With the very unpredictable year of 2020 coming to a close it can be hard to look ahead at 2021 with any kind of a game plan in mind.
But who are you going to listen to? Your own human pinball experience of the past year or Benjamin Franklin? Yeah, the kite guy. Benjamin Franklin, one of the most founding of our Founding Fathers, said “By Failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Ben doesn’t want you to fail and neither do I.
So what are we going to do about it? Let’s start by looking at The Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
For 2021, keep your focus on the things you can change.
To narrow your focus we’re going to need a goal. One thing I like to do each year that has made a big difference for me is to choose one single word for the year. This provides a focal point. In fact, my word for 2020 was exactly that, “Focus,” and it worked out perfectly.
Once you have your word for the year, take the time to get creative and make a vision board.
Cut pictures and phrases out of magazines or print them out of your computer and paste them onto a board. It may seem childish to some people to cut and paste like a first-grader, but I assure you it is a very effective and tangible way to explore the nuances of your word. It really brings your word into – dare I say it? – focus. I like to keep my vision board flexible for the first month or two so I can change it and rearrange it until I know it’s just right for me.
Place your board someplace where you will see it often.
I keep mine at my workspace so my intent for the year stays with me where I want it to work its magic on my business interests. I know a woman who keeps hers in her walk-in closet so she’ll be sure to see it every day and be reminded to maintain her spiritual practices and outlook. The person who first encouraged me to do this has used words like Trust, Love, and Connection.
With your word giving you a center point create some goals that support the central idea of the word.
If like me, you’re in business, you’ll want goals that move your business ahead. Do you need to make new contacts? Get more clients? Improve your social media reach? Improve relationships with your staff and co-workers? Hone your skills so you can move up the ladder? Step out of the background and get noticed by your higher-ups?
You can also increase the Teflon qualities of your business so you’re more resilient when the next major business disruption comes along.
You’ve had practice at this now. You want your business to be like Gumby so anything that improves your flexibility and agility will help. Simplify your supply chain, expand your online and distance abilities, have Plan B, Plan C, and Plan D ready to increase your readiness for any situation that comes along.
Make a few of these goals the keystones of your plan, but don’t forget to put some personal goals in there as well.
Your life isn’t all about work and “To Do’s.” It’s also about health and love, so add some goals that are less about “doing” and more about “being.” After all, we’re human beings, not human doings, right? Financial goals might not be the first things that jump out at you when you think about love and health, but anything that boosts your savings is a big help since the lower stress levels that come with having a comfy financial cushion are always a boon to health and positive relationships.
Go ahead and brainstorm all kinds of ideas and jot them all down.
I like to set the timer for ten minutes and try to get twenty different rapid-fire ideas down before the ding! Write down everything, no matter how crazy it sounds! I always get a few wildly improbable ideas to laugh at, but then there are some brilliant gems I never would have come up with in a million years of deep thought. Look at your list and pick a few – just a few—realistic goals to go with for the year. I love the S.M.A.R.T. Goals plan for creating goals that beg to be achieved in a timely manner without dragging on for years and years.
Incorporate your goals onto your vision board with a little changing and rearranging and know what you’ve got? Your own personal vision for 2021!
See? That wasn’t so hard after all, was it? And if 2021 brings something unexpected, just remember The Serenity Prayer and accept the things you cannot change, wrap your courage tightly around you and go change the things you can. If selling your old house and buying a new home is on your agenda, count me in! I’m here to help you find the home that checks all your boxes. I’m Stephen Burchard, The Desert Bowtie Realtor, taking the (k)nots out of real estate.