* Mountains picture by Tobias Rademacher via Unsplash

If you don’t know what you want, you’re probably not going to get it.

So to help you figure things out here are three things that helped me:

Exploring Personal Priorities

Please find a calm place, take some time and ask yourself:

  1. For 2021 to be your best year ever it would be like what?
  2. For 2021 to be like that – you’d like to be like what?
  3. For 2021 to be like that and for you to be like so – what support do you need?

Write down your answers and explore a bit:

  • What kind of …?
  • Is there anything else about …?
  • How will I know?
  • And when …, what happens next?

I’m sure it will help you clarify your priorities.

Seeing the Big Picture

In order to have a big picture overview of my whole life and make more detailed planning easier I like to keep a list of highest level priorities against which all other ideas can be judged.

For each area I add 4-10 statements describing what I want to have happen (or keep happening) in that area.

For example mine are:

  1. Healthy & Fit
  2. Happy Family & Good Friends
  3. Satisfying Career Pursuing Freedm, Purpose and Relationships
  4. Responsible Upkeep = Taking Good Care of Things
  5. Having Fun, Playing Games, Exploring

Some areas contain a checklist of sub-areas I need to take care of individually. For example Healthy & Fit contains:

  • Healthy, delicious, ethical and ecological food
  • Movement: strength, energy, flexibility
  • Mental health
  • Sleep
  • Teeth
  • Healthchecks

Some areas have more general aspirational statements like in Career:

  • I’m enjoying financial and creative freedom.
  • I’m energized by several productive partnerships with high-competence and high-integrity professionals.
  • We’re making people’s lives observably better.

What this is doing for me is that it makes other decisions easier and lowers my overal anxiety about things.

When a topic comes up I put it in the appropriate area and relate it to the main outcomes that I want in that area – a lot of the time that thing I was worrying about is in one of the lower categories or is not an obstacle to the things I really want, so I don’t need to ruminate on it too much.

Also when I scan the whole list it gives me a sense of calm that I’m not forgetting something important.

What about you?

  1. What are your top areas that you want to take care of in 2021?
  2. For each area: what are the main outcomes or sub-areas you care about most?
    1. If you have many, what are the top 10?
    2. … top 3?
    3. … top 1 in each area?

Breaking Down Ambitious Goals

Another tactic that I’m playing with is the concept of progressions simplified to three levels as described by Mirek Burnejko.

It helps bridge the gap between ambitious goals, and achievable milestones on your way to that ultimate reward.

For example in fitness my fantasy is to be able to do a full press to handstand, but if I just think about that goal it seems too far away and I end up not doing much. So I broke it down and now I’m working towards a much more realistic 60 sec wall handstand. After I hit that goal I can take on the next challenge and in that way build momentum on a multi-year journey that the full press will take:

  • Level 1) 60 sec wall HS (I’m close)
  • Level 2) 30 sec free HS + HS Pirouette (I’ll be happy to hit this in 2021)
  • Level 3) Press to HS (this will likely take multiple years)

Another example is the three levels of aspiration for my coaching & teaching work:

  • Level 1) Help individual people be happy & effective
  • Level 2) Help teams create and learn together
  • Level 3) Foster thriving communities

The ultimate expression of success in this areas is thriving communities, but it’s helpful to focus on the building blocks first which is individuals and then teams.

How would you break down your most relevant ambition?

See you in 2021!

MichaΕ‚