There are so many blogs out there doing RESOLUTIONS. I’ve always figured that if you want to change who you are, you don’t need to wait until year end to make a goal; if you really want to change, get it done. I use the end of the year to reflect on the lessons I learned throughout the year. I do this every week, but year end is a great time to get that longer perspective.
Why reflect on lessons learned?
I’m a big believer in the concept that you will only get what you want if you plan for it. If I want to lose weight, I need to plan my life around different eating and exercising habits. If I want to write a novel, I need to plan out the story and the time to write.
A plan made in a vacuum is better than no plan at all, but one made with a good understanding of where you are and where you want to be, is much more likely to be successful.
Lessons learned exercises are conducted to help understand where you are.
Three lessons I learned
I like doing things in threes. Three lessons every year can be acted on. Three new approaches to life can be accomplished, tested, and ingrained. Too many lessons, and you can start to feel overwhelmed.
Sometimes I start with the lessons I learned and create a plan, sometimes I start with the goal and identify the lessons I learned that fit the goal. What ever way you start, be sure to find lessons that help you move forward. For example, if you want to become an author this year, lessons about managing your time are pertinent; lessons about learning a new technology are not.
My three lessons
One: That I got overloaded toward the end of the year with books for publishing. It meant that I published 3 books in two months, but the quality of the proofreading crashed. I was happy to notice that none of the bad versions sold while I re-proofread and corrected the errors.
Two: That I was looking at marketing in the wrong way. I was trying to develop this fancy marketing plan and I really didn’t have the time or inclination to do it. I started doing a “One New Action” every week, and suddenly the ideas started to come and progress was made.
Three: That I need to be more committed to what I’m doing to make progress. I am a decisive person – I’m happy to make less than perfect decisions if it means we can move forward. The problem happens when I can’t find a way to make a choice.
My plan for 2014
Nothing earthshaking! From the lessons I learned in 2013, I decided that I would stop viewing my publishing schedule book by book . I now know all the books I want to write in 2014 and I can work on all of them when I’m moved by the spirit – and when I’m not. That should prevent the end of year backlog.
I’m also wrestling with a big life decision, one I can’t seem to pick a side. To get this decision made, I decided that there needed to be more than two options. The reason I can’t decide whether to retire or not is that I love the work I do with my consulting business, and I love the work I do with writing and creating courses. So, there’s option 3 which is starting to feel right. Don’t retire, but only take consulting jobs that excite me.
So those are the lessons I learned in 2013. What are yours? And what are you going to do about them?