As I set my goals for 2022, I am picturing my ghost of New Years Present showing me where I am now at the end of 2021 / start of 2022. The Ghost of New Years Future is calling me to envision what I might see looking back a year from now. Just like in the Christmas Carol, it reminds me that there many alternate futures, including a future I might see if I don’t change anything. Am I happy with that image, coasting along as I am now? Well, generally no, which is why I do planning after all, even in COVID years.
I generally have four key elements of my approach going forward.
My planning process
Based on my approach at the end of 2020, my approach will be relatively similar. I combine a sense of my point of origin that includes momentum of the last few years, confirm my destination point(s), set priorities, plan my path / set markers / prioritize within my priorities, and monitor my delivery. Then, on a regular basis, I repeat from the start to keep my plan evergreen, so to speak. To make sure I’m still going where I want to go.
My Development Model
My model is still the simplified one that I have had since 2015:
Tools for organization
I have tried lots of tools over the years, ranging from electronic to paper to hybrids, from journals to planners to apps. Single compilations of everything vs. excerpts of what is on my list for this week only vs. this month vs. this year. I am spending almost all of my time online now, totally digital, so a paper option is out. I need an app that works well both on my phone and my desktop, and while I would love one that would port across the firewall at work, that’s a bridge too far. I would love one tool to “rule them all”, but instead I’m going to use several.
- Work –> I’ll use a simple summary table in MS Teams;
- Personal at home and mobile –> One Note synched everywhere I can;
- Shopping –> TickTick synched with Andrea’s phone
- Health and Fitness –> A collection of four or five apps for specific functions.
I’ll do monthly reviews to see if I have everything where I need it to be and that I’m able to use the tool(s) in a way that works.
I mentioned that way back in 1990 or so, I started keeping what I thought of as my own personal rules / principles. Things I had come to believe in, and that were my universal constants. They’ve shifted over the years, some turned out to be more thoughts tied to specific pressures than long-term commitments so I dropped them, but the larger list has grown. I’m relisting them hear to keep them fresh in my mind as I set my goals for the year.
- Know yourself — an unexamined life is not worth living.
- Some of the saddest words are “unrealized potential”.
- Who begins too much, accomplishes little; who begins too little, wastes a life.
- Being busy or having accomplishments are not the same as making progress or being happy.
- 20% of your effort gives you 80% of your results, the remaining 80% delivers the next 20%.
- Never presuppose a “no”.
- Look to the future, but live for today; live for today but look to the future.
- Don’t let a destination blind you to interesting detours or shortcuts.
- It is true that you can only truly count on yourself. Trust others to be true to themselves … if there was no risk, it wouldn’t be called trust.
- You are responsible for both intended and unintended but reasonably foreseeable consequences of your actions or inactions.
- If you can’t be there, do your best to be nearby.
- Trauma and emotional distress have a long half-life.
- There’s no such thing as a casual conversation.
- Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.
- Better I be a dolphin swimming with sharks, than a shark.
- I don’t have to work any particular place, I get to do it.
It’s a good set of tools to start with, a combination that I am comfortable with from extended use. I tweak constantly, but the core remains relatively unchanged, a foundation on which to build and grow.