Last year, while our lives were thrown upside down, we coped and looked after one another. We realised: our capacity to adapt to change was far greater than we thought (truth is, we’re wired to challenge the status quo, make progress, and do better). We’re far more capable and resilient than we thought and COVID also gave us all the opportunity to re-evaluate, for ourselves, what’s important and what living true to that means.
Take these silver linings with you (mentioned above) into 2021
“Hello 2021. Please be a better year than last year” I can hear you saying!
How are you thinking about the year ahead and what you want to do, achieve, and have at the end? If you’re a blank sheet, still figuring it all out, or if your New Year’s resolutions are already taking a back seat, take the opportunity to work out a plan so you can carve your year by design rather than by chance – regardless of continued COVID uncertainty.
Live your life by design, not by chance
This week marks my first week back at work after taking a few weeks off. To be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to ‘getting back into it’ and I wasn’t sure why. I love what I do. What was wrong? Nothing. Other than a good old lack of motivation and facing some fear around a few things I’d put off last year. In short, my list of things I need to do felt heavy after being in holiday mode. Instead of getting on with it, I took a step back and revisited for my life, what did I want for this year? What were my measures for success (and what was driving these) for work and life?
Tasks and goals without ‘a why’ lack purpose
In answering the above questions I decided to take stock of what I cared about the most (which for you could be quite different), which included:
- Family and friends (my relationships with the people I love and care about the most)
- Flexibility (in how I work, the work I do, and who I work with so that work really works well for me)
- Wellness (in managing my blood condition and balancing my energy)
Within each area I then worked out how I wanted to ‘live’ my values in that area and what my goals were. Working out my goals was also framed by addressing new habits (my mentor Jane Anderson uses the phrase ‘cadence’ which talks to consistent action which I love) and letting go of some habits not doing my any favours.
With this clarity I felt my energy shift. I suddenly felt lighter after feeling burdened with so much to do.
What does your life by design look like for 2021?
Some things to remember:
- Success is never a straight line. Life is full of ups and downs which all provide opportunities to learn. Our mindset for learning (our learning lens) dictates our growth and development.
- Success is not a measure of your intelligence or potential although both will give you an advantage.
- Success is not the end point. It’s achieved by through a series of progress steps that create your journey. Your journey is the juice in life to enjoy!
- You’re not in control of everything that happens to you. But you do get to decide what matters to you and what success for you at work and in life looks like. No one else can live your life by design. No one else can empower you. It’s up to you.
- Fear doesn’t go away. New challenges and new goals always come with uncertainty and growth outside your comfort zone.
Courage will only show up in the face of fear
- Motivation matters, but grit and determination matter more when you face challenges.
- A plan is meaningless without the right actions to bring your plan to life. Don’t let busyness interfere with your priorities.
- Learn to like the things you don’t like doing that will help you achieve your goals. Reframing your perspective will enable you to see things differently.
The magic you’re looking for is in the work you’re avoiding
- If something is not working, have the sensory acuity to change what you’re doing and do something different.
Expecting a different result by doing the same thing over and over is Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity
Your ultimate success is the person you’re becoming and what you have to contribute to others.
How will you create your life – in and out of work – by design this year? I’d love to know.