If you’re like me, you’ve been doing a lot of thinking this week.
Three questions keep coming to mind:
- How did a year of my life just pass so quickly?
- Can 2016 hurry up and go before it takes another awesome human?
- How can I make 2017 the best year of my life?
One of the major interests in my life is learning from high achievers and what they do in their personal and professional lives. Then I try to apply those best practices in my life as a husband, father, and social worker.
Michael Hyatt is an author and blogger with an über popular course 5 Days To Your Best Year Ever. In Hyatt’s short e-book Achieve What Matters In 2017, he interviews and shares strategies that high achievers and influencers in different industries use in their lives.
In today’s post, I’ve outlined their three most important strategies you can use to start your year right.
You ready? Let’s do this.
Strategy 1: Reflect on the past year
Successful social workers take a strengths-based approach to their lives.
Strengths= Something you do effectively.
I suggest that when you spend more time in your strengths, you increase your odds of winning.
Wins= Things and events going right for you.
Most of the wins in my life happen when I spend time using my strengths.
Reflecting (and focusing) on what went right in 2016 is critically important to having more wins in 2017.
Surprisingly, you have to work harder to tease out the positive events.
Research shows humans have a strong negativity bias:
We tend to remember negative events more intensely and accurately than positive events.
You may need as many as 5 positive memories to counterbalance one negative memory.
😀😀😀😀😀 vs 😞
Ask yourself two primary questions:
What went right in 2016?
What went wrong in 2016?
The answers to those questions will guide your 2017 planning.
Because you may need more help remembering the positives, think about:
- What brought me joy?
- What did I have fun doing?
- What made me laugh?
Also, scroll through the places where you record your life to trigger wins and losses. Review each month for what worked and what didn’t.
For example here are some of the things I review during reflection time:
Journal: I journal daily with my Self Journal. It has a page where I record daily wins. Somedays wins are harder to find than others.
Calendar: If I take action on something, it’s almost always on my calendar. I look through each month for reminders.
Photos/Videos: The picture albums on my phone and computer are a surprisingly rich source for wins. Facebook and Instagram are also prime targets for reflection.
Strategy 2: Eliminate excess (and the darlings)
I heard this idea recently and it stuck with me:
“You can do anything. . . you just can’t do everything.”
Here’s the deal:
No matter how rockstar a social worker you are, you cannot do everything you want to do.
Now is the time to be ruthless with prioritizing what is really important to you.
If your year looked like mine, it included a multitude of tasks and projects:
Some were enjoyable, some were painful.
Darlings= things you like doing 😎
Haterlings= things you hate doing 😩
If any actions helped move you toward achieving a goal, keep rocking them in 2017.
But if any of those endeavors didn’t bring you a win, they gotta go.
The bottom line is, whether haterling or darling, if it is working. . . keep doing it.
Bestselling author Jeff Goins shares insight in Hyatt’s ebook:
Eliminating the haterlings that don’t help you make sense. Duh.
The real challenge:
Eliminating the darlings that aren’t delivering the results you want.
- Binge watching Stranger Things on Netflix on the couch when you want to lose twenty pounds.
largeobscene amounts of time checking Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
- Sleeping late instead of carving out quiet time to pray, meditate, and journal.
Strategy 3: Schedule the year
Spend some focused time planning 2017 before the new year gets fully kicked off.
Jen and I are committing several hours over the next few days to map out the coming year.
We will think through the biggest goals we want to accomplish in 2017: as a family, individually, and for Social Worker Success.
Family: Take a week-long trip to someplace we’ve never been.
Jen: Do a yoga headstand by the end of the year.
Nate: Read at least one book a month.
Social Worker Success: Launch our first online course.
Focus on the hardest edges first. Outline dates and important events that are already set.
We are parents and work full-time day jobs, so school and work calendars influence a lot of the flow for our year.
Another important time of the year for Social Workers is coming in March, Social Work Month 2017: Social Workers Stand Up!
Stay tuned for what Social Worker Success will be bringing to the party this March.
You probably aren’t too surprised by these strategies. Most of the suggestions border on obvious. I’ve found just because the answer is obvious, doesn’t mean I actually do it or it comes easily.
However, I’ve found just because the answer is obvious, doesn’t mean I actually do it or that it comes easily.
- Make a time for reflection.
- Identify wins and losses.
- Do more of what is working.
- Eliminate what isn’t working.
- Realize you cannot do everything.
- Kill your darlings.
- Schedule your priorities.
- Breakdown your year into manageable chunks.
- See your big picture so you can act with purpose.
Talk to you in 2017!