Effectiveness · Leadership · Planning · Principles

Intentional start to the new year

Each year I begin the month of January by carving out time to reflect on the past year and plan for the new one. The often hectic holiday season rarely provides me the opportunity to craft meaningful resolutions for the new year and I prefer to ponder these issues rather than rushing into commitments I probably won’t keep anyway.

As a fan of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (still one of the most life-changing books I’ve ever read – see my blog post here), this process involves thinking about the roles and aspects of my life and the goals I have in each. I think about my roles as father, husband, friend, and product leader and ask what few things would make the largest impact if I prioritized them this year. How can I communicate more clearly with my wife, my kids, and my colleagues? How can I invest most helpfully in these people to help make 2018 a great year for them?

And I think about the various aspects of my life – as a physical, intellectual, spiritual and social person – and think about what disciplines would keep me sharp and growing in the next 12 months. What books should I read, bad habits should I give up, or social media platforms should I spend regular time on? What will be both refreshing and stretching for me in 2018 so I can look back a year from now and feel content with the choices I made?

Setting goals for the year always feels hopeful for me; I enjoy thinking carefully about the way I want to live and learn and grow over the next 12 months. And because I share my goals with a few close friends I also know that there will be people encouraging me along the road toward achieving these goals. I hope you too can find the time to think about meaningful ways to pursue your goals in 2018. I know it won’t be easy (in truth it’s not that simple) but as Yogi Berra said, “If you aim for nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”

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