This year, rather than blindly set resolutions as soon as the clock strikes midnight on January 1 (which I inevitably break by mid-month), I decided to take my time, go through Whitney English’s “Well-Designed Year,” & really think through where I want to focus my time & energy in 2017. I love that the “Well-Designed Year” guides you through setting goals that align with your principles, powers, & passions. While I used the “Well-Designed Year” last year, I went back through the process of uncovering my values & passions because those can change over time. I don’t want to get into the rut of focusing on the same goals year after year, even though those goals no longer align with what’s most important to me. I wasn’t surprised that many of my principles & passions were similar to last year, but there were a few changes. I used Tom Rath’s StrengthsFinder 2.0 to identify my powers & it was really cool to see myself so truly reflected in the results. It’s also interesting to see where the overlaps are: Learning & Thinking & Reading, Compassion & Fairness, Integrity & Responsibility, Balance & Harmony & Organizing.
After going through the process of identifying your principles, powers, & passions, you brainstorm all of your potential goals in each of 5 categories. These aren’t necessarily things that you have to accomplish in the next year, but an idea of what your ideal achievements would look like.
Once you brainstorm what you want to accomplish this year, you bring it all together as three “big ideas.” Rather than focusing on specific goals, the “big ideas” are your areas of focus for 2017. Many of my goals centered around my family & personal well-being, so two of my “big ideas” are my relationships & my health. My family, spiritual, & personal goals fit under those two areas. My third “big idea” is this little corner of the internet since it includes two of my big passions – fashion & writing. I love having a creative outlet & this year I really want to focus on my content.
Once you have your three “big ideas,” you have your core! I keep a copy in my Day Designer & hanging above my desk for easy reference throughout the year. Anytime I feel myself straying off course, I can refer back to my core values, strengths, & passions, plus my mission for the year to refocus myself.