Welcome to a new decade. You begin the 2020s with new opportunities for personal fulfillment. New decades often cause us to reflect deeper and consider the longer term. For those less successful, they don’t reflect or plan, but just keep plodding along expecting different results.
Personally, I’m starting the new decade with a spirt of generosity, at a time in life where I’ve been blessed to do what I absolutely love, help people realize their potential. Yes, I’ll continue to do it for a living, but what follows is a free, self-guided coaching session and it involves reflecting on and answering some questions in four simple yet powerful steps. As your coach, I ask nothing in return, yet would be honored to hear about any insights you gained should you execute on this process.
I personally did these four steps when I was starting my own business 14 years ago and 23 years ago with my wife, Leah, when we were pondering our new future together. I’m obsessive with a journal, and I can honestly say as I read the words I wrote back then, 80% of what I wrote became true. I did this with intention and truly identified what I wanted in live. I’ve enjoyed a fulfilling life with Leah and my consulting practice has grown every year.
As you get yourself in a place to reflect on these questions, here are some suggestions, based on 25 years of coaching:
- Begin with the end in mind. Without vision, your tangible actions might lead you down the wrong path and waste lots of time. Instead of taking any path that feels right in the moment, an inspiring vision of what success and fulfillment looks like in the future is what differentiates successful people from the mediocre.
- Take time to reflect. Once your vision is established, clearly consider the barriers that you will need to overcome that will keep you from the vision. A caution here; you might be so action oriented that you don’t take time to reflect. There is a huge difference between those that do reflect and those that don’t. This step helps you identify the gap between your vision and how you currently think and behave.
- Identify concrete, short-term, and specific actions. This will move you toward your vision and address the gap you just identified. Here is where many fail; they have a great vision, but no tangible actions or a scorecard. It’s like playing any game where you don’t keep score which gets boring and you lose engagement. Identify specifically what action you will take, by when, and how you will measure success.
- Write down your vision and concrete actions and identify an accountability partner. As an executive coach, I often get to perform this role, but also suggest that you identify a trusted co-worker or friend who will put your feet to the fire and call you out on your actions.
Now, the four steps. These will sound like common sense. However, common knowledge is seldom common practice. I encourage you to read the questions, write down your responses, then read them out-loud to yourself and someone else. Review them over the next month and revise them as needed. Spend a good hour – at least 15 minutes with each step.
- What will success and fulfillment look like for me as I look back on December 31, 2029?
- What are my current patterns of thinking and behavior that work against this success, and those that move me toward success and fulfillment?
- After I brainstorm a list of actions to get me there, what are 3-5 specific, concrete, and measurable actions that I can commit to doing that will overcome negative patterns and reinforce the new patterns to get me to my vision of success and fulfillment?
- What one, specific action can I take within the next 24 hours to move me toward this success, and who will be my accountability partner?
All the best in the decade ahead! Let me know how it goes!