Happy New Year! Seriously, where does the time go these days? I think the more we squeeze into our lives, the faster it goes.
So that’s what I love about January. Most people are having some type of break, the office isn’t busy and there just isn’t the pressure there normally is.
Every January I plan my year, and this year is no different. But it is different, because this year I’m determined not to over-commit myself. Looking back on 2017, the times I enjoyed work the most was when I had the time to really explore a topic or a solution and use the creative side of my brain without having to worry that I need to get it finished by 3pm so I could move on to the next job.
My Strategy for 2018
I call my method for Information Management solutions the Synergy Wheel. It is split into 5 elements, and the first of these elements is Strategy. Strategy can be a dirty word in business, because usually it’s a very long, boring document that sits on a shelf and no one refers to.
That’s not how I approach Strategy. Strategy should be about identifying your priorities and activities for how you will get things done. It should be done on a yearly basis and referred to and reviewed regularly. Here’s how I’m developing and implementing my own personal Strategy this year.
Every January I write a list of what I want to achieve for the year. Being someone who likes to be active, this list tends to be very long. But, I’m not over-committing myself this year, so I’ve culled that list, split into work, family, personal wellbeing, charitable work and home improvements. All things that are very important to me.
What’s not so great about a list is that it isn’t in your face every day, reminding you that it’s there. To combat this, I’ve made a poster. Yes, a PAPER poster (until we get those types of boards that Tom Cruise had in Minority Report, paper posters it is). It’s my Strategy for 2018, and to make it sound more interesting, I’ve called it my Dream Board.
It only has a few titles on it, like ‘volunteer at an event’, but mainly it is full of images. It’s above my monitor at my desk. I see it every day. On day 2 of my working year it has already helped me focus my work and personal efforts.
A poster on a wall doesn’t send me reminders to get things done or help me track my efforts. Here’s where technology can come in really useful. Use an app to document and track your goals daily. I use Wunderlist (because I’m a list person), but there are tons of other apps out there that are specifically designed to track goals. In my January newsletter I’ve recommended ‘Goals on Track’ as my app of the month.
I have scheduled in my calendar a Dream Board review every month. When I do this review, I’m going to:
- Reflect on what I have done to achieve my goals for the month
- Reassess if they are still important to me
- Refocus for the next month
Here’s my challenge for you. Create your own Strategy or Dream Board. If you don’t know where to start, just google ‘Dream Board’. You’ll get lots of ideas and ways you can develop them.
Here’s to a challenging, mindful and fun 2018. Go for it.
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