As we pass Midsummer’s Day 2021, it is a good time to reflect on what we have achieved so far this year, be honest about we are now, and set some stretching goals and objectives for what we are aiming to achieve for the rest of the year.
For many, the past eighteen months have been very different from anything that has happened to us in the past. Some of us have lost loved ones. Others have lost jobs. Yet others have been forced to take really tough business decisions that we never expected we would have to make.
In contrast, for some lucky folks, these times of change have presented new opportunities to change direction and grow. I have often found in life that the greatest opportunities present themselves in the times when things seem darkest. Just as the dawn precedes the coldest part of the night.
Through all these ups and downs in life, the one thing that I have found most useful throughout any period of change is to take one week out every 3 months to reflect and re-orientate myself. To give me (and those close to me) an opportunity to a complete a frank and honest self-assessment of what’s I’ve done that has worked, what I want to celebrate, what I want to change so that I can focus my precious time, energy and effort over the next 12 weeks into the things that I love.
It sounds a bit “corporate” , I suppose, but IT REALLY WORKS!
I have three broad areas that I create new agreements on where I want to focus. I take one sheet of A4 paper for each. The three areas of objectives and agreements that I have are:
- The well-being of myself and my close family
- Work-related projects
- The wider community
For each of the three areas, I pick one (or a maximum of three) objectives that I want to focus on in the next three months. The trick then is to write them down! It is well known that one of the major factors that separate successful people from less successful people is that the former write down their goals and objectives and are crystal clear on what they want to achieve. I would suggest that success is impossible without a clear set of written objectives which are time-bound and specific and meaningful to you as the ultimate designer.
Further, given that we live in such an interconnected world, most of these objectives will require the energy, input and skills of others to achieve them. So another key factor is creating agreements with yourself and others as to how you will achieve those objectives.
This all sounds simple, but many people find loads of excuses not to do this type of exercise on a regular basis. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it! Personally, I’ve tried loads of apps and pieces of software – but at the end of the day, I always seem to come back to pencil and paper – which I then type up into a final draft which I print out and refer to daily.
Like any discipline, it requires practice, practice, practice. However, if you take these ideas and adapt them for your own needs, I’m sure they will give you a more successful three months ahead, where you find more meaning and purpose for yourself and those around you – whatever challenges present themselves.
In future articles, I will outline how I define these objectives and agreements in more detail and how I’ve created a personal support network of “circles” which help me achieve my objectives. I would love to extend an invitation to you to join one of these circles. Please message me if you are interested or leave a comment below if you have other tips and tricks you would like to share on how you set and achieve your objectives.