I, like many of you, have spent the last few days of 2016 attempting to work out how to plan effectively for the year ahead. So the question is: how do you give yourself the best chance of winning in 2017? How do you create a plan that not only feels right, but one you can measure and conquer? In the last week or so I have silently sat back and taken on board as much as I can, from as many sources as I could regarding yearly planning. And it has boiled down to this: 'The Noble 3 Fold Path'. Three simple steps to setting goals for next year.
1. 'Daily Wins'
These are daily practices and routines that set you up for a great day. These are non negotiable. They just happen. These are small wins, that allow you to start winning from the moment you open your eyes. Think of these as the micro elements (the small things) that build to the macro elements (the big things). Very much like in rugby, you have to earn the right to go wide. Here you have to earn the right to go to the next level. So get these in place on a daily basis and you move up the hierarchy.
For me these are (in order) :
- Make the bed (start the day with a win)
- Drink half a litre of room temperature water on waking (we tend to wake up dehydrated)
- Train at the Crossfit gym at 6am, 4 times a week (just sweat - whatever you do, just sweat)
- Omega fish oil / Vitamin D / Magnesium (all from Wild Nutrition)
- Green power (from Bioglan)
- Love + Kindness Meditation (simply pick two people you see, and wish the best for them that day - simple but powerful)
- 1 Minute visualisation (on my phone I have a number of images of people things that inspire me. I don't just look at them, I 'feel' them, as if I am currently living with them in my life)
- 15 minute meditation (I use the Headspace App - this brings me a deep sense of 'wealth'. And by that I mean, happiness and joy in the smallest things, like seeing tourists laughing and enjoying our great city of London)
2. 'The List'
So the second aspect to 'The Noble 3 Fold Path' is 'The List'. This is a epic gathering of all your big goals for the year. Like 'visit Copenhagen' / 'compete in the Oxford Triathlon' / 'renovate the kitchen' or 'publish a book'. These are big things. These are things that are clearly defined, clearly measurable and could be around for one year or five! Make the list, make it crazy, make it funny and make it twice. Because one should be pinned in the wall, so you can scratch off goals once complete, and the second should be folded into an envelope for the end of the year, so you can once again put a line through what has been accomplished. Unaccomplishged goals roll on.
3. 'The Overview'
The third and final aspect of 'The Noble 3 Fold Path' is 'The Overview'.
This is basically a snapshot of the year ahead. Split into 4 quarters, each month features a number of those bigger goals from 'The List' above. For example I have holidays (great for ensuring you book leave at work!), physical events, sports rehab sessions and course schedules (my basic framework below).
The 3 stages in 'The Noble 3 Fold Path' are:
1. 'Small Wins' - Day to day practices
2. 'The List' - Annual achievements (kind of like a bucket list that roll from year to year)
3. 'The Overview' - The annual snapshot calendar