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Are You Ready For 2012?

By Ken and Lee Estridge

Are you Ready for 2012?

For many individuals and organizations, being "ready" for 2012 means updating their version of, "How will we roll with the day-to-day demands of our activity?" While it's true that cultivating an ability to roll with the punches is useful and important, it's only one component of getting ready for 2012. We thought we'd take a moment of your time to share an exercise that will help you be deliberate about planning your 2012 personal and professional goals.

Schedule One Hour for Yourself

Setting aside one hour sounds simple, but it can be elusive to many of us, so be sure to book the hour as if it were an appointment or a meeting. Think of this time as an investment in your future, not a simple "to-do list" exercise. Be sure that you have at least an hour, and that you have given yourself permission to honestly work through the exercise. Now, turn off your phone and grab something to write on.

The Four Directions

  1. Look back:
    1. What worked well in the past year?
    2. What didn't work well and why?
    3. What surprised you?
    4. Who or what disappointed you?
    5. Who or what delighted you?

  2. Look inward:
    1. What activities gave you the greatest joy and satisfaction?
    2. Who or what are you most thankful for?
    3. What activities were a bad use of your time and that you wish you could've delegated or dropped?
    4. If you could have cloned yourself, what would your other "You" have done?
    5. What did you learn that was useful to you and  how did you put it to use?

  3. Look outward:
    1. How did the world change during the past year?
    2. How is it likely to change over the next year?
    3. What new opportunities are likely to emerge?
    4. How has the competitive landscape changed?

  4. Look forward:
    1. What do you want more of in your life?
    2. What do you want less of?
    3. Who do you want to spend more time with?
    4. What are the most important things you want to accomplish?
    5. What do you need to learn?
    6. What is your action plan for realizing your goals?
    7. What support do you need to accomplish your goals and move your life and work forward?

Healthy Habit: Reflection and Planning

After you've written up your answers, share them with a trusted friend, colleague, or family member. This will help you feel accountable to yourself and will provide some reality testing about your plan. Be sure to re-read and think about your plan at least once a month. In many ways, reviewing your plan for 2012 will become a mantra of sorts that you can use to help you move through challenging moments during the year. Ultimately, you will use your 2012 plan as a jumping off point for thinking about 2013.

Thanks for your readership and Happy Thanksgiving,
Ken and Lee