See Your Way to the Best Year Ever

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Happy New Year!  That’s a wish.  And here are 3 actionable ideas, especially if you haven’t set goals for 2014.

First, put yourself first!

Second, make yourself focus.

Third, work backwards from January 1, 2015.

Put yourself first, because nobody else (other than a great coach) should or will put you first.  Don’t start the year with others’ needs and wants — those of your boss, spouse, team, kids. They matter, of course.  But only you get to live your life, to be you.  So, who will you be?  Perhaps the biggest threat to actually choosing and planing to have a good year does not come from serving others’ needs.  Instead, it comes from being on autopilot. Autopilot is tremendous, factory-installed equipment we all possess.  But autopilot is an absolutely terrible tool when it comes to choice and change. If you want to set any new course, you need to grab the controls away from that inner reactive pilot. That takes us to part two.

Make yourself focus.  I challenge you, challenge you, did I say challenge you — to set aside 45 minutes with a blank screen or page and clean table or desk, and answer one question:  On January 1, 2015, having had the best year of my life, what are the things that I would SEE that would make this true? What would I have (had)? Where would I be (have been)? With whom would I be engaged? Don’t cheat yourself. Write it out.  Choose to focus, and pick the endpoints, the key destinations first.  Then you can Mapquest or Google Map it.  But first, decide where, what really matters?

Third, work backwards. Take a second page, or an Excel spreadsheet, or any of the amazing Gantt chart aps, and work backwards. From your picture of January 1, 2015, what will you need to have done by July 31?  What by March 31?  By January 31?  By the end of this week. Chart the path, working backwards from the vision of where you want to be.

Finally, put it up where you will see it.  Some people LOVE to work the plan. God bless them.  Wish I could be so systematic.  Being religiously linear and methodical are not my way.  But visions (literally: what we SEE before it’s real) have their own power and beauty. If you put your visions up in front of you, they will work on you and in you.

So, I’ve got my big 4: excellence in family, teaching, client service, and research – with pictures for each.

I wish that you’ll have an awesome 2015.  I challenge you to set aside time for you, focus on the pictures of success, and work backwards. Share your ideas with me and our fellow readers on how you’ll make it a great year, as you:

Lead with your best self in 2014.

Dan