3 Strategies to Become A Bit Better Each Day in 2024
Accomplishing something worthwhile requires more than creating new years resolutions or writing down a list of goals.
Today we’re going to dive into building a plan for next year. If you follow the process below you will identify what brings you energy, build a plan to execute what’s important, and commit to one habit that will keep you consistent all year long. Let’s dig in.
Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.
Accomplishing something worthwhile doesn’t happen by accident.
We need to decide what is worthwhile, build a plan to achieve it, and execute.
Thinking about these things is helpful, but there’s nothing more powerful than putting pen to paper.
As the year is coming to a close it’s natural to look forward and begin creating goals or new years resolutions, but to accomplish something worthwhile we should reflect on the past before we look to the future.
To conduct an effective reflection we need to comb through everything we’ve done and capture the insights in one place. Like creating a Spotify Wrapped for every area of our lives.
The best way to take a trip down memory lane is to leverage all of the digital tools we use on a day-to-day basis. Review every week of our calendar. Reread all of our journal entries. Scroll through all of our social media accounts. Look at all of our photos. Scroll through old texts.
Using a journal, notebook, or computer we can capture all of the most important things that happened in the last year both good and bad.
As we move through the year, we start to notice which events, people, and responsibilities we loved and want to do more of and which ones we did not enjoy and want to avoid in the future.
Reflection like this provides an understanding of ourselves and roots us in reality which provides the foundation we need to begin planning.
Once we have an understanding of what we want to avoid and what we want to achieve in the upcoming year we can begin creating a plan.
Creating an effective plan starts with connecting where we are today with where we want to be in the future.
The same way anyone over 40 can tell you every highway, landmark, and turn when giving directions, we need to create the same level of clarity when creating our plan for the year.
To create this clarity we need to ask ourselves two questions five times.
First, we ask ourselves what we’re pursuing, and second, what we need to do to get there.
The first time we ask these two questions should be on an annual scale so we can understand the big picture of where we are today and what we need to do to accomplish our goals by the end of the year.
With an understanding of the big picture, we can ask ourselves the same questions 4 more times drilling down the time frame from annual to quarterly, then monthly, weekly, and daily.
What we need to do on a daily basis helps us reach where we need to be on a weekly basis and what we need to do on a weekly basis helps us reach where we need to be on a monthly basis, so on and so forth.
Breaking down ambitious plans into bite-sized chunks forces us to make incremental progress throughout the year and shows us what is truly required to accomplish what we are setting out to do.
While creating a plan this way is incredibly helpful, executing the plan is much more difficult than creating it. To help us take daily action consistently, we can anchor our plan to one pursuit.
An Anchor Pursuit is one habit or goal that serves as the skeletal system for everything else that we do.
It’s one thing we can commit to that will make everything else easier.
It’s something that we will do no matter what. It makes us feel good and moves us forward.
It gives us the energy and motivation to take action on everything else that we want to achieve.
For some of us, it might be journaling or dinner with our family. For others, it might be meditation or therapy. We can do it in the morning or the evening, but it is something that we do every day no matter what.
Exercise is a great example. It can be the thing that gets us out of bed in the morning and gives us more energy to tackle the rest of the day. It creates a sense of community with others or the solitude to think clearly. It inspires us to eat better, get to bed early, and take better care of ourselves. It can create the scaffolding for our day so we can build our schedules around it.
An Anchor Pursuit gives us a chance to win the day by checking one thing off of our list and if we can do that one thing each day, we’ll be transformed for the better by the end of the year.
Accomplishing something worthwhile is simple, but it is not easy.
We need to do more than create new years resolutions or write down a list of goals.
Leveraging the power of reflection and planning will simplify our path to accomplishing things that are worthwhile and anchoring our plan to one pursuit that is of outsized importance to us will provide the structure we need for the consistent daily action required to get us where we want to go.
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After reviewing the last 12 months, what is one thing you’d like to do more of and one thing you’d like to do less of in the upcoming year?
What are the actions you need to take on a quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily basis to accomplish your biggest goal for the year?
What is your Anchor Pursuit for the upcoming year? How can you guarantee you will do this every day?
The best tool for daily planning.
A step-by-step guide for conducting a thoughtful reflection on the past year.
A detailed overview of breaking down an annual plan into quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily plans.
Thanks for reading! I’ll see you next Sunday.