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Getting Shit Done Personal Growth Reflection

Meta Annual Planning

I’ve looked back through the past year of notes in this mind garden and collated all the advice and ideas from the books I’ve read and articles I’ve saved in three posts:

There are so many tools that are intended to help plan for the year ahead that it feels a bit overwhelming. A friend sent me the Year Compass and someone I follow made Find Your Word and a few years ago I made my own Craft Your Life Planner which I liked when I made it, but now have seen so many other ideas I somewhat suspect it needs to be updated… But that thought leads me to…

If what really works in goal-setting and habit change is being unambitious and changing one small thing at a time… maybe doing a full-life assessment and planning is not super useful? Maybe we should start with a pain point, or one little thing we’re able to do now? Frankly, don’t most of us already know what would make our lives better? (More exercise and more sleep for pretty much all of us 😎 More time with friends is probably the next step.)

Do people come up with dramatic lifestyle changes (that work) out of a long, in-depth self-assessment process? Picking one or two questions to ponder at a time could be a better approach. Maybe this is what I should work through with my health coach 🤔 I liked the question she asked when we met on Monday, how would I like to feel different at the end of the year compared to now, and what one thing could I focus on to help me move that way?

I find it funny that I’m feeling this since I have (Exhibit A) made myself a planner and (Exhibit B) do multiple reviews (albeit with less reflection) and a broad range of goal setting most years.

But, maybe we all do the big burst annual planning because that’s when we have the energy and inspiration for it 😉 And, maybe it’s useful to let ourselves dream? I can also see that the process of introspection can be challenging and emotional, so having a guide or a tool (and limiting it to once a year) can make the process more doable.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at tracy.durnell@gmail.com. She/her.

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