For many of us, the first few weeks of January provide an ideal opportunity for looking back on the events of the previous year, pausing for reflection and introspection. Of course, they also provide a great opportunity for looking forward, and for setting goals for the year to come. As we continue moving forward into 2013, HOA boards are encouraged to think deliberately and critically about the kind of agenda they wish to set for the coming 12 months in the life of their community.

Of course, this does not mean HOA board should seek to plan for every possible happening or contingency. This is simply impossible; in fact, a lot of what happens to your community this year will probably be unplanned. Emergencies happen, and while it is important to be ready for them, you cannot go as far as to include them on your agenda for the year.

What you can and should include on your HOA agenda are the goals you have for the community in 2013. Don’t get carried away here. Three to five general goals are plenty. You probably want to focus on big items like routine maintenance and sound financial investments; create an agenda to improve the appearance of your community and to use your financial resources well, then.

Once you have set an agenda, listing your major HOA goals for the year, fill it out with some more detail. List some of the specific steps that need to be taken in order to ensure the completion of your community goals; for example, if your big goal is to improve the appearance of the community, some small steps might include gutter cleaning, asphalt repair, new paint on the clubhouse, and so on.

And don’t stop there: On your agenda, specify which board members are responsible for the oversight of each task. Also provide a targeted “due date” for each assignment.

By setting an agenda now, you can maximize the odds of your HOA completing all its goals—and having a prosperous 2013!

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