter expert. Using his unique strategies, he has helped clients across North America and Europe realize multi-million dollar sales. Through his tutorials, web TV show and conferences, he has trained thousands of business owners on blogging, podcasting, video, social media, search engine optimization and web marketing. He writes a monthly column in an industry marketing magazine and creates curriculum for a Web Marketing eLearning company based in Atlanta.

Connect with him on Twitter (@ShermanHu) or via his blog at

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