2023: A Better MeJan 09, 2023
A grandiose plan?
So here we are, already in the second week of 2023.
As I sat, pen in hand, mapping out some blog content for the next few weeks, the subject of planning inevitably featured heavily. Strategic planning, goal planning, every conceivable type of plan actually. And it reminded me of Oliver Burkeman’s column in The Guardian a few years ago.
Not strictly about planning, but about resolutions. He wrote that he was pleased that his column appeared a few days after new year, because “It means that, with a bit of luck, any readers unwise enough to have attempted some kind of grandiose ‘fresh start’ for the year ahead … will already have fallen off the wagon.”
And I wondered, how many of us begin the year with a ‘grandiose’ plan? Not really thinking clearly about how or when you will achieve it. Just writing something down that sounds okay(ish) and ticks the box on your to-do list item ‘set new year goals’.
Focus on what matters most.
Planning is in my DNA. The method of defining my EGGs – or Extraordinary Glorious Goals – and the requisite tasks and objectives by which to measure them is something that comes naturally (even if I do veer off piste; see The Right Kind of Chaos). But as my husband set off back to work with his trusted planner in hand (he’s the best example I’ve ever seen of how to plan to best effect, by the way) and I got back into the swing of my own work-life, I wondered what would happen if I didn’t plan.
What if I didn’t consider my EGGs?
What if I just waited until something exciting grabbed my attention, filling me with the energy and excitement I usually go about my work with?
Do it with passion or not at all. – Rosa Nochette Carey
And then Chris McChesney’s (author of The 4 Disciplines of Execution) voice quietly whispered in my head “Jane, remember there will always be more good ideas than there is capacity to execute.” And there you have it. The reason you need to narrow your focus.
So, whether your 2023 is about ‘doing’ or ‘being’, identify your potential goals, get really clear on the measures and outcomes and then work diligently towards those two or three EGGs with all the passion and energy you have and the rest will take care of itself, without the uncomfortable wagon-falling-off moments.
If you must retain a New Year resolution, resolve not to beat yourself up for failing to do more. – Oliver Burkeman
I’m not going to beat myself up. I’m not going to be unnecessarily hard on myself for not doing everything perfectly, or even at all in some cases. This year will be different not just because I will be doing different things, because I feel different. I know, of course, some plans will be abandoned and mistakes will happen, after all, it’s an inevitable part of learning and growth.
So, my one and only resolution, nay plan, for 2023 is to narrow the focus and be a ‘better me’.
Here’s to an extraordinary year ahead!