“The best day to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best day is today.”

Q1 is in the books. Rearview mirror, baby.

And, it’s not too late to make 2022 the best year of our lives.

I need one hour of your time. Nine months from now, you may look back on this hour as one of the most important hours of the year.

Because with this hour, we will make real progress on making 2022 the best year of your life. We will take action on what writer Trent Hamm calls “a real plan for a better life?”

Ready? Here we go.  

Step one (2 minutes): Decide to focus this hour on either your personal or professional goals. Where are the most significant opportunities for you right now? Where’s the heat? Where are you most focused? What’s most important right now? 

Make a decision: personal or professional. [Don’t worry: You can always choose to spend a second hour working on the other area later on…]

Step two (15 minutes): Write down where you currently stand in this area of your life.

*Do I generally feel good about it, or not so good? Why?  

*What parts of this area are going well right now? What’s good about this area?

*What makes me happy?  

And then: What isn’t working?  

*What makes me sad?

That’s step two. That’s it. Not so bad, right?

On to Step three (15-minutes): Look into the future and envision what your life would look like in five or ten years if you saw some significant progress in this area of your life.  

Ask: “If I put in a few hours a week into this area of my life for the next few years, what might I achieve? For example, if I were to exercise for three hours a week for the next five years, what would that look like in terms of my physical body?” writes Trent. “Nothing world-breaking, but something I’d be very happy with.”

Write a paragraph or two or three about what life would be like if you were to find reasonable success from your efforts in this area.  

The key? Focus on actions that you control.

That’s step three. Together, steps two and three have created a gap between our current state and our desired future state. That’s a good thing. Our subconscious mind does not like this gap and will go to work closing it. Which is one of the key reasons goal-setting works.

Time for step four (You guessed it: another 15-minutes).  

Pen ready? Make a list of ten, fifteen, or twenty specific things you could do to move your life from where it is now toward your desired future outcome. What action steps and projects could you take on over the next few years to move from point A to point B?  

The goal? Volume! The more ideas, the better! At this stage, you are not committing to any of these actions. So, get as many thoughts and ideas on paper as possible. We are listing as many as possible to uncover the very best ideas. Write as many as you can.  

Again, focus on actions you control.  

Step five: Rest. Put your pen down for 5 minutes. We are going to let our plan marinate for a few minutes.

Step six (8-minutes): Review what you’ve written. Feel free to add a few more ideas or edit what you have.  

Now, select 3-5 big things you are most excited. Commit to doing these things this year.

“Look for ones that really ring out to you as exciting and meaningful,” Trent suggests. “What ones really seem as though they’d produce great results? What ones seem like they’d be incredibly powerful to actually execute?”

Decide 2022 will be the year of these things.

Write them down, making them into SMART goals – specific, measurable, aligned with your life vision, realistic, and timely. 

Final suggestion: Block out a recurring 30-minute weekly appointment on your calendar between now and the end of the year to review your goals and plot out action items to make them happen.

More next week!


Reflection: What are the 3-to 5 specific actions or projects I am most excited about taking on this year?

Action: Make a plan to review your list once a week and look for the next step to realize these goals.

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