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09 Feb

Three decisions to be happy about for the rest of the year

Datum: 2022-02-09 15:56

A new year has just begun. Even if we live in a con­tin­u­ous flow of time, the new year still rep­re­sents some kind of ven­ture point. We leave the year that passed behind us and open up for what the new year has to offer. We can look back and sum­ma­rize what hap­pened dur­ing the last 12 months, and take the first steps on the path we have cho­sen for the year to come.

A clean slate
Speak­ing for myself, I some­times per­ceive that clean slate which the new year sym­bol­izes as some­thing oblig­at­ing. How do we make the most of the oppor­tu­ni­ties we will be giv­en to devel­op our busi­ness dur­ing the year to come? What will be most impor­tant? What should I pri­or­i­tize and focus on above any­thing else?

In a world over­flow­ing with pod­casts, mag­a­zines and nifty lec­ture-videos it is easy to get lost amongst the innu­mer­able options and pos­si­bil­i­ties avail­able to us. There is just so much to choose from and so many things we could focus on. And we might feel that there are so many things oth­ers are doing which we should be doing as well. If we make the addi­tion­al mis­take of sub­con­scious­ly assum­ing that all of these achieve­ments done by dif­fer­ent peo­ple are some­how being done by a sin­gle indi­vid­ual, it can feel as if every­one else are doing what we cur­rent­ly are not, and by not doing what they are doing, we are falling behind” (at least if you are some­what like me).

You are already progressing
At the same time as this appar­ent win­dow of oppor­tu­ni­ty opens with the begin­ning of the new year, your busi­ness is already mov­ing along as usu­al. E‑mails keep com­ing in, and you are already com­mit­ted to deliv­er­ing results to clients. So when it comes down to it, we might not have as much extra space as we think for inno­va­tion and renewal.

Let us there­fore make things simple.

As I see it, we only need to deter­mine three things in the begin­ning of the year:

  • If we are gen­er­al­ly head­ing in the right direction
  • How far we want to get this year
  • What changes we want to focus on which will enable us to reach our goals

Do this
If you want to make a few deci­sions which will ben­e­fit you through­out the rest of the year, then do this:

  1. Take out your vision. It could be the vision which con­cerns the entire busi­ness, your par­tic­u­lar area of respon­si­bil­i­ty, or your­self. (If there isn’t a vision avail­able and you want tips on how to define one, I have pre­vi­ous­ly writ­ten about this process here and here.)
    • Skim through the vision and under­line all aspects which are no longer rel­e­vant. They might for instance no longer be attrac­tive since you have gained oth­er expe­ri­ences along the way which have guid­ed you in new directions.
    • Notice aspects which are miss­ing in the vision and which you and your orga­ni­za­tion might need to take into consideration.
    • When the descrip­tion of the vision feels accu­rate and updat­ed, you can leave it aside for now. You have now reestab­lished the desired long-term result of all your efforts. If the vision you refer to in your work is that of the entire orga­ni­za­tion, then this would of course be some­thing you do togeth­er with your col­leagues dur­ing one or a few meet­ings, rather than alone at your desk.

  2. Now set a hand­full of goals which you think could be good inter­me­di­ate goals and mile­stones to strive for through­out the next year on your path towards final­ly attain­ing the vision. Three or four might be a good num­ber to start with. If you set more they might be dif­fi­cult to remem­ber and will then not influ­ence how you pri­or­i­tize tasks on a day to day basis. If you have been assigned goals to attain by for instance your boss, then you should still select three or four which con­sti­tute the most impor­tant ones to strive towards. You need the goals to pri­or­i­tize, and to get more of the impor­tant tasks done since they will help you say no to tasks which might be urgent but not important.

  3. Final­ly choose a few change‑, improvement‑, and devel­op­ment-projects on which to focus dur­ing the next few months until they are com­plet­ed. If you choose too many at once they will all take longer to com­plete. Dur­ing last year I set a lim­it for myself of work­ing on a max­i­mum of sev­en projects simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, but dur­ing this year I will lim­it myself to five at most. Sep­a­rate the cho­sen projects from the (thus far not pri­or­i­tized) rest of the projects on your overview of more exten­sive tasks and projects. This way it will be no doubt as to what to work on first.

Take aim and have faith
If you set your course for your work dur­ing 2022 ear­ly in the year, it will become eas­i­er to pri­or­i­tize in your every­day life and work. You will deter­mine what offers and requests to accept and which to decline faster; regard­less if it con­cerns tasks oth­ers ask you to do or some­thing some­one sug­gest you purchase.

You will find that you work with greater focus and con­cen­tra­tion. Con­fi­dent­ly you take steps towards where you want to ulti­mate­ly go.

What is your way?
What are your best meth­ods for set­ting the course for the year to come? Please share!