A new year can feel like a fresh-smelling sheet just taken off a clothesline in a Swiss village.
Or it can feel big and daunting, like staring off the side of a big cliff.
However this new year shows up for you, before you put your head down and start working, I recommend anchoring yourself by answering a few questions:
Why do I want to create the things I want to create this year?
- What concrete things will happen as a result of investing my time and energy to build something new this year? Is it important to me? Is it important to my community? Is it important to the current state of the world?
- Why me? What unique perspective or experience do I bring to this work? If I don’t have decades of experience or advanced degrees, do I care more than someone else? Will I work harder than someone else?
- Is it worth trying, even if it fails miserably?
- Why now? Will I regret not doing this thing this year? Is there a reason why this is the perfect time in the market for me to do my thing? If not now, when? Will next year be any different than this year? Will I regret not doing this in 2013?
Whom do I want to serve?
- What are the specific characteristics of people I am excited to work with this year?
- Why do they deserve the very best of my intelligence and energy?
- What will they do with what I give them?
- Will they appreciate my gifts, and bring out my best self?
- Are they fun and engaging to work with?
- Do they push me to overcome my natural fear and resistance to do important work, because I know they need what I have more than I am afraid of sharing what I have?
What do I want to create?
What are the tangible things I want to add to my body of work this year?
- Written things — books, blog posts, ebooks, code
- Programmatic things — classes, programs, workshops, software
- World changing things — movements, organizations, awareness, insight, permission
- Artistic things — art, pictures, music, poetry
What if this were my last year on earth?
I hope not. But it might be!
How might this list be adjusted if it were?
Answer the big questions first.
Then we can dig in and get very pragmatic about how to break down your goals into feasible steps.