Like many small business owners I’m using January to reflect and plan (and do my tax return at the last minute).
I’m someone who loves reflection time. In fact, it can be a bit of a weakness. I can spend so much time reflecting and mulling and planning that I forever put off the doing. And of course action is needed. It’s how we get things done, how we learn, how we get braver. I’ve seen that for myself.
I reckon we need both: thinking and doing. But I’ve loved having the holiday time to mull, percolate, dream…
There are lots of ways to plan. Here are three of my favourites:
- Set a goal and work backwards to reverse engineer it
- Work out what resources you have (time, money, people, tech) and how you can use them to best effect
- Picture your ideal life and unpick what’s in it, then make changes to get there.
I like all of these, and use them.
But here’s what I like to do first. I figure out what’s important to me, under it all. The principles or values that run through how I like to live my life.
Getting to grips with my values, and then putting them into practice is the number one way I feel at peace with myself. And, full of energy too. Like I’m working with, not against myself.
So, every now and then I take the time to check-in on my values, on what’s important to me. I get those things clear, then set my goals from there.
Here’s what’s important to me as we turn the page from 2017 to 2018 (putting it here makes me accountable to you and to me too!):
I’ve surprised myself here, but faith is my anchor word of the year. 2017 was a bit of an eye-opener in lots of ways. Most of all I learned I didn’t have all the answers. I never will. I’m recovering from spending most of my life with a fear of failure. Fear of failure makes you want cast-iron guarantees things are going to work out the way you want. Life doesn’t give you those.
What faith gives me is confidence that I can handle it. Faith in myself. I’ve realised faith is an active, not a passive word. And there’s a second dimension too – faith in the world out there. That the people I meet, the ideas I have, the unseen forces at work have their parts to play too. And to go with them.
I did a lot of system and project management in my old job. Lots of keeping lots of balls in the air. Looking back, it wasn’t remotely suited to me. I enjoyed some of the people and projects I worked with, but I felt most at home when I had the freedom to run with something on my own and see what happens. So when I left that job with its project plans and business cycles, I downed tools on the organisational front. It was something of a rebellion. I let what happened happen. Not missing client deadlines, of course! But very much ‘going with the flow’.
And it was fun. But it makes life harder. It meant I was dealing with what was in front of my nose or shouting the loudest, rather than looking forward to where I want this business to go, how I want this life to go.
So I’m embracing more planning and organisation this year. Knowing it’s there to free me up not clog me up. Does this contradict with operating from a basis of faith? I don’t think so. A dose of organisation can bring more freedom that I thought.
People who get you, who’ve got your back, who challenge you, who combat your loneliness, who say ‘yes you can!’ when you’re wobbling, who call you out or check-in on you when you’re hiding. People urging you forward. A place you can be honest. It’s like being hoisted up the mountainside. It’s magical. More of this in 2018 please.
The word ‘abundance’ is all over the place. Usually compared to scarcity – we need to have an abundant not a scarcity mindset, that sort of thing. I think abundance and scarcity are two sides of the same coin. To me, they have the same feel to them – lots or little, either end of the scale. Whereas ‘enoughness’ (if there is such a word) is such a strong place to be. To feel that you are enough, that you have enough – richness indeed. Plus the ‘I’ve had enough’ aspect of understanding your boundaries and when you need to walk away from someone or something that’s harming you. So that under-rated, little ‘enough’ word is going to be my trusty sidekick in 2018.
What about you?
I’m not going to tell you what the hot trends are for your business in 2018. You’re the expert in you. But I can help you get to grips with what you stand for so you can spell it out loud and clear.
And then you can be damn sure whatever you create, launch, put out there will come from such a place of strength, honesty, integrity and you-ness that only good will come from it. Even if it doesn’t quite work out as you expect. And that the people who read it will know damn sure whether you’re for them or not. And that can only ever be a good thing.
If you want to get clear on what you’re about and who for, let’s talk! Contact me to book a free 30 minute chat and we’ll sort out the wood, trees and shrubbery.
Come and join us, and start the year strong. By defining you.