I've done this because I like a bit of public accountability, and because I know many who read this blog face the same challenge, "how to be in this world". I'm happy to be a case study. And so, late as I am, I write about 2014.
I didn't write up a 2014 resolution in the wee hours of 2014. I didn't even post until four months into the year.
In fact, looking back at my notes, I didn't undertake an annual planning process at all!
So what's going on?
My planning focus has changed
It may not even be called 'planning' any more... I have veered away from 'plans', or at least a traditional planning paradigm.
One blog post in particular has been really influential. It advocated setting up processes instead of making plans. (I'll copy some links at the foot of this post.) It spoke a truth that I had already felt and kind of knew already, but making it immediate and personal in a way that I could implement directly.
I have really struggled for years to balance the need to plan and have direction, with the repeated experience that any plans are redundant by the time I got around to referring back to them (which I didn't tend to do, because they were too complicated to ever be front of mind)
So now, instead of plans I have:
- simple, clear general visions or ideas of the future - the current overriding vision in my life is "operating Realise as a sustainable, growable business"
- simple, clear, flexible day-to-day processes & systems that should take me there (e.g. have a few coffee meetings, 2-3 exercise sessions, and a half day of reflection each week)
- a few theories or models for change, that underpin plausible stories for development about how my actions will enable realisation of my visions
- an iterative, reflective process about how things are going, challenging and continually rewriting my theories, the plausibility of my stories, and the actions I need now to move forward
I don't really know what to say
Because of —or despite— my present approach to planning, I don't really have anything to share.
"Hey, in 2014, I'm going to break even and lay the business foundations I can grow out of in future."
Other than that, everything else is up in the air - any other personal goals are secondary to my business as my foundation. The longer term picture is still way too cloudy. I had some general ideas and sketched up a goal pathway later last year, but I've abandoned these distractions because it really doesn't seem relevant for where I'm at.
Lay the foundations. Participate. Reflect. Iterate.
Does that really need to be said?
I'm just not 'here' very much
I am waiting to see how my business and other 'production' avenues fall into place, and this just doesn't seem that relevant to where I'm at. I'd love to be sharing more, because I have plenty I could share, but it's not a priority amidst everything else.
Before you go: some planning gems
- forget setting goals, build systems, Entrepreneur Magazine - great article, the one I refer to above
- but wait, goals ARE useful (even if plans aren't), SocialOptic
- goals also tap into our dopamine wiring, cf this Sinek talk
- beware shiny reports from Richie Khoo
- live the story you want told, from Becoming Minimalist
- my own post on 'non-planning' ways of transforming systems
- simple, clear intention with plan.txt, on Study Hacks
- Tedium and Black Magic, lambast of transition planning