What do you want from life?
This question often consumes our thoughts during difficult periods, but often our reflex is either decisions of survival or sticking with the status quo. I know how that goes: change is often scary and uncertain. Even though the potential for some level of success is high, the risk of failure seems to win in grabbing the spotlight of our attention.
Yet a unique opportunity arises during the transition to a new year: we can compartmentalize the past 12 months in a more objective way. Searching out patterns and pitfalls from the past year, each person can learn from those events and create a plan for the new year. Then on January 1, we can start a brand new journey forward.
A Journey of 365 Miles
As you set goals for this next year, perhaps approach it in a new way to lessen the stress, like equating it to something more fun: a road trip!
In which direction do you want that 365 mile path to point?
- Something beautiful like the beach? (Something peaceful after a tough year)
- Something challenging, perhaps climbing through mountain passes? (Exercise plan and getting healthy? Preparing for a promotion at work?)
- Something new, such as a new direction you’ve dreamed about but never enacted? (New business? New hobby?)
- Something enriching, such as going to historical monuments (new training) or making it a group road trip? (New relationships)
Packing for the Trip
What things would you need to plan for and pack?
- Cost of the journey? (Save up money for that a business start up or schooling.)
- Special maps or instructions? Perhaps from someone who has been there before? (Books teaching the skills you’re aiming to learn this year, searching out for a mentor or special coach.)
- Where will you get gas? (Areas and times in your plan for the year for you to recharge and get inspiration knowing you’ll need some reprieve during challenging and frustrating times.)
- Are there stops along the way where you want to see some new sites? Because a journey can involve multiple goals. (Example: as you endeavor to lose weight and get healthy, you might join a running group and meet people, or start hiking scenic areas in your area.)
- Do you have a plan once you get to your destination? While it’s true you can decide that during your trip, having a rough idea of that next step can help you stick with your journey and not bail early. Who knows? You might reach your goal much sooner than the end of the year, and should be ready for the next step!
- What happens if you break down part way into the trip? Do you have people who can assist you getting back on the road? Think about developing a contingency strategy if you get a flat tire or the bridge ahead is closed. Anticipating what you will do when you hit rocky patches as you push toward your goals can help you not lose momentum so you can quickly return and strive on! And remember: sometimes a derailed path can lead you on a uniquely productive detour that exposes you to people, sights, and adventures that you never would have planned for yourself or even knew were there.
And those 365 miles aren’t 365 steps…
Each of those miles are each made up of 5280 feet. I point this out not to discourage you: it’s to build your tenacity so that you enter your journey with dedication and resolve. Minor missteps shouldn’t have the power to derail your overall journey, since the point isn’t the steps but the miles.
- Some of those steps are going to involve stretches of potholes, washboard gravel, and traffic jams.
- Some will be graceful downhills where you can pick up speed with no effort.
- Some might include complicated turns where you have to follow your map carefully, and keep both hands on the wheel.
Tell others about your travel plans!
Like with a real road trip, it’s advisable to let others know about your itinerary.
- Some might be planning on doing the same thing and can be a travel buddy or at least someone you can check in along the way to see how each other is doing.
- Even those who aren’t going with you can cheer you on or keep you accountable.
- You might get some valuable advice from others, a type of crowdsourcing where others keep an eye on traffic or the weather to give you advanced warning about new pitfalls ahead to be planned around. In this analogy that might mean letting you know if new opportunities arise in the hobby or career path you’re on, or maybe the market has changed and they can see the signs much more clearly from the vantage point of their experience.
The Importance of a Plan
Planning out the journey might seem daunting, but at the same time it can help build excitement as everything starts to fit together and you see that reaching the final destination is actually achievable. Yes, sometimes it is fun to be spontaneous and just go where the wind blows you. Yet I still encourage you to create a rough plan. Otherwise you might quickly get distracted by residential routes and end up not getting anywhere.
While a plan is vital, don’t let the process of creating the plan kill your momentum. Remember: this 365 mile journey is starting with or without your plan. Create enough of a plan so that you’re going in the right direction, and you can fine tune the details later if you don’t have them at the start.
People, Profit, Planet, and Purpose
Here at BESThq we are all about elevating community and difference makers. A huge part of this is reflecting on the Quadruple Bottom Line: People, Profit, Planet, and Purpose. Here are some ideas for 2022 focused on these four categories:
- Personal relationships
- STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (also known as STEM)
- Team-building skills
- Communication skills
- Public speaking (Toastmasters)
- Entrepreneurs (Example: Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs — OAME)
- Creating a business plan for possible new ventures
- Creating new products / Research and Development
- Learning more effective sales approaches
- Expanding into new markets
- Improving on current products
- Beautification of your work environment including possibly creating a garden where employees can take their breaks and lunches.
- Reduce waste by reusing supplies when possible.
- Eating with utensils that are useable.
- Changing manufacturing processes that don’t create as much hazardous waste or even non-hazardous waste.
- Reduce packaging around your product.
- Helping a non-profit who is working to lift up others who are striving to improve themselves.
- Revisit your mission statement and value statement to adjust areas that need to be updated and implement change in areas where your company has drifted.
- Adjusting your outlook and plan to be part of something bigger than anything you can accomplish on your own.
- BESThq is currently accepting applications for Purposeful Projects in 2022!
What are some of your goals for 2022? They don’t have to be based on the Quadruple Bottom Line, although if it benefiting you it probably can fall into either People or Purpose.
Have a very Happy New Year and we look forward to seeing you in 2022! (Hopefully it will finally be IN PERSON!)