At this point, in 2021, my wife and I have been married for over 18 years. She is a medical professional & professor with a Doctorate. I advise leaders who impact thousands directly and millions indirectly. We have multiple business ventures. We produce a lot and help a ton of people. We have elementary aged children, and would not have lasted together if it were not for a few of our practices we do monthly and annually.
R,T;D,P started early in our marriage. Some years we are great, some years we sorta do it, and a few we have missed. Looking back – the years we do great are great. The years we miss … we would rather not talk about.
This year, 2021, a book came out that dramatically adjusted this process for us, so much so an update from the 2011 post was called for.
It’s not about goals.
It’s not about achievements.
It’s definitely NOT about controlling your significant other.
Rather – it’s about building the best life you can together, and being able to look back and see how far you have come … be grateful.
The first step is to look back on the past year, or longer, and see where you have come from. What all has happened?
Focus on how you have grown in the past year & moments you would like to happen again.
When you have gone through this previously, really focus on what gains you made over the past year. Where were you a year ago? How have you grown since then?
Be intentional about this part. Have fun with it, and set up whatever rituals or practices work for you.
We center this around the Thanksgiving holiday in the USA because it just fits.
Not only do I celebrate as a family but also reach out to the people who I am grateful for moments over the past year and beyond.
This is a time of remembering life is a solo journey yet the people around us are a key in how high we can fly.
This moves from the past & present side to the future. Dreaming what the next year or longer should be. Currently I use my model based on relationships for viewing your world, so:
– Yourself – physical, mental, spiritual, capabilities
– Family – the special relationships around you
– Business – if you are an employee – you are a business hiring out your services to your employer. If you own or desire to own one, then you have a slightly different relationship
– Society – other people who are not in your business, or family.
What are the dreams for those four big areas? What about the subparts? Can you paint a picture that you are aiming for?
This time is brainstorming – go wild. Look at different time horizons too:
25 years out
3 years out
In the next 12 months.
What headings do you want to aim for? Big Hairy Audacious Goals?
Where do you want to travel to?
What do you want to learn?
Legacy you want to leave?
Causes you want to support?
Who would you be thrilled to be a hero to?
Setting the vision for the next while so you can see how you grow, gain, and make giving thanks easier next year.
Where the Dreaming time was brainstorming and coming up with options; planning is deciding what you are willing to commit to, eliminating options, and defining how you measure success.
We have 3 things we put down on paper. The best years, this is three giant stickynotes and a number of posted notes.
3+ years out
1 year out
We need that long term where we are heading – you can choose 25 years or 3 (or have both). For this we settled on 3 because it’s about 1,000 days. We don’t need to redo the 3+ years out every year, it gives us some guidance and helps us have a staring point.
The one year is the main focus. We can even break it down into seasons.
When you know where you are heading in the short term and longer term, decide on what needs to grow.
If your intention is to have 40 paid off rental houses in 25 years, it’s easy to record how many rental houses you have today, and set an intention of having a specific number in one year.
If your intention is to be able to run a 5k in under 10 minutes, make sure you record what rate you can run a 5k in today. Then when you get a 5k under 10 minutes you record the date … and if you don’t reach that 10 min goal, you still look and celebrate your improvement next year.
That is the key:
Being able to see where you were, and how you are better today.
If you only record goals you will hit most and growth will happen, yet you are setting yourself up for disappointment, not joy.
A while ago I was talking with one of my good friends. I mentioned – yeah, we need to finish our family budget for this month … it’s only the 14th of the month. He was shocked because his family practice was if they did not have their family budget done before the month began they just forgot about it and moved on.
It does not matter if it’s November or April or another month. Today is the day you can give thanks, start recording what you are grateful for, and set your intention with where you are today.
Write now, send a message to someone and tell them something you are grateful for in the past year & your commitment to go through this process starting on the upcoming first of the week or month. People have an easier time continuing something that they start on a first.
Record what you are grateful for, and put on your calendar to set intentions for now until the end of the year on the next first.