Getting clear about what you are are doing and where you are going is incredibly valuable and important. It’s also very challenging to do. The greater your ambition, the longer the list of things that you dream of getting done. The more that you care about delivering quality results, the more essential it is to get focused about where you invest your effort and attention. That involves difficult choices that most of us very` often don’t like acknowledging, let alone actually making.
As is no doubt true for many of us, I started off last year with the best of intentions. While I am proud of what I accomplished (despite 2020 being, well, 2020) it was not without its challenges. My first post last year outlined my plans to revisit how I plan, how I organize and how I manage. A check-in on how that went—spoiler alert: inconsistently—and what I’m doing differently this year.
2020 wasn’t just an extraordinary year of events, politics and pandemics. It was an interesting year for writing, as well. Things started off slowly here. The reset that we all sought as a result of the pandemic, though, was its own reset for my writing. Join me as I explore the articles you enjoyed and valued most, as well as those that most inspired and engaged me.
2020 has been a year. For all of us. It has been challenging, and difficult, and stressful and mired in uncertainty. We have confronted a pandemic, and the fraying of the social fabric, and more politics than many of us have tolerance for. While 2021 won’t be a clean slate, and we have work yet to resolve, I’m heading into the year with some degree of confidence and enthusiasm. Success will take work and effort, but I’m willing and prepared to roll up my sleeves and meet the year head-on.
You’ve decided upon your stated direction. You have committed to the attainment of one or two strategic priorities that will most move you forward. And then an opportunity presents itself; a door opens with an interesting and exciting opportunity you didn’t know existed. Is this opportunity a meaningful new option or merely a shiny new distraction? These are the choices that we have to make as we navigate towards the future we most value.
It’s all well and good to say that we should dig deep, commit to learning and move forward with intention. But move forward where? What are we trying to accomplish? What goal are we really trying to bring to life. If we are honest with ourselves, most of us are wandering around with dozens of partly-formed dreams, ambitions and aspirations that hope our future self will get around to bringing to fruition. Continuing to push those ideas past the horizon into the future makes that realization unlikely. It doesn’t have to be that way.