“Well, you have just ruined the way I do my life!“ was my tearful response to what my mentor had just said to me.
“You can certainly choose not to plan your life, but if you don’t, we call that ‘drifting’! And always remember that ‘drifting’ will take you to a destination that you would not have otherwise chosen. So drift away if you choose!“
Perhaps it was impactful on me because I grew up on Galveston Bay. I knew a lot about dropping anchor so that you would not drift out to sea.
But I didn’t realize that planning my life was my anchor. That day, everything changed! And I am so grateful for that!
You see, world-changers don’t choose drifting. World Changers are World Changers because they are very intentional about planning who they are becoming, what they want to accomplish, and the legacy that they desire to leave.
I bet you’re already thinking, “Oh my goodness! Another article about New Year’s resolutions.”
Not at all!
The reason I do not write about New Year’s resolutions is that research indicates that about 78% of adults make some sort of New Year’s resolution. And of that 78%, over 70% have forgotten what those resolutions were within the first 30 days of the new year.
I’m not interested in moving the needle up on the number of people who make resolutions. I am interested in moving the needle up on the number of people who plan an extraordinary life of contribution, joy, peace, rich relationships, health, and finances!
Warning: you will never find those things drifting! What I would love to help you do is drop an anchor!
What I’d like to share with you are some key things I have learned from World Changers. These five keys have made a major difference in my life! I want you to consider them.
This happens to be the end of 2020 (and if you’re like me, you might be ready to kiss this year goodbye!). However, when my mentor said this to me, it was early October. And I have been planning my years from October to my birthday at the end of September ever since.
It makes no difference what time of year it is. If you’re reading this in March, do it in March! If you are ready in July, do it in July! Get started now on your new year, no matter what month it is or what day of the month it is.
1. Take some time to journal about what you have to be grateful for during the past year.
Because I start mine at the end of September, I look for what I had to be grateful for the last October, the last November, the last December. And I actually write it down.
Sometimes I have to go back and review my gratitude journal. But looking at the many things that we have to be grateful for, despite how challenging the year might have been, is a huge key to setting your brain to planning an extraordinary year!
Take your time, write them down, reflect on them! And then take a few minutes to just be grateful.
2. Consider who you would like to become in the year ahead.
I take time to actually write down words and phrases that include who I would like to become.
If you follow my writing, you know that I have written quite a bit about “being present“ over the past year. The reason for that is in September 2019, when I was doing this exercise, I had written on my list of who I would like to become, “more present with friends, family, and clients.“
In addition, I had written about 30 other things. Things such as:
Very intentional about how I spend my time
Zero tolerance for negativity in my mind, my heart, or my conversation
More proactive about my health and energy — “recover my energizer bunny” status
Cheerful and lighthearted
There were many more. But I began to combine similar things until I had about seven words or phrases that adequately conveyed who I wanted to become in 2020.
Regardless of what year it is or what time of the year it is, who do you desire to become in the next year? Take some time and write it down. Otherwise, drifting will likely not help you become that person.
3. I then set goals for a year.
I choose to do it this way: I select one goal for each of the seven core areas of my life. I remember these core areas using the “RESPECT” acronym:
Energy and health
Purposeful living with priority
Career and finances
Keep in mind that I had already decided who I want to become in Step 2. So I ask myself what goal in each of those areas would help me become who I had identified that I wanted to be.
I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about goal setting. The only thing I would add to all of the available great information is this one thing: select goals that will require you to stretch beyond your comfort zone.
World Changers are very aware that world-changing never occurs within our comfort zone.
The first year that I worked through this process, I became quite intentional about it. That first year was the year of my greatest growth, my greatest accomplishment, in my entire life!
4. Understand that not only is failing to plan planning to fail, but planning and not committing to your goals has a similar outcome. Failure to commit to the plan is a commitment to failure. I simply left absolutely no room for that possibility.
Not only did I make a plan, but I committed to the plan. You can certainly find your own way of doing that. My plan includes: writing out the plan, printing it, having the written plan in front of me in places where I will see it daily, reading it aloud daily, and evaluating my progress toward the plan monthly.
Just one side note: on months where there is not the progress I would like to see, or occasionally some steps backward, I remain very committed to taking a giant step forward in the next month or months.
You cannot take giant steps forward if you are whipping yourself or shaming yourself. So put the whip down, lay the shame game down, and take a giant step forward!
You can do that! I know you can if you so choose. World Changers realize that beating ourselves up limits our ability to do the world-changing we have been called to do!
And of course, that’s where having some accountability in place really pays off!
If you do not have an ”accountability partner,” I tell my clients that they are inadvertently committing to fail. Find someone who is full of grace but also holds your feet to the fire! They will be priceless on your journey to world-changing!
5. Write a power proclamation that makes a power statement about all four of the above steps. I like using catchy words and phrases in my power proclamation. Then I read the proclamation aloud at least once every single day for the entire year.
For example, two years ago, I had an alliteration of words that begin with an “I’s“ for my power proclamation. Each of these words were representative of some of the things I had desired to become that previous year. Here is that “catchy statement“ from my power proclamation.
I am determined to be:
This is the key piece that sustains me as a World Changer year after year!
Drifting — I studied the word after that encounter with my mentor. The dictionary says “drifting” means:
Deviation from a set course
I feel certain that’s not who you want to be. And I know without a doubt, you don’t want to end up at a destination (financial status, relationships, career, health) that you would not have chosen.
World-changing is not genetic. World-changing is not easy. World-changing is not automatic. World-changing is not without challenges. But — world-changing makes life worth living! World-changing brings joy, peace and leaves a legacy.
You will not become a World Changer resting. Take some time, complete the five steps above, and I promise you that within 30 days, you will see an increase in world-changing in your life. With that will come peace, joy, and a legacy!
Perhaps you’ve never done this before. Maybe these are new concepts to you.
For that very reason, I am working on an online workshop where we will walk through all of these concepts. We will do this — and more — together. It will be a great place to find accountability. If you happen to be interested, private message me, and I’ll make sure I keep you updated!
In the meantime, go out and change someone’s world today! Because YOU are a World Changer!