[Continuing the short series of posts around themes common to New Year thoughts and change programmes.]
I’ve spent lots of time and effort in the past defining some ideal future and then mapping/planning how to achieve it. It rarely works. I certainly always found it frustrating that the plan was never really implemented – and put it down to a flaw in my own character. Either my planning was bad, I wasn’t clever enough or I wasn’t implementing it properly – not persistent/hardworking/effective enough.
These days I’ll put some time into thinking about where I’d like to be, but by looking backward from the end of the year, not by looking forward from the start. So, instead of writing “What I will achieve in 2008” I’ll imagine myself at New Year’s Eve 2008 and write about “What I have achieved in 2008”. It makes for a far more realistic view of the year.
Instead of some ideal list of things that, when totted up, require more hours than are available and become depressing when they’re not realised, a “What I did in 2008” list acquires a greater sense of reality and realistic expectation. It’s also then easier to work backwards, building up the “what happened when” links, as opposed to working forwards trying to arrive at some hypothetical ideal. [More on hypothetical ideals tomorrow]