I have an idea to make your life easier this year: Design 2010 as the year you desire rather than letting the winds and whims of circumstance determine your future. Start right now, keeping it simple with the technique I’ll describe. It’s similar to techniques I use with my clients and even my own company, LodeStar Universal.
Give this exercise 25-30 minutes. No kidding. That’s all. Every minute you spend is money in the bank. You’ll leapfrog over the other 99.9 percent out there wondering what next year might bring. The alternative? You could end up slamming headfirst into 2010 (ouch) or floundering in QI (boring). The process I’ll describe works as well for your personal life as for company planning. Excuses that there’s no time to plan are now moot. Of course, if you prefer faster, stronger results, the information at the end of this article provides additional information on private coaching through the process.
- Grab your 2009 calendar, or look at any 2009 calendar. I keep a copy of last year’s calendar for this reason.
- Take out two blank pieces of paper, or use Word on your computer if you prefer. Personally, I like to hold a pen in my hand and touch paper when I’m doing work such as this. Write down the name of each month. Abbreviate, or write down the number as in 1-09, 2-09. Do what’s easiest for you. These are titles, so leave a little space after each month. Underline the month, so the title stands out.
- In the space underneath each month, write 1-to-3 of the most important things you feel you accomplished. If nothing comes easily to mind, leave it blank and move on to the next month. The point is reflect, and move on. Reflect, and move on. You can come back to a month if your memory is triggered to remember something you forgot. For example, looking back at last January, two things pop up for me. I figured out how to solve a significant sports injury. The pain was slowing me way down. Understanding the diagnosis and how to heal it was a huge relief. I also did the planning to launch my weekly Packets and Pauses. P+P turned out to be one of my greatest professional pleasures this last year. These were two biggies for me. So under January, I’ve put: #1 – Resolved shoulder injury with acupuncture, moxibustion, and yoga. #2 – Set strategy, organized delivery mechanism with subscriber base, and wrote first quarter of Packets and Pauses…. There was a bit more I wrote down, but this gives you an idea.
- Once you have filled in as many months as you can, take a deep breath and ask yourself these questions: As I review this past year, what did I find the most fulfilling and emotionally rewarding? What was the most economically rewarding? What are five things I learned last year I can carry forward into next year?
That’s it. Four steps and about 25 minutes.
Plunging into 2010 without taking stock can place you on a dedicated pate to bump your head, take a hard economic hit, not to mention wound your heart. Obviously, there is more you can do to plan, but this approach is a masterful way to start the year. Even if you do nothing further, you will be astonished at the results. Try it. What better do you have to do in the next few minutes?