It’s no secret that this year has been…challenging. Just a year ago the first COVID vaccines were rolling out to front-line caregivers and those most at risk, and I shared in the general optimism that in 2021 we’d get past this Pandemic thing.
Thus, my plan for 2021 included all the ideas that had been abandoned in the wreckage of 2020, plus a few new items. Yes, it was going to be a Perfect Year!
Here we sit at the end of our second Pandemic Year, newly familiar with the Greek alphabet (alpha, beta, gamma, delta <yada yada> omicron!), languishing, the Hybrid Workplace, and supply chain woes.
After all that, I’m happy to see 2021 in the rearview mirror. Done is even better than Perfect!
Part 2: Transitions and Intentions
We human beings love to watch things in transition: sunrises and sunsets, the emergence of spring flowers, the foliage of autumn leaves, and the passing of one year to the next. The Roman god Janus (the doorkeeper, namesake of January) captures this with his two faces, one looking back and one looking ahead.
Let’s do that, shall we?
In this section I offer several tools to help you take stock of the past year and set intentions for the next.
My Annual Planning Kit
For nearly 20 years my wife, Cheryl, and I have set aside a day in January, just before she disappears into the tax season (she’s an accountant) for our annual planning event. We review the year past and appreciate what we accomplished and are grateful for. Next, we review our finances, then check in on our relationship with self and each other as we continue to evolve after 43 years.
Finally, we brainstorm Goals, Tolerations, and Intentions for the next year, and create a master list of upgrades and projects for our next year. Here’s the package we use and have shared over the years for you to build your own planning retreat. It’s work, and you’re worth it!
Jim’s Annual Planning Kit for Couples (pdf document)
Jim’s Annual Planning Kit for Individuals
Reflections from a Master Coach
Michael Bungay Stanier (aka MBS) is one of the world’s top coaches and I deeply admire his creative spirit and his skill at helping others (like me!) look at things from new perspectives.
In his final video message this year he offered four reflection questions that I’ve been working on for a few days. They are provocative, and I’ve found that each time I return to them, I have more responses. I’m sharing with you to explore.
- How has the past year been a gift to me? (It’s been a non-stop dumpster fire AND you’re still here. What have you learned, where did you stretch, what happened that might not have in a less tumultuous year?)
- What’s been a comfort to me? (What are the silver linings you’ve discovered? Because you could not do ABC, what XYZs emerged instead? A friend was able to spend two months with his terminally ill father before he died, because work-from-home.)
- Who do I love? (Go big on this one. Family & friends, of course. AND what about artists, leaders, poets, authors, chefs, role models, anyone else who’s made your life richer?)
- How am I a gift to the world? (Even if you impact only a tiny corner of the world, you DO! In what ways do you GIVE more than GET? Take credit for that)
Remember, Leadership is not about a title: Anyone can be a leader who holds a space for others to pause, reflect & learn, and design a future that they will love.
Part 3: Thanks, and Third Decade Ahead
And that’s a wrap on 2021. In January I’ll start my third decade of blogging. When I began writing (blogging, ezine, etc) 20 years ago I opened with a peculiar note: here’s how many words you’ll read and minutes you’ll need to invest. After posting ezine #200 last month I paused to do some Math: I’ve written over 410,000 words about Happiness, Leadership, Coaching, and perspectives on life. Thanks for reading along.
Be Merry and Happy as you race into the New Year!
Happiness Principle #8 is Stimulate Your Development, which is what you’re doing when you create a plan and set goals. For even more ideas to support your Happiness, Post this summary of The 13 Principles of Happiness on your fridge or wall and try one every month of the new year!