Hello, I’m Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe - to-do app for business owners and their teams. I write essays, books, work on projects and I podcast for you using #iPadOnly in #NoOffice as I believe that work is not a place you go to, it’s a thing you do. More…

Productive Plan for 2016 - how to achieve goals month after month!


2016 has started - new opportunities, new plans, new goals… Thatʼs why today Iʼd like to discuss my recipe for ultimate productivity and help you achieve your objectives for this year… I hope that weʼll all succeed in making our New Yearʼs Resolutions happen. Letʼs get started!

Productive Plan for 2016 - how to achieve goals month after month!

Note: The following article appeared first in the December’15 issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I’m a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

January - summary and planning

Once you’ve read this blog entry, move on to a serious review of the past year.

Dedicate a whole day for it. Take time off from your usual work and focus on making a summary of your successes and failures and draw conclusions. Next, plan new goals for 2016. Start off ambitiously. Step out of your comfort zone. Donʼt give up. Ask yourself: “What do I need to achieve to make 2016 my best year ever?”

February - revision of plans

Check whether youʼve done anything towards achieving your goals. You may notice that you haven’t made any progress on some of them. Maybe itʼs time to abandon these objectives? Right now you may be realizing that youʼve set too many of them…

Maybe itʼs time to revise your goals and focus only on those which are directly related to your passions and aspirations? Maybe itʼs time to stop dreaming and start real planning? Here’s my tip:

February tip:

My tip for February is getting a cool app for time management. It just so happens that in February weʼre also planning to publish Nozbe 3.0 so why not give it a free 30-day try? It will mean a lot to me :-) Anyway, write down all of your goals for 2016 and make a list of specific actions and tasks needed to achieve them. Also set dates when they should be completed.

March - another revision and introducing regularity

Review all your goals once again in March. Itʼs an important moment because after 2 months we become very self-critical. We start thinking: “Itʼs already been 2 months and I haven’t achieved any of my goals!”.

Donʼt be too hard on yourself! Itʼs ONLY been 2 months, so thereʼs still 10 more to go! Itʼs a good moment for another revision of your objectives and introducing regularity to make everything better! So, if your goal is to get in better shape - workout 10 minutes a day. Yes - just 10 minutes. Play a 10-minute workout found on YouTube and repeat it every day at the same time of a day. With time itʼll become a habit and youʼll get better and better!

The key is to find something “regular” for each goal. Define one action that will bring you closer to reaching your objective and add it as a repetitive element - for example in your time management app.

April - time to get the watch!

Somewhere around March/April Apple will show the new Apple Watch. Itʼs going to be certainly better than the first version. It’s also going to be thinner and have better health and fitness tracking. You can buy it and use it to measure your progress in achieving your goals. Iʼm definitely going to buy one so Iʼll let you know how it turns out.

May - enjoy the weather!

May is a beautiful month with a wonderful spring weather. Itʼs also my birthday :-) To celebrate it Iʼll be publishing a free book about the best apps for working in a remote team. Be sure to download it and read it from cover to cover. Oh, and donʼt forget to check on your progress. Maybe some of these new apps will help you in achieving your goals?

June - time for a half-year summary

Itʼs almost half of the year. Itʼs time for an evaluation. Remember, the glass isnʼt half-empty - itʼs half-full. Even if you havenʼt succeeded in achieving all of your goals, you still have more than 6 months to do it! Donʼt be discouraged! Keep pressing on, review your goals, check if theyʼre still compatible with whatʼs going on in your life as well as your passions and ambitions - and prepare yourself for the upcoming 6 months!

July - plan your vacation productively!

Itʼs time to make vacation plans. Think about where you want to go, what you want to do and how will it be linked to your goals? Maybe youʼll take an inspiring book with you? Visit a cool place? Travel somewhere youʼve always dreamed of? Take this time to recharge you batteries!

August - get vacations done!

Go someplace, take a rest, and be inspired. Share these moments with your love ones. Itʼll be great.

September - Iʼve got an iPhone… 7

Itʼs time to buy the new iPhone! I change mine every year. The upgrade is certainly worth it because the cost isnʼt very big (when you’re selling the old one) and every new iPhone is better than the previous one. And itʼs one of my most frequently used computers. So consider getting a new phone to achieve goals faster and more effectively.

By the way, get a good set of Bluetooth headphones - you can buy a lot of decent-quality ones for about $25. iPhone 7 is rumored to ditch the headphone jack so weʼll need to start using wireless headphones.

October - the final countdown?

Wow, itʼs the Fall already! That means youʼve only got 3 months left. Itʼs time to revise your goals and select 3 with the highest probability of success. Why 3? Because thereʼs not much time left and you simply donʼt have a choice. Right now you really need to focus and get it all done. Revise tasks, check your progress and set new actions necessary to meet your objectives. Itʼs now or never.

November - sprint to the finish line

If until now youʼve been effectively fulfilling your goals and tasks bringing you closer to their completion, itʼs very likely that youʼve already achieved some of them! Well done! Itʼs time to celebrate your achievements and evaluate the remaining goals. November is a culmination of a whole year of your efforts!

At the end of November itʼs also Thanksgiving time so celebrate this day with your family and be thankful for all that you have. Youʼre in a great situation - think about how much youʼve achieved. You have people who love you. Life is beautiful :-)

On the next day itʼs “Black Friday” - meaning great offers. Donʼt be tempted but be sure to check deals for tools and devices that help you achieve goals. Itʼs also a good moment to extend subscriptions for services and upgrade apps. At Nozbe we always offer a great Black Friday deal :-)

December - Merry Christmas!

December is a time for final summaries. In the first half of the month, you still fulfill your last goals but after that itʼs time for reflection, planning Christmas, buying presents and enjoying the end of this fabulous year. It was your best ever and you canʼt wait for the upcoming year because you see potential for further development and growth.

Congratulations - 2016 has really been a good one! Come back here in December and let me know how well itʼs been in the comments below.

Monday, January 18, 2016 /2016plan/