3-minute read

Over the holiday, we watched the movie Gandhi. It’s a remarkable achievement worthy of every minute of its three-hour run. In the spirit of being the change you want to see in the world, let’s discuss how to map out what you want to achieve this year.

Planning your 2024 journey should leave you feeling personally and professionally energized and optimistic, not overwhelmed at the start.

Before writing this, I looked at many definitions of the word goal. My favorite is the destination of a journey because it combines ambition and drive with exploration and flexibility.

Journeys begin with an intention to end up in a new place. While much of any journey is within our control, we will always encounter unexpected choices, setbacks and opportunities. These ingredients make the journey rich, define us as individuals and become the stories we tell.

Planning with the expectation of encountering the unexpected gives us the flexibility and the control to course-correct without losing sight of the intention set for the year. The logic model is a tool that allows for both process and flexibility.

Logic models visualize the relationship between the outcome sought and the activities and resources required to get there. The progression of a logic model helps organize thinking and create clarity and focus. If you work with a nonprofit organization, logic models are familiar as a tool for program planning.

Logic models adapt beautifully to personal and professional goals because of their If/Then framework, built-in flexibility, and ease of use.

The following section walks through how to create and use your logic model.


The Model

Logic models are made up of two parts: the results you want to achieve, defined as Outcomes and Impact, and the path for getting there, defined by Input/Resources, Activities, and Outputs.

The visual model is divided into five columns that build sequentially toward the Impact you want. The sequence is laid out below:

Input/Resources: What is needed to achieve the goal. Examples: professional development, coaching, or better time boundaries

Activities: The activities and frequency that need to occur. Examples: classes, coaching appointments, yoga classes

Output: The intended result of these activities as a measurable metric. The number of professional development, coaching sessions, or yoga classes

Outcome: The value of the hours spent. New skills, increased productivity, or new ideas to offer that create value for yourself or your employer

Impact: The overall change you are driving toward. This is where you want to end up on December 31, 2024.


Building and Using Your Logic Model

First, a distinction and a difference. Building and using your logic model differs. Build your logic model from right to left, defining the Impact sought first.

Defining Impact is the key to a successful and operational logic model. Impact sets your strategy and defines the larger purpose behind the goal. A clear impact statement keeps you focused and able to adjust to the unexpected.

The most successful Impact statements create value for you and your employer and identify a quality-of-life change.

Here are some examples:

  • Get promoted to the next level so I can put away $10K for retirement.
  • Find a new job where I can showcase my public speaking skills and become known as an expert in X.
  • Create a more sustainable work-life balance where I can increase my productivity and spend weekends and extended holidays with my family.

With an Impact statement defined, move to Outcomes and Outputs. It’s best to brainstorm these two sections together, as these are your desired results.

The difference between Outcomes and Outputs is that Outcomes are changes in behavior, and Outputs contain a quantifiable metric. Let’s use the first example above as an illustration.

Impact: Get promoted to the next level so I can put away $10K for retirement.

Outcome: Become a trusted partner of the next-level team and a ‘go-to’ team lead for my team

Output: Attend weekly next-level team meetings and mentor two junior team members

With the strategic direction set, begin the tactical portions of the model, Inputs/Resources and Activities.

Define the Inputs/Resources available to you first, as these determine the Activities. Continuing the example,

Impact: Get promoted to the next level so I can put away $10K for retirement.

Outcome: Become a trusted partner of the next-level team and a ‘go-to’ team lead for my team

Output: Attend weekly next-level team meetings and mentor two junior team members

Inputs/Resources: Contact HR or supervisor about formal mentoring junior staff (if not available, do informally and discuss with boss), offer to run current team meetings, ask for end-to-end project ownership, public speaking training, check availability of coaching, build in 2 yoga classes/week

Activities: Build identified Inputs into my 1-1 meetings with my boss, incorporate Outcomes into my formal performance management goals, block off yoga on the calendar

Final check: Use the If/Then framework to check that the Inputs/Resources lead to the Activities and result in the Outputs, Outcomes and Impact you’ve outlined.


Implementing Your Logic Model

Now you’re ready to go. Implement your logic model from left to right, starting with putting the input/Resources you’ll need in place.

A logic model takes time to develop but is well spent. If this model speaks to you, your January challenge is to set up your logic model. Next month’s post will go over how to operationalize the effort.


2024 awaits.

You have the power to both control and enjoy the journey.


Thank you for Reading!