What are you going to invest in in the coming year?

invest

So tell me, does this sound familiar? You start out the year with a solid plan. This is the year you’re finally going to make your revenue goals, or finish that book, or make that big move.

But then as the year goes on, you find yourself side tracked — a new book writing course here, a new class at the gym there, a hobby that sounds interesting and seems like a good idea to pick up, the latest technology that could really do amazing things for your business. And all of those intentions and planning goes out the door as you find yourself cycling through a lot of new things.

Ah, investment creep.

If you don’t start out with a clear plan of exactly what you’re going to invest in for the coming year, it’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the latest course, book, or offering.

We’re all prone to this. Novelty is inherently attractive, and there’s a lot of great advertising out there that makes it very hard to resist the latest big thing. But it’s so important to keep your focus, because that’s the way that you get long term results.

So what do you do?

For me, as with most other areas of my life, the answer is to get very focused and then go from there. So think about the next 90 days in your year. At the end of those 90 days, what do you want to have accomplished?

Now think of the top three or four things that you’ll need to get from where you are now to your 90 day goal. What are the resources you’ll need? I would literally list them out in a document or on a Post It note and put it up on your wall so that you can look at it often.

Equally, look over your 90 day goals and list the things that you don’t need yet. For instance, if you are just starting a business, then you would definitely need a website, but you probably wouldn’t need a state of the art, massive payroll system that can handle hundreds of employees. So on your “Yes” list you would put “website: hosting, design, domain name, security.” And on your “No” list you would put “payroll software.”

Or in a non-business based example, if your goal was to start a habit of going to the gym, then you would put “Gym membership, workout clothes, training watch.” on your Yes list. And on your no list you might put other goals that you want to accomplish, but know you need to wait on because you want to focus your energy on the gym, like “Learning to crochet.”

And finally, if there are things that you know you’ll definitely want to do later in the year, but not in the next 90 days, then put them on a “Later” list. That way you won’t have to worry about forgetting them, but you also won’t be tempted to get them before you really need them.

Keep these lists very visible as you do your work.

That way the next time some incredible you won’t be tempted to buy into something that you don’t need, or at least don’t need right now. Of course, your priorities are going to change as time passes — that’s why I normally keep planning to 90 days at a time. But by having a very clear list set out for yourself of things that are definite yeses, nos, and laters, then you don’t have to go through the decision process every single time something new comes up, and you’ll be much less likely to load yourself up with stuff you don’t need right now.

OK, tell me: what are you going to invest in in the next 90 days? And what are you going to consciously let pass you by?