How To Have Your Best Year Ever – Vision, Goals, And Pre-Week Planning
Welcome to our podcast listeners, wherever you might be in the world today. This is Steve Shallenberger, your host, and today, we are going to have the opportunity to talk about a set of principles that literally can transform and be a game-changer for our lives in this year to come.
I love this time of season. This is the season towards the end of the year. You go through October and you can sense things coming in November and there’s Thanksgiving and the holidays and it’s just a tremendous time.
On a whole another level of thinking, it is also a time of reflection because the year is coming to an end. And today, I’d like to talk about the stack of three leadership principles that allow transformation to take place, particularly, in our lives and relationships and professionally. This is a very exciting time because the process is, it’s this idea of leadership, especially Becoming-Your-Best type leadership that helps start creating what you want your world to be like in the future.
So, it’s living a life by design rather than a life by default. And you’re gonna live a life by default if you just, kinda, go from week to week, month to month, year to year and don’t really clearly see the vision and the direction you’re going, the way you design the vision and the direction that you desire to go, that you feel inspired to go from your heart.
And same with your goals, that then focus to specific actions that will take you in a direction and then each week, being able to really focus on the things that matter most every single day so that you live your life in balance, you live your life in peace, and you live your life in excellence and doing the things that you want to do. Then sometimes, if we have things we don’t want to do, we find a way to do them great anyhow and we find joy in those things because of the things we can accomplish.
To kind of put this all in context, one of the most interesting stories in the Bible tells of a blind man by the name of Bartimaeus who literally begged for his living by the roadside just outside of the city of Jericho. And when he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was about to pass by, he began calling for him and Jesus heard that Bartimaeus had asked for Jesus and he asked that he’d be brought to him.
Then Jesus said to him, “What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?” Well, the blind man had asked for many things from many people as had come down the road from Jericho, probably not many of which had really significant lasting value, but this time, he didn’t ask for some trivial thing or substenance. When Jesus said, “What wilt thou that I should do unto thee,” Bartimaeus replied, “Lord, that I might receive my sight.”
Wow, and that is the thing that we really need more than just about anything else in the world. We need vision, we need clarity, we need to have that mental victory before we achieve a physical victory, understanding, and appreciation. And often, we don’t see far enough, or clearly enough, or even soon enough. And the opposite of vision or annual goals is short-sightedness and when we have short-sightedness, it’s so easy, literally, to end up into a crisis-type mode in life.
And so the stack of three principles that can give us literally a mental victory before we have the physical victory, in reality, is… Principle number one is to lead with a vision, an inspiring vision that points to the direction we wanna go in life. Also, to set annual goals and third is to consistently do pre-week planning around your roles in life so that each week you say, “Okay, here are my key roles. Here is what I’m going to do that counts most, that is the most significant action that will help me realize my vision and annual goals and make a difference in doing the things that I want.”
It’s this pausing, taking a few minutes that’s really a game-changer. So, let’s start with this is the stack of three and this is why this time of year is so important because you’re able to reflect and say, “Okay, here’s my wins in my current year, but here is what I want to do in this coming year.”
So, your vision, it’s inspiring, points the way. Here’s just a couple of examples. I know that many of you are already going to have a clearly written vision because you’ve been working on becoming your best already. A part of my vision is that I am physically fit and I’m happy. I love to start each day and live life to its fullest. See that’s part of my vision. Another is… And you can do your vision by roles, too. That will really cause you to see it from the different dimensions and bring more balance to life.
For my vision in relation with my spouse, it is to help her feel like a 10. I mean, that is really inspiring for me as her partner to want to do that. I have a vision as a grandpa to be close to our grandchildren, etc.
So, in business is to be able to lift and build and help our associates realize their fullest and their best. Okay, so, what am I going to do this year? And that leads to our annual goals and that’s why this time of year is so exciting because we have in our vision in front of us, up there, that’s going to happen, a new year, a new fresh year.
And, so, what am I going to do to stay physically fit? And this is where you can sit back and say, “What represents really things that would be the best within me?” And sometimes, the ideas you have will take your breath away, but this is why you want to have your goals written down by your roles every year. This is an annual process. You could call it a ritual, you can call it something that happens, just a tradition, just like the holidays, but that’s what happens this time of year.
I know that I’m going to evaluate my goals for last year and then I’m going to find new goals that only I can do this new year. For me, this year coming up is 2018, but this will apply anytime for decades and centuries to come. It’s the principle that counts and it’s what takes us from good to better and better to best. So I know, for example, that I want to weigh a certain amount and that’s inspiring to me to get to that and that I am going to exercise so much and so I’ll actually put that down, make it specific and measurable.
Over the last three years, it’s been doing so many sit-ups and push-ups. Three years ago, it was to do 3,000 sit-ups and push-ups, 2 years ago, 5,000, this year, 7,500 and I’ve done them each year. But I didn’t think that was possible. I certainly didn’t think I could start out at 7,500, but this then is a specific thing I’ll do and that I wanna do in the coming year.
So you go through, set your goals write them down. You’re 90% more likely to accomplish something with clearly written goals and yet, the vast majority of people don’t even write their goals down. I mean, imagine if the United States Constitution was not written down, the mess we would be in today.
Well, that’s why it’s so powerful, is it creates a focus that you can see. So now, this stack of three principles opens the way to excellent leadership in your own life and as you apply these principles as a family and talk about them as a family and also with your teams and organizations. It’s exactly the same. It’s what really highly successful leaders do. And once you have your goals written, it’s written down, it’s just a checklist, it’s the stack of three principles, here’s my vision, you can ask yourself, “Does it inspire me?” And if not, keep working on it, if it does, then keep developing it and realizing it.
Number two is what are my annual goals? Remember the other better research that we found is that you’re 33% more likely to achieve your goals when you share them with another person. And, so who would you like to share your goals to that inspires you, that can lift you, and that by sending the goals that it makes you work hard, that you’re really after them, and by the end of the next year you’re not going to be flaky? I mean, this is something that you take seriously and a real bond develops with that person.
And then number three is as you’re going through the year, the process of pre-week planning and that is taking some time during the weekend. Now, the becoming your best planner is amazing because it actually outlines and helps lead you through being able to do that each week. Simply open the page…pardon me, and then enter your roles across the top and in the context of your vision and your annual goals, what are the most important actions for each one of these key roles in life and then when will I do it? Well, taking 20 minutes or 30 minutes to do this, sketch out your week, also is an inspirational process, but it’s how we get the rubber to the road of doing the things consistently that matter most in our life.
So that’s the stack of three things. Today, I happen to have a visit with a woman, a terrific woman, and she just finished her first book. She’s running a small company, a start-up, and she went to one of our two-day breakthrough leadership conferences just about five weeks ago, where she learned pre-week planning and, of course, she also learned this stack of three. She developed her vision, set her annual goals, and now she’s working on those things with pre-week planning.
But I was her accountability coach, she was mine, and so as we talked this morning, she said, “I just want you to know I have been doing the pre-week planning for the last four weeks in a row,” and she said, “It is changing my life.”
Well, it’s not hard, folks. It’s really not. It’s just making the focus to do it. To say, “This is going to be something that I do.” So as we look in the future, this is a grand time of year as we can reflect on the year that’s just passing and we get set for a great new year that’s coming. So how many of us wanna have our best year yet? How many of us wanna have the greater degree of happiness and joy and peace and prosperity in our life? Well, of course, we do and this is the recipe of how to get it done.
Now, you are making a difference wherever you are in the world right now and as you work on these things, that literally creates a light within you and it’s a light that grows as you do more and more of the things that you know are right for you and that bring these type of results. That take our good and make it better and our better best, that it intrinsically feels good. You feel right, you see the results, you see better relationships, you see works, tangible results, professionally and at your work. And it’s like one of our wonderful friends and clients said, “I have had, for the last eight months, each month has been my best month.” Well, that’s the result, that’s what comes from doing these kind of things.
So I am wishing you, each one of you, the very best as you wrap up this current year and as you get ready and apply the stack of three principles to create outstanding leadership in your life and elsewhere, your business, your organizations, with your teams, with your family in the year and years to come. This isn’t something we just do for one year, it’s a way of life that makes a difference. This is Steve Shallenberger with Becoming Your Best. Wishing you a great day.