5 Steps To A Good Monthly Forecast

5 Steps To A Good Monthly Forecast


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July, huh?

Holy crap. Who let that happen so fast?

No matter, I’ve quite enjoyed these last three month beginnings because I have been experimenting with a little forecasting.

The idea came to me because my previous employer was obsessed with forecasting and reforecasting. There was the annual forecast, the quarterly forecast, the annual reforecast revised quarterly, the quarterly forecast revised monthly.

None of them were ever right, hence the constant fiddling with numbers.

More than once in these meetings I thought to myself “we’d actually get much more accurate results if we all just admitted forecasting doesn’t work, called in a couple of diviners and waited to see.” Public companies don’t have that luxury, I guess.

But then it occurred to me that the inverse is also probably accurate: Traditional divination may have something to learn from business forecasting.

This is what I came up with.

The monthly forecast formula

Start a Google Doc called “July Forecast” or similar. If I were starting this again I would start a spreadsheet rather than an individual document each month so you could see how your forecasts changed over time.

Read through and make up your own mind on that.

Create five subheadings:

  • You
  • The stars
  • The cards
  • Industry report
  • 2010 reforecast

Under each of these you are going to write 4 or 5 points per month. It’s your choice how many you use, but make sure it is consistent for each subheading. This will eventually allow you to sort of benchmark them against each other in terms of their predictive accuracy for this month.

(Sidebar: The stars have been the most accurate for me two out of three months. This has led to a serious revision of my opinion of astrology in general.)

You

Do this one first. You don’t want to influence your opinion of what is going to happen based on any of the divinatory results you get from the cards or the stars.

This is your best guess. It’s not an exercise in clairvoyance. In fact, it’s better if it’s not. Consider it like your “control group” for the experiment. It’s what you think is going to happen in your life in July.

Choose four or five things and write them under the subheading. (Technically the subheading will be “me” and not “you” but I’m sure you can work that out.)

Stars

Everyone has their favourites. Some of you probably work them out yourselves. I don’t. I rather like this one.

Again, pick out four or five highlights and add them to the doc.

Cards

The first month I used my Arthurian Tarot Deck, which were always my go-to cards for mundane matter. But I have subsequently bought the Sibilla cards so I have used them the last couple of months.

If you’re interested in benchmarking accuracy then obviously it’s better to stay with the same system. Oh, and technically the system doesn’t have to be card-based but it will be for most of you.

The Sibilla cards have this neat ‘double-square’ layout that is perfect for a monthly forecast. If you’re using Tarot then go with something broad like the good ol’ Celtic Cross.

Put the four or five highlights under the subheading.

Industry report

Industry reports are like assholes. Everyone’s got one.

If you’re a farmer, check out the meteorological forecast. I pull forecasts and predictions from trade press, industry blogs, etc. Then I add four or five of them to the document.

Granted, I’m very career focused at the moment, which means a big part of each of my months hinges on what is going on at work.

But even if you aren’t I would really suggest you do this. It’s sorta like the first subheading: These are predictions based on the best guesses of people within your industry. They invariably turn out to be the least accurate of all your monthly predictions.

Full time parents can do the same thing, but in this case your industry is the world: inflation, policy changes, etc… Find the things that are going to impact your family and monitor them.

2010 Reforecast

This is the bit that I owe to having to sit in on so many of those forecasting meetings.

Presumably you have goals for the year?

How are you tracking on those goals, how likely are they going to be given what just happened in the previous month? Do they need to be moved up or pushed back?

The reforecast subheading swings wildly. It’s an excellent example of what PJC means when he says “enchant long and divine short.” The amount of chaos and randomness in between you and your long term goals makes magic easier and prediction harder.

Conclusion

There’s very little need to check it regularly. What’s going to happen is going to happen. I actually forgot about it for most of this week because I have been so busy.

Forgetting about it is actually a good thing because you get to look backwards and go “hey, that totally happened! Nice.”

Have an awesome July.

9 Comments

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  1. 9
    Hazel

    Hi Gordon! Just wanted to let you know I’ve been doing these monthly readings for a few months now after reading this post, though I do it by lunar month rather than solar calender ones. It’s been interesting and I’m finding that the crazy things that come into my head as predictions are the ones that tend to come true, ha. Anyway just wanted to thank you for the idea.

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