2019 was the year of space and self-care.
I had to quieten the noise and create some space to think and listen to my own advice.
It might sound a bit odd, but I cut back on anything that would generate too many new enquiries, such as videos, speaking events, travel and client load. I started to assess some bigger questions so I could create a life by design.
Some of the questions I wanted to answer were:
- Who am I?
- Why am I here?
- Who do I serve best, and who do I love serving?
- What energises me?
- What do I love doing, even if I’m not paid for it?
- How do I bring out the best in others?
- What am I prepared to risk?
- What am I prepared to lose?
- What is the legacy I want to leave?
- What if I fail?
As I worked through these questions, I focused on three key areas that helped me and may help you in 2020. I’m focusing on them again this year.
These three areas are: Removals, Routines and a Ruckus.
In a world of noise and overwhelm, there is nowhere to go unless you start removing things. You can’t keep shoving more and more into your day, week or month and expect things to change. You need to focus on what’s important and remove the rest.
It’s a bit like Marie Kondo-ing your life, business or career. You need to create space to let the right things in and make progress.
I love this quote from author and systems thinking expert Peter Senge: “Don’t push growth; remove the factors limiting growth.” I think he’s spot on.
In 2019, I removed noise, tiredness, toxic people, expectations, clothes, even a Hills Hoist!
By removing these things, I started to gain a deeper sense of identity. I found greater meaning, gratitude and abundance. I realised nothing was missing and I had everything I needed. Removing noise allowed my voice and intuition to be heard. Self-doubts, fears and worries began to fall away and more moments of creativity started to emerge.
So, for you, I wonder:
- What needs to be removed? People, clients, programs, travel, staff, stuff?
- What no longer works or serves you?
- What costs you too much time, stress and energy?
Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Something my team and I obsess over is continuous improvement. We know that what we do each day, week, month and year creates the results and determines whether we achieve our goals.
Routines also generate greater creativity. In fact, in 2019, I set a goal to hit a target of 300 pieces of intellectual property (IP). I used these pieces across workshops, coaching sessions and blogs. To generate this content, I set time in my calendar every day to create before touching any other work.
Dreams and goals don’t magically appear. To write a book, you need to write every day or block time over a series of days to write. To lose weight, you need to put time in your calendar to prioritise exercise and healthy eating. If you want to increase sales, you need to make sales calls every day. There’s no silver bullet.
In 2019, I put more regular appointments in place to see my dentist, so I now get a check-up every six months. These appointments are in the calendar, and the dentist also sends me reminders so I don’t have to think about it. Done.
One of the biggest challenges I see with clients trying to set up routines is that they don’t always know how long the process will take. My experience is that people underestimate the time it takes. So, set up routines with generous timeframes at first, until you gain greater awareness of how long it takes and then adjust the time as you go. Remember, your calendar is not concrete!
The same goes for holidays. In fact, last year I decided to block out time to have a long weekend every six weeks. This worked about 80% of the time. It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough.
So, my questions for you about routines are:
- What goals are you trying to achieve in 2020 that require a routine application?
- How long will each repeated session take?
- Have you blocked time in your calendar?
- How will you manage interruptions, distractions and obstacles that could jeopardise your routine?
I had the good fortune of interviewing Seth Godin last year. One of my favourite words that he uses a lot is “ruckus.” Godin says a ruckus is an idea, something you’re prepared to talk about and make noise about. Ideas don’t sell themselves; to have influence, we need to decide what it is we want to share with the world.
As Godin says, “We’re waiting for you to lead us.”
Only 1% of people on social platforms such as LinkedIn write content. The rest of the population claims they don’t have the time, don’t know what to say or don’t think their ideas are good enough, or they can’t be bothered.
This leaves plenty of opportunities for those of us who are prepared to share our ideas, innovate and make a positive impact in the world.
To create a ruckus, you need to ask yourself:
- What do I want to disrupt, create and make some noise about?
- What problems will this solve?
- How will it benefit my community?
- How will they know?
- What do I stand for and is it congruent with who I am?
As a result of the questions I asked myself and the changes I made in 2019, I realised I love seeing people become prolific. I am passionate about helping people generate great content and ideas to help their communities – at speed.
And this is what I’ll continue to focus on in 2020. I’m happy to say I’m in the final stages of finishing the Catalyst Content book and ready to deliver the Content Creation Bootcamps where you can create 12 months’ worth of content in 2 days!
So, what’s in store for you in 2020? What are your Removals, Routines and what’s your Ruckus? I’d love to hear from you!
Jane Anderson is a Strategic Communications expert, speaker and the author of 7 books including the upcoming “Catalyst Content.” With over 20 years of experience helping people to communicate confidently, she is obsessed about creating human connection to drive business growth in a world of disruption and automation. She delivers Content Creation Bootcamps (Virtual and Face to Face), Coaching and Keynotes. To inquire about her working with you or your organisation please contact us here.