Recently, Reka and I completed our annual strategic planning trip that we do as a couple. We have done this for 20 years in one form or another, yet we have really embraced it over the last three years. I can confidently say there is not anything else that we do together that is as impactful on our relationship and as powerful. In fact, we began facilitating couples retreats, during which we discuss the importance of implementing an annual strategic plan as well as how to start it, which is what Reka and I do on a yearly basis. We will provide the 2020 calendar of retreats and workshops and their locations in the upcoming weeks.
However, I am not going to get into strategic planning in this blog. I, however, want to share an “aha” moment I experienced when reviewing our strategic plan. I discovered a simple technique you can use individually, as a couple, or even with a leadership team.
As Reka and I flew to Florida, the location of our camping/annual retreat, we began reviewing 2019. We talked about what was great, what was surprising, and what we could improve upon. We also discussed our victories. I find it interesting that for most human beings, it is difficult to talk about our victories. This topic is easily avoided, yet so important. In this same vein, it often feels much easier to talk about where we failed or what we could have done better. I believe here is where great opportunities live.
While on the plane, we both made notes about the previous year. I suggested we do a simple exercise that went something like this: If each of us took a few minutes to look back at 2019, now with 20/20 vision, what are two things we should have done differently that would have had the greatest impact on the year? So, we both answered the question and candidly, two things came to me pretty quickly: to control more of what I ate and to say “no” more. Reka and I discussed her responses as well and she came to two very different, but very clear action items.
With that in mind, I sat back and thought, “Well damn, Skippy, isn’t this a new year? Isn’t this the point of this time together? What if you did those two things now, today, and for the rest of 2020? Would that make for a better year? What would hold you back?” It is worth noting that I am quite adept at letting my internal dialogue ramble on at times. However, in this case, I believe my internal rant was right on. A lightbulb went off in my head, and these two small things have become major themes in my 2020 goals.
In short, I realize that even as great as 2019 was – and it was beyond amazing – 2020 is a do-over and can be even better if I want it that way.
So, I ask you this: If you looked back at 2019 with 20/20 vision with regards to your business, marriage, health, finances, etc., what would be two things you could have done better? I would encourage you to contemplate this and write it out.
With these things in mind, ask yourself (and your partner) the following:
- What can I/we do differently in 2020?
- How can I/we track progress?
- Who can be my/our accountability partner?
- How can I/we embrace my/our do-over in 2020?
In closing, I recall how often the coveted do-over was used when I was a kid playing kickball in the street. The idea was to try something again, but with the intention of doing it better this time. I am not sure why I lost that thinking, but going forward, I am going to remember that every year (heck, even every day), can be treated as a do-over to help me improve as a human being.
Are you interested in learning more about embracing the almighty do-over? Reach out to us today to learn more about making positive changes in the new year!
If you would like more information on goal setting, check out our website blog series that begins with the “The Power of Setting Goals” posted January 10, 2018 and continues weekly through February 21, 2018.