2020 hit me like a ton of bricks.
I was standing at a cash register of one of my fav homeware stores, returning an art print I bought for our practice that was frightfully colourful (I accidentally purchased it on a shopping ‘high’), and the sales assistant asked me to fill out one of those return forms.
I started quickly scribbling down my details – name, address, date…??
I was completely frozen.
It was as if my brain was trying to do a triple axel in the figure skating for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
My tired and underperforming brain could not compute “January”…. And worse yet, it was at a complete standstill for “2020”!!
The sales assistant looked at me sympathetically and said, “don’t worry, everyone is struggling to accept it’s 2020”. The lovely sales assistant had become my cheer squad for my brain to complete the triple axel…
It was just the encouragement I needed to complete the task. The crowd cheered, as I wrote on paper:
After this victorious, but mostly embarrassing, moment, I walked out of the store thinking a few things roughly in this order:
“Why am I not prepared for 2020?”
“How am I going to get myself organised for the year ahead?”
“Gee, I love that store, must shop there again soon!”
Shopping aside, I think for me personally, I was so busy in December, that I forgot about the new year. Usually, I plan a little for the new year. At a minimum, I tend to always know my goals and roughly where I want to focus my time and energy.
Not this year.
I was side-tracked with busy “life things” that meant 2020 hit me like a ton of bricks.
This new experience meant I’ve had to hit ‘pause’ and take some time to reflect. With no clear goals in mind for the year ahead, I had to discipline myself to make a plan.
Because one thing for sure is –
I couldn’t let 2020 happen to me… I had to plan and “own” my year. I needed to take the bull (aka “2020”) by its horns.
Fortunately, for me (and anyone else who got side-swiped by 2020), planning the year ahead is fairly simple and straight forward. You don’t need to be an expert in ‘life goals’ to map out a robust plan.
Here’s how to do it…
How to prepare and plan for 2020
Put simply: Create one macro and subsequent micro lists.
That is – First, create a macro list by asking yourself:
- What is most important for me this year to achieve?
TIP: Be Specific and Realistic, and don’t list more than 3 big goals. For example, one goal may be to learn a new hobby, so you may commit to something like: Learn to play 3 of my favourite songs on the guitar.
Second, create micro lists for each of your big goals, by breaking down step-by-step the goals that need to be completed to achieve this over-arching goal.
TIP: Continue to be Specific and Realistic, but also set date deadlines for achieving these goals. Using the example above, something like:
- Make weekly appointments with guitar teacher – by 10th Feb
- Take list of 20 fav songs to guitar lesson and ask teacher what songs on the list are realistic to learn – by 4th April
- Practise every Wed evenings my songs for 1 hour and extend to 2 hours if needed – start by 10th April
- Learn all 3 songs – by 12th Dec
Once you’ve completed your lists, stick them on the fridge. This will not only remind you of your steps and deadlines, but it also makes you accountable to the “witnesses” in your household.