Designing An Incredible Life (Part 3)
So, for the last couple of weeks, we've been talking about intentionality. Since we're coming into the year end, let's get intentional about your upcoming year.
In any type of planning process, even in terms of unintentional processes becoming intentional, there's really two ways to look at this. There's two ways to come about it. One is top down. The other is bottom-up.
By top-down, I mean that's where you get the vision, where you start off with this big picture vision. Think of it like a top of a triangle. We got this triangle, and you have this vision. It could be for a work project. It could be for anything. But you have this vision for what the outcome looks like. And then you start to drill down, and you start to look… okay, what do all the sub-pieces look like? What are all the parts of that project and what are the things that need to happen to drive that vision? So that's a top-down. A lot of people like to think that way.
A lot of people more are bottom-up. That's where you think of all the separate components and then you take those components and work on those components. Then, you start to move up into whatever that vision is. I'm actually a fan of both of them.
In fact, I think … Well, here, I'm going to brag a little bit. I think a lot of my success comes from my ability to look at both—to go top-down and bottom-up in every area of my life. When we think about this … I've been talking about intentionality. One of the ways, when I come into the end of the year, is I like to do some planning. I like to plan what my life is going to look like.
I start off really big-picture. I'll look at each area of my life. If you think about here in the marketing world and this thought leader world, there's three big markets. Right? There's money, there's health, and there's relationship. But those three big things exist in all of our lives. So I look at my life in those three areas, but then I split them down.
In health, there's mental health. There's physical health. There's spiritual health.
In money, there is your money, your investments, how your managing your money. There's also income. So there's income and there's assets and then there's your career that's all tied into money.
In relationships, it could be, well, it is your relationship… so your friends, your community, your family, your love relationship, parenting. Those are all relationships.
I like to look all these areas of my life. There are usually six or seven or eight areas I define. Maybe there are up to 10 or 12. They can vary over year to year. But I'll look at each area and I'll create a vision for each area. That's that top-down. I'll create a vision for each area and I'll do a little review of each area. Because I think the value … much of the value of this process is in the debrief. It's looking back at what you did for the prior year and said, “Where am I right now? What worked from the prior year? What do I need to do differently? What didn't work last year and what do I want more of this year?” I'll create a vision for each one of those areas. And then, from that vision, then I'll start to create either goals or things I'm striving for.
Say that you have eight areas. Say you have your physical health, your mental health, your spiritual health, your money, your career, your parenting, your love relationship, and your friendships. So there are eight areas. If you create a vision for each of those areas, well, what I'm doing is I'm defining a lot of work for you—I'm sorry for that. But this is how you intentionally create an amazing life. It doesn't have to be huge. It could be a sentence or two. But I literally, I'll take days doing this. I'll take several days at the end of the year, this time of year, defining what my vision is.
Then, I work down from there into goals. You end up, if you have eight areas, you might end up with 30 or 40 goals. The only problem with that is it's hard to go after 30 or 40 goals. So then, I try to narrow it down and say, “What are the really big ones? What are the really big ones?” This is all top-down.
But I also like to go bottom-up. I like to say, “What is the number one or the number two or the number three things I need to do on a daily basis or a weekly basis? What are the things I need to put into my calendar every day, or I need to put in my calendar every week to drive the overall vision for the overall life?” That's bottom-up.
Next week, I'm going to talk about what I think is the cornerstone practice or the cornerstone habit that makes all of this work. In fact, for the next two weeks I'm going to be talking about probably the two cornerstone habits that I think all this works.
But right now I would invite you, instead of coming up with some resolutions … I hate that word because that idea like, “I resolve,” that's resolution. That word comes from the word resolve. “I resolve to do something this year,” and then by the second week of January you've forgotten what you've resolved to do. Instead, what I like to do is I create this amazing, compelling vision—intentionally create that vision for what your life is going to look like in this coming year, in the coming five years, in the coming 25 years. Create that vision and then use that vision to drive your entire year. Use that vision to drive your life.
I mean, the reality is, what we're talking about is behavior change. Behavior change is really hard. There's nothing easy about behavior change. It's a lot easier to just keep on doing what we've been doing. But if you can sit down and create that vision … And this is big work. It's not easy work. I'm shooting this little short video and I'm making it sound easy. It's not. It's not easy. It's not simple. Your life doesn't change overnight. But, you know what? Your life can change overnight. All it takes is that strong vision and really becoming invested in that vision and seeing what you can create in this coming year.
I'm Jeff Walker. Wherever you're watching this, scroll down, leave a comment for me, tell me about your number one intention for the year, and let's go get ‘em this week.