I wanted to share my process from 2021. In the past, I set measurable goals and logical steps.
This year, I aimed for the things I most wanted to experience - but I was flexible about the specifics and took steps forward as I could. Here's my approach:
1 / List the EXPERIENCE I want to have at the end of three months . This is not a goal exactly but when I look back on the last 90 days, what experience I want to say I’ve created for myself?
- HOME: Seeing my kids thrive at school, and being able to support them
- HEALTH: Waking up feeling my best, knowing I’m taking care of my health
- PROFESSIONAL: Create a coaching practice that serves my clients and my life which is most satisfying
2 / Create a PROMISE that supports what i want to have
- HOME: Clear time each day (4:00 - 4:30) to practice reading, catch up on homework before TV and be available for conversations when they are most open to chatting
- HEALTH: Catch up on doctor's appointments that are overdue to establish a health baseline.
- PROFESSIONAL: Write a statement that includes: my time capacity, my financial commitments, and how I can use my time to meet financial requirements.
3 / Create the ACTION steps toward delivering on the promise
- HOME: Talk to kids, put time on calendar, move clients.
- HEALTH: Connect to healthcare website, reach out to my dr. for support and make appointments
- PROFESSIONAL: Review past calendar and financial spreadsheet - how'd I do in the past? what do I need to adjust? how am I tracking?
4 / CHECK IN WEEKLY. For me, this is always Sundays at 10:00 AM. I look at my list and see what actions I'm taking toward promises I've made. Then, I can:
- Establish next steps to continue progress
- Note breakdowns that prevented me from taking steps (what happened?)
- Commit to different actions to navigate the breakdowns
5 / BREAKDOWNS. Breakdowns are simply when things didn't go as planned. Acknowledge and reroute.
- HOME: Husband and I weren't on the same page about homework so it was inconsistent between us. Need to chat with him and re-establish routine
- HEALTH: Got auto-message my doctor is out of the office for three weeks, need to set a reminder to check in next month, in meantime, list specifics I can schedule without her (eye doctor)
- PROFESSIONAL: Success! But also stuck moving forward. Pulled information together, looking back is helpful but not driving new forward vision
5 / REWORK the plan Sometimes breakdowns reveal that we need to make a new action step or a different promise. We’ve learned through our action and we need to adjust accordingly
- HOME: Sports practice conflicts with homework plan, kids wiped out after school. Move homework to evening and shift to 2 longer sessions rather than everyday
- HEALTH: Medical offices backlogged right now, make new goal of exercising 4x a week while I wait for dr. appointments
- PROFESSIONAL: Map what pieces I WANT for life in 2022. Capacity, time-off, workshops, client load, financial.
Methodical navigation week over week has been satisfying in helping me feel I’m consistently making progress, redirecting efforts as needed to keep momentum, and/or taking things off the list entirely if they don’t serve an end goal or experience I want to have ("How about never? Does never work for you?".
As we look back, we’ll be able to see how we were able to implement controlled flexiblity to our advantage — taking meaningful steps forward, adjusting and moving ahead into the life we want.