How to Take Charge of 2016: Your 365-Day Master Plan

by Michael Pietrzak December 30, 2015

How to Take Charge of 2016: Your 365-Day Master Plan

(This is Part 1 of a 4-part series on taking control of your time)

"Wake up with a plan of action, go to bed with satisfaction."
— Greg Plitt

I wasted much time in my 20s. I didn't know that life is twice as fun after you find your power. I regret nothing of my decade accidentally sliding in and out of relationships, careers, and homes, but now life is... richer. I'm still adventuring, but with intention. These days I don't ask myself,

"Where did that last year go?"

Mostly by accident I've taken control of my time. My methodical mind has long been drawn to productivity tools & lifehacks. Five years ago something sparked, and I found a way to fit all of those tools neatly into the same box. To my surprise I've become (he said, humbly) a productivity ninja. 


It starts with the yearly plan. Let me show you the way.

1) Start: Reflect

Crack open a fresh notebook and clear an entire day (my first yearly planning session took 3). January 1st should do. You will be digging deep, writing your answers out in as much details as you need. 

Ask yourself

  • What were my 2015 goals & did I achieve them?
  • What did I do well?
  • What could improve?

Be honest. Reflection leads to your true goals.

  • Now list all of your accomplishments from 2015, and be proud. Let go of the failings.

2) Middle: Plan

List your goals. Having looked back, what do you want 2016 to be? Here you can be broad. You can dream. I choose at least one goal in each pillar of my life that I hold sacred: 

  • Financial — How much money do I want to make this year? How will I get there?
  • Personal Development — What do I want to learn this year? For me it was investigating my creative side.
  • Relationships — I committed to seeing my brother more often, to hosting more small parties, and to spending quality time with my partner.
  • Career & Business — I decided to wrap up an old business, and start a new one, Rogue Refined Goods Co.
  • Health — Four years ago I found CrossFit and got crazy fit. Last year I committed to training at the next level.
  • Home — I bought a new house to turn into a rental property. The extra income has opened up new freedom in my life. 

I have learned that I need to invest in each of these areas to stay balanced. You can create your own "happy list."

3) End: Act

Do not let all this writing time go to waste:

  • Choose your top goals for the year (Warren Buffett suggests five). Make them concrete, that is, how will you know when you've achieved them? Choose as many minor goals as you want (hint: less is more).
  • Print your one-page yearly list in 50-point font and plaster it to your wall somewhere you’ll see it every day.
  • Drill down: set your goals for the next 3 months (we'll get into this in the next installment).
  • Set deadlines.

Now, back to start.


What did you put on your list? Let us know in the comments.

Coming soon: How to Take Charge of 2016 Pt. II: The Quarterly Plan.

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Michael Pietrzak
Michael Pietrzak


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