“My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather to have less to do.”
– Francine Jay
I know I know, your socials are FULL of how to make the new year better than last year…. That won’t be hard, will it! Also, well done to you for being well, caring for others, and finding a way forward. Darren Hill says, “Leaders aren’t finding themselves, leaders are finding a way.” You did that for the most part of last year and I want to celebrate you and say well done! There are lingering questions though of how you will make it in 2021, I am here to help out.
Perhaps we had our best of times and worst of times in 2020 and this year is an opportunity to reset for what’s ahead.
Reset. To begin again.
But how? And why?
The 3 questions in this post are not new. They’re not even all that imaginative until you put them to work. Until you ask others to lean in and engage with them in a meaningful and real way. It’s when you get moving you see the beauty and the potential of these questions. When you curiously ask one another, seek feedback, chart a course, have a go, and celebrate the possibility they create.
Your frame of reference is your personal and life purpose. What you are all about this year, and in that context ask these questions. Last week I spoke of the Power of One Word, how this should replace the clatter in your life and streamline it for a more minimalistic and sustainable manner. This week we will unpack your one word by putting 3 questions to it and make it practical.
ONE – WHAT COULD I START DOING?
What can be introduced to your life and purpose right now that would make a big difference to morale, culture, and your overall life experience? Is there anything you wanted to get to last year that just gave way because of your other responsibilities in caring for your people?
Starting gives you the opportunity to refocus, galvanise your resources, and deepen your mission. It can create the opportunity to reimagine and make new. It’s a great opportunity to shake off the old and celebrate what’s possible. In this year you need to look at what it is you NEED to do with your one word rather than a whole set of goals that ruin you in the future.
In my opinion, goals are most useful for the direction and motivation they give you. The benefit of goals is more emotional than tangible. It is difficult for us to actually know what will be useful or make us happy in the future, therefore strict adherence to the goal itself is less important than the simple fact that it tricks our mind into doing something.
TWO – WHAT CAN I STOP DOING?
Is it time to call ‘done’ on a project or initiative that simply hasn’t delivered? No matter how hard, how many tweaks, and what adjustments you’ve made, this simply won’t work. It hasn’t delivered and won’t. You already know that so saying it out loud is a relief.
Call it what it is and finish the thing! It’s hard but I am right.
People respect courage like this and at the beginning of the year making a courageous call to end what’s not working matters because it frees up resources of all kinds to reimagine what’s next (see question one.)
Rick Warren said you can do more in ten years than you think you can and less in one year than you think you can. Empty out the year as MUCH as possible to get the most valuable things done. That diet you tried, those friends you made, those businesses you started that didn’t give you the desired result, tank them NOW. It may have been the biggest trend on social media but I always ask these questions: Is it right for you? Does it fit your environment? Is it what you NEED right now.
The whole problem with social media is that the narratives that spread the furthest and loudest on these platforms tend to be anti-establishment and contrarian. These are the narratives that get repeated the most often, and therefore these become the narratives that come to define our go-to ideas. But these narratives are hollow. They tear down structures but build nothing back up in their place. The key is to define yourself by the things that you hold dear to you, do not keep on doing something for the sake of fitting in or looking cool. Whats cool is being you, even if it means standing by yourself.“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”~ Socrates Tweet Me
THREE – WHAT CAN I CONTINUE DOING?
2020 was rough, but there are good if not great things that happened to you in the year. There are routines you started, relationships you got into that brought a new perspective. So you need to ask yourself, what still has life left in it and can be refreshed or refocused? What needs some direction and resourcing, so it can really fly in the next little while? I am certain you have some breakthroughs waiting to happen given the right attention and environment.
This whole approach provides a place and space to think with some innovation, choose courageously and, refocus wisely. Sounds great, innovation, courage and wisdom all working together for the year of your dreams.
When you take these 3 questions and pair them with your one word for the year you give yourself a road map for the year. My word for the year is SERVE, and this how I will apply the 3 questions to it.
- So what can I start doing in order to SERVE more effectively
- What can I stop doing to make sure I live my word SERVE to it’s true meaning and not hinder my ability.
- What can I conitnue doing from all that I have learned that helps me to continue to SERVE and pour myself out into my purpose and environment
See how that gives depth and clarity to that word? This breaks down to what the internet calls SMART goals. When you set specific goals, they become measurable and actionable, which then allows you to track your progress, SMART stands for:
Those 3 questions will help you self-assess and have a no BS look at yourself and what you are willing to achieve in the year. It is not too difficult because instead of having a lot of points to measure you only have a few. This makes focusing and achieving your desired goal easier and more fluent and smart.
May you make real progress in 2021, and enjoy the benefits. I am cheering you on. When you’re ready, I am here to help. Share with us your thoughts in the comments section or email us, we would love to hear from you.
As always, hope you and yours are staying safe and doing well. Let’s Be Great!