As this year is fast coming to a close, the time is ripe for getting clear on priorities. The holidays ahead will bring a lot of joy and add to your already full days. But it also is a really great time to reflect, looking back and then forward to the coming fresh new year.
In today’s tumultuous world, we’re wise to look for any window of respite we can find. You may be thinking that November isn’t a typical time of new beginnings… but it can be. Now is a great time to begin looking ahead to the coming year, and sketch out some goals – both personal and professional.
You may be thinking: Sounds nice, but how do I do that?
I’ve put together a two-part Quarterly Planning Primer to get you started! This is not the average to-do list or work forecast plan. It’s a different approach, based on how we all have changed over the last 20 months. My Primer begins by clarifying what matters most to you this month. Then, my December blog will cover how you can incorporate your priorities regularly, by breaking the year ahead into manageable blocks of time.
This is where we are evolving to, and we need the tools to take us to the top of our game, both in the present and into the future.
IDENTIFY YOUR PRIORITIES
We start with identifying what you value, personally and professionally. It’s good to write this down in a way you can keep it to return to as things shift or are accomplished.
Name the top 5 of these:
- What you most value
- People/groups that mean most to you
- What want to spend your time doing
- What makes you happy, whether big or small
Now name these top 5:
- Personal goals at work
- Goals expected of you at work
- Rewards from your work
- Biggest work challenges
If you want to continue along these lines of discovery, I think you’ll find my May blog, How to Transition Toward Your New Work/Life Balance, interesting.
ASK YOUR HEART AND GUT
I wrote about Heart Intelligence and Gut Intelligence in my blog series earlier this year. They are super-skills. Science is finding Heart and Gut Intelligence to be as real and calculable as our brain function. We know those times we’ve ignored our body’s cues. The key is to combine what all three have to offer in all aspects of your life.
So look at your answers again, this time tuning in to your body’s signals. How much really feels right? Can’t tell exactly? Here’s a clue: when you read each, do you find you feel happy? Frustrated or discouraged? A little tense somewhere (your throat or jaw, hands or chest)? Tired? Grounded? Ask if your answers are based on what’s expected of you, or what you ‘should’ want, rather than what you really want.
This is just applying a different layer of perspective, to make sure your heart and gut intelligence was involved, not just your head. After looking at it this way, is there anything you’d adapt or change on your lists? Go ahead and do that.
FANTASTIC! Now you have a lot of authentic information to apply.
THE BIG PICTURE
Now you have a grasp on your PRIORITIES about what makes you happy and what is more obligatory. The big picture focuses on what you truly want in order to actively be pursuing it. So let’s boil it down even more.
What would you love to say you’d accomplished, both personally and professionally, if you could project yourself to 12 months from now?
Answer in three areas, keeping it to 1-2 items each:
- Family/Friends/Love life:
Now, look at the answers using your gut and heart intelligence. What do you feel when you look these over? Do they ring true to you? If not, revisit them and do your best to tweak them. No need to get hung up here, but to begin using these new tools to root out your highest good.
This exercise has narrowed down your most important GOALS for the year ahead!
Now you know your priorities, based on your values, and have formed a short list of the most meaningful goals for yourself, at work, and with family and friends!
In December’s blog, we will talk about planning – how you create the path to these goals and intentionally work toward them each month. Sounds great, you may say, if I only had more time. We’ll cover that too! We can make time for what’s important if we stop giving it away to what’s not.
It is a a really positive turning point. If you want support for your planning process, I am here to help. It’s easy to reach out to me for a chat and see what can happen!