Resolve to Look at the Big Picture
Tis the season to … begin thinking about January 1. Oh, you thought I was going to say “… be jolly”!
While the current year is winding down, leaders are meeting with their teams to identify what worked and what didn’t in 2020 and to solidify goals for 2021. Decisions about priorities and what is needed to support them will be main topics of discussions into the early part of January. Not jolly times for all.
Sound familiar? It’s what so many of us do when we think about our own New Year’s resolutions. Simply making a list of what you need to start/stop/continue is just that – it’s a checklist. Statistics show that ~8% of people keep their resolutions. Why such a low number? It’s easy to make a list and it’s easy to ignore a list. After all, it’s “just” a list.
Last year, I offered a different approach in The Choice is Yours blog; an approach that would make sticking to commitments a given and powering through the hard times much easier. Or so I thought. What I realize now is that I was missing a critical step. In addition to linking your actions and goals to your top values, it’s imperative to routinely step back and look at the big picture of what “success” will feel like.
For example, one of my core values is to “broaden my horizons”. For me that means being challenged, learning new things, travel and adventure. My goal for 2020 was to learn 600 phrases/words in Spanish. To date, I know 100 words. All of my good intentions last year fell by the wayside. I can blame the craziness from the pandemic, my busy schedule, even justify it by saying I did learn some new words.
In truth, I forgot what it would feel like to be conversational in Spanish. Only when my husband (who is fluent) and I spent some time in Mexico did I remember what I truly desired – to remove the barriers of connection to others, to enjoy exploring remote locations where English isn’t a common language, to no longer be reliant on someone else to translate my thoughts and feelings.
My goal for 2021 is once again to learn 600 new phrases/words in Spanish. I’ve written out what I desire/what success will feel like. I’m putting it on the bathroom mirror, so I see it every day.
Feliz Navidad y próspero año nuevo!
This Week: Try the following 7-step activity to help honor what you value.
- Write down one of your top values, something that is important to have or be in your life.
- Then ask yourself: “How can I support this value by committing to (fill in the blank).”
- Once you determine what you want to do, change, or learn: Write down why that’s important to you, and how that will make you feel when you’ve succeeded by staying the course. And what will that enable you to do more of, or how can it make a bigger difference to yourself or to others?
- Are there additional things that you want to do/change/learn to support that value? If so, follow the same steps.
- Then, do the identical thing with two more of your values. (repeat steps 2-4)
- Now, step back, look at the big picture of what you have ‘painted’ for your life in the new year. Do you feel a fire in your belly, a passion about it? If you are still playing it safe, go back and try again.
- When you’re finished, share at least one of your commitments with others – say it out loud. Here comes 2021!
In Next Week’s Post: Recognizing results
Your Journey of Leadership
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