Just a quick post that offers 3 simple steps to a top level New Year plan, along with some hints about what I will be focusing on in 2023.
Step 1: Reflection
Every year I write a PRD (Personal Reflection Document). OMG, no I do not call it that. But each year I read the last 2 to 10 years of reflections. Some years more diligently than others. It’s a chance to see who I was, what choices I have made, see if the things that were my top priorities are still my top priorities, so if what was making me happy is still the same stuff that makes me happy.
We change over the course of time, and reflection is that process of going over previous versions of ourselves, comparing to who we believe ourselves to be at this moment, and then figuring out what tweaks or overhauls we want to consider going forward.
Once I have read that material I start my reflection for the year that is coming to a close. I begin by writing all the people and occurrences for which I am thankful. Some of these reads very similar from year to year. For example, I usually lead with thanks for my amazing wife, parents, family, friends and colleagues. Some years I even express thanks for my competitors and enemies. From there I usually dig through my calendars, emails and personal task apps to remind myself, month to month, of all the good things that happened and all the progress I made on my goals. Maybe I learned something and applied it, maybe I changed my mind at a paradigm level (The “paradigm shift”)… I express my thanks for things big and small over the course of the year.
Step 2: Big Rocks
I’ve mentioned “big rocks” in my previous posts – I picked up the concept from Dr. Covey back in the 90s during some of their “roles and goals” exercises and have evolved it into its own thing. I reflect on my previous big rocks and decide if there will be any changes. For example, in 2017, I had something like nine or ten big rocks (Things like “Family”, “Networking”, “Career”, “Creativity”, etc). These days, I have condensed them down to five because it is hard to keep pressure on so many items.
Those big rocks are top level categories, principles, or concepts that mean the most to me. They change and evolve, so each year I spend time reviewing and in some cases reworking what each rock means to me.
Step 3: One Page Plan
This is something new I started in 2022. After reading Ash Maurya’s “Running Lean” (and of course, the classic, Eric Ries’ “The Lean Start-Up”) the idea of one-page plans became a thing for me. In 2022, I stumbled across Moe Choice, who in addition to sharing knowledge bombs regarding self mastery and living with intention, has developed a personal One Page Plan. Ferp, that was for meeee. I attended a session, built a plan in 2022 and took it for a test drive.
I already know, based on how that went, in 2023, one of my tweaks is going to be getting a lot more specific about what I want out of each of my big rocks and making sure the big rocks are reflected directly in my plan, even if my plan becomes a 2-page plan. Shh, don’t tell Moe!!
Anyway, I used to use the big rocks to develop goals and objectives – that works, too. But I like the one page plan because it really forces me to simplify and synergize.
Note, I also plan to be kind to myself. When I had 10 big rocks, I remember this annual goal sheet that looked like a mind-map from hell spidering out into over one hundred goals and objectives. Now, a lot can happen in a year, and there is nothing wrong with desiring a lot out of life – it shows we really want to be here and experience all there is to offer, but I want to be kind to myself by not overburdening my plan.
Things for 2023
Personally, in previous years I have stacked so many things into my yearly plans. One concept (one of many if you’ve been following along this year 😁) is from Dr. Joe Dispenza’s “Becoming Supernatural.” It was about relinquishing daily patterns and making room in our lives for the unknown. It sounds so obvious as I sit here typing about it, but some of the best things that happen in our lives are unplanned – things so amazing we ourselves could not have planned them even on our most organized day.
One example: I was invited earlier this year to participate in an online network of some flavor. At first, I rolled my eyes. Another network. But for some reason, I clicked that button and setup my account. Not sure why. That invite blossomed, and not because of the network itself. Somehow being in this network, my name got mined by a couple key people wanting to talk to me about mentorship, corporate strategy and other topics that I really enjoy. I met with those people (outside that original network), and they gave me referrals to other folks. Next thing I know, I am talking to executive leadership about these topics – I am having fun, helping people make decisions which shape the future of their business units or companies – all from signing up to a network that isn’t super active and doesn’t post much directly meaningful content. Had I not signed up, though, those initial connections would not have occurred. And there was no way to predict how things would have progressed and yet they went exactly in the direction I desired, with hardly any effort on my part.
I’ve always been an adventurer, but in 2023, I just want to be even more open to the unknown, to those serendipitous miracles. The more I let go of being in control of every last fart in my life, the more often I experience these amazing and unpredictable experiences.
Juxtaposed to that concept of letting go, I also want to amp my personal planning and tracking. I know, these sound like conflicting objectives, but I feel like the combination of clarity from tracking to my one page plan combined with letting go and inviting more of the unknown into my life is going to continue to amp my results (which are already mind-blowing).
Those and lots more are part of my coming year, and I wish everyone the world over a joyous, prosperous and fulfilling 2023! In closing let’s chill with a clever meme (is it really clever?)