Can you feel that? That collective sigh of relief in closing 2020 and opening the fresh new pages of 2021? We feel that on our team! Leading up to the new year, we sat down and planned our 2021 strategy and some interesting things came up we want to share to aide in your planning pandemonium. We’ve termed this crazy time as a ‘Plandemonium’
We think of the ins and outs of planning as a form of positive stress. While it can feel like climbing a mountain with leg weights and a 35-pound pack, it’s also exciting to give yourself permission to dream about what the future can look like! It is exciting!
One of our teammates was speaking with a colleague about this recently and her take was that planning is essentially a pretty straight line. As we discussed amongst our team, we found that the straight line might not hold true for some of us. Life has shown that it can be a lot of random turns and switchbacks as we consider all the possibilities ahead. It winds up looking more like the meandering doodle of a 2-year-old. At least, our planning seems like that. And that’s okay. The big picture idea should be this – Capturing a meaningful set of goals and then developing an executable format. It requires stamina and discipline and the right methods.
Here are a few great techniques to get you started.
Figure Out Your Why
Simon Sinek is the king of the ‘why’ – the technique he created is fun and enlightening. Start with a blank sheet of paper and for 10 minutes straight, write down all the reasons why you get out of bed in the morning. You must use the full ten minutes- just keep writing. At the end, look at the paper. These are your ‘why’. Take that why and begin with planning your goals that will bring the greatest meaning. Life is about your why. A great plan will help that grow and grow.
Create a Mind Map
This technique to sorting out the pandemonium of planning can be as brief and simple or as deep and complex as you like. We prefer the simplified version. We’ve included the website to help form your own mind map. We find this technique really helpful to clear all the extraneous mental clutter. You simply write a word, concept, challenge or topic you want to work through and then write all of the words and descriptors that apply – by the end you have more clarity on the best path forward, and the resources and steps that will be required.
The Bullet Journal 54321 Exercise
This is an amazing planning tool and resource. The 54321 exercise is comprised of two sheets of paper and 5 separate time blocks to identify your goals beginning with 5 years, 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days and today. The idea is to create a personal and professional layout for the 54321, then evaluate what you’ve added until you come up with your ten top goals, ideally one for each block. It gives you permission to discard goals that – even though you feel you should want to achieve – you really don’t. Focus only on what matters to you – again, your ‘why’.
Our President of SRA-Newman Group, Peg Newman, is currently working through the Bullet Journal for her 2021 annual planning. It has the added benefit of a planner system to capture and execute your vision and plan throughout the year.
Having a planner is critical. There are so many planners to consider once your goals are solidified.
Our top three for the year is The Bullet Journal, Full Focus Planner (https://fullfocusplanner.com) – created by NYT best-selling author Michael Hyatt and his daughter Megan and the Passion Planner (www.passionplanner.com) which includes a ‘space of infinite possibility’ on almost every page. All three would give you a great place to start if you need the direction.
Whatever you choose – or however you plan – here’s hoping your 2021 is filled with achievement of personally and professionally meaningful goals.
Peg Newman and SRA-Newman Group