Blink! Blink! Blink! There goes another year.
There are so many clichés about how time goes by so fast – and as you as you go down the journey of life, it seems to go faster and faster. I can’t tell you how true this is.
I really want to challenge you, in the next couple of weeks, to put some serious thought into what you want in the next year, the next few years – and the rest of your existence on this planet.
What achievements, experiences and legacy do you want to produce, in order for you to know and feel satisfied about what you’ve accomplished? To sit down, 30 years from now, and know this has been a life well lived, according to your own measures.
One of the biggest challenges, that many successful people face, is the struggle to ensure they get the achievements that matter in all areas of life. In my new book Your Oxygen Mask First – which is written for high-performing leaders to achieve and enjoy the ride – I’ve solved this dilemma with one simple formula.
Instead of just thinking about your goals for work, make sure you get clear on how much of your best energy – your passion units – you dedicate to your work, yourself and your life. (Chapter 1 of the book with help you with this.)
First, some Master Plan definitions:
Work – Everything you do professionally, including social events that are related to work, clients and colleagues. Anything about making money.
Self – Things you do just for yourself because they replenish and make you stronger. If you don’t invest energy in the ‘self’ category, you diminish your capacity to invest passion in work and life. Most leaders frequently and dangerously ignore this mission-critical category.
Life – These are the people and causes that matter to you most outside of work – including family, friends, charitable activities and the like. The time and energy spent here has nothing to do with furthering your business interests. It’s about other things you love.
This is about fully experiencing enthusiasm in all aspects of your life – work, self and life – and consciously choosing how much to allocate to each area. If you have 100 units of passion to spend every week, you won’t feel great spending 99 of them at work – or your relationships and health will suffer, you’ll feel depleted, and you’ll limit your ability to make clear, smart decisions. (More on this in a future blog. For now, you can figure out your ideal passion ratios, in a simple exercise in Chapter 2 of my book.) Hint: start with your Self first.
Where most of us fall down is that, somehow, we get sucked down into one area, too much, and don’t give our best to others. Where high performing leaders suffer is the area of Self – until they get a rude wake up call, and end up in a critical situation.
Your Master Plan
The tool that I want you to spend time on is My Master Plan (download here) which is broken down into three simple parts:
- Page 1 – The Annual Review: Questions to help you reflect on 2017: What was great, and what might make the next year better?
- Page 2 – The Master Plan: What the ultimate goal is for your lifetime? What would make things twice as good in three years, and what you want to achieve the coming year? The key is that this is done for the three key areas – Work, Self, Life. In fact, (once the initial madness settles down), the holidays are great time to do this exercise with your spouse family or friends – to work on your envisioned future together. Each of you can talk about what your ‘Self’ columns look like, so that you can support one another.
- Page 3 – The Plan for the Quarter: Starting with the amount of your passion ratio for each area, (how much energy you want to allocate for each area), and the #1 project or goal you want to achieve.