It’s the best time of the year! I mean, the holidays are great, but everyone is thinking of the year in review looking forward to goal setting for the new year and my little engineering brain is giddy with excitement. I’m bringing back the Plan It Forward “Challenge” (starting with a review using SWOT analysis) and am so glad you are joining in!

What is Plan It Forward?

Plan it Forward is my answer to the problem of failed New Year’s Resolutions. People everywhere set goals on an arbitrary timeline (January first has a nice ring to it, but is just as effective as the second Tuesday of the month at 4:07pm) and then don’t make a plan for success!

My brain immediately wanted to put some efficiency systems and strategic planning into action! I wanted to simplify big engineering systems into something we can all accomplish to help us take the smart steps toward that big goal.

This “challenge” is providing some quick tools to evaluate where you are, where you want to go, and the most efficient and effective way there!

Sign up to get the PDF to go with the SWOT analysis here!

Year in Review: SWOT Analysis Introduction

The first step in this years PiF is the SWOT Analysis. It’s a tool commonly used by businesses to evaluate a process, product, or reflect on a project but we are going to use it to tackle a look back at this last year.

S.W.O.T. stands for

Strengths: what went well and really carried the project/plan be the best it could and reach the best outcomes

Weaknesses: What things didn’t go as planned and really slowed down the success?

Opportunities: If you were to do this project/system again, what would you change and improve? What things could you try to do to make it even more successful?

Threats: What things got in the way of success or could still be a problem the next time you try a similar project?

A New SWOT Analysis

The traditional SWOT is a great and technical way to approach things, but I wanted to also create a new way to approach SWOT that would help you review your past year and plan your next goals. So, I would like to introduce you to my new SWOT:

Successes: What successes have you had this year? What things made you happy or went super well? What is something you can look back and call it a “win” for the year?

Working On: Things that are still in progress or you would still like to work on. Chances are you haven’t met all the big goals you’ve set (and that’s OK!) so now let’s list them out!

One Day…: What does the “ideal” version of you or your day in this area of your life. What’s the ultimate goal? What does it feel like, what do you do on a regular basis/day, what has changed in your life because of this goal?

Threats: Same as before, let’s look at the things that could set us back a little on our road to this “One Day” goal. The more we know about what could set us back, the better we can plan to sort it out.

It’s all laid out in this PDF if you insert your name and email!

What Should I Analyze?

You’re probably wondering how you decide what to do a SWOT on. Should you do a SWOT for each past goal, every day, that weird outfit choice from last Thursday?

For Plan it Forward I want you to choose 3 main areas of your life and do a SWOT on each of them. Some areas to consider:

  • Health
  • Relationships
  • Work
  • Home
  • Travel
  • Financial
  • Organization/Minimalism
  • Planning
  • Mental Health

But Wait, There’s More

SWOT is extremely flexible, and I really hope that you can use this on anything you want. I personally use SWOT for all of these things as well:

  • End of Unit evaluations in school
  • After travelling with the kids on long trips
  • A new routine I tried out
  • Monthly budgeting recap
  • New organization system
  • Personal goals
  • Making big financial decisions

Anything you want to evaluate, improve, or just really think through can be run through a quick SWOT diagram.

Need your own PDF pages? Snag them here!

Quick Action Steps

Quick steps:

  1. Download the free PDF pages
  2. Decide on 3 focus areas of your past year and life to take a look at
  3. Complete either version of the SWOT analysis for each one
  4. Look for the next step: Evaluating and Selecting your Goals

Can’t wait for this next step in Plan it Forward!