I want a new kind of self development plan for 2020
Resolutions never work for me, I need a self development plan. A New Year’s Day tweet by Chris Brogan caught my eye. He offered a simple and elegant way to plan for the new year. Whether you’re making a personal development plan or a professional development plan, you should consider Chris’s idea a launching point or complete plan for the year’s goals. Boom! Now it’s time to take some action.
Three words are what we’re after. Just 3 words. Simple, not easy. Subtle and sophisticated. Going with only three words instead of three sentences or three goals, puts us smack dab in the middle of clarity. Or the lack thereof. Focusing on three words offered me a way to frame my resolutions and goals.
Planning doesn’t have to be caused by the arrival of a new year. Today is as good as any other day to start. Would starting yesterday or a month ago been better? Maybe not. But there’s no benefit in dwelling over “back then”.
One thing I love about Chirs’s tweet is the call to action. I was immediately hooked and had to find out more. Three words or two sentences can carry a lot of weight and power.
When you head over to Chris’s blog you are given the Why, How, sandwiched in with a small history of the exercise. Chris does a good job of building a foundation and pairing it with a call to action. How could you not share after that? He wins. We win. It’s a love festival up in this joint.
Side note. If you’re trying to start a blog and need an example of good clean work, please check out Chris’s website and blog. There’s no magic to be had, just good info presented in an easy to read style.
It’s not a race
I respect the basics and the basics evangelists like Gary V, “My shit might be basic, but it works.” Building strong foundations is an obsession of mine. Too many people skim over the basics and rush to get the “good” stuff. Don’t wait to start on the tedious. Sweat now. Get the reward later. Your future self is already giving you a high five 🙌
It’s ok to slow down and take your time with your personal or professional development plans. If Slow Food is a thing, why isn’t Slow Building or Slow Development held up and revered as well? Don’t get in-the-weeds over being perfect. Just get started.
Your Self Development Challenge
“The My Three Words idea is simple. Choose 3 words (not 1, not 4) that will help guide your choices and actions day today. Think of them as lighthouses. “Should I say yes to this project?” “Well, does this align with my three words?” – Chris Brogan
My advice is to keep this simple. Follow the damn recipe. You can customize the shit out of your 3 words in 2021. But you owe it to yourself to try this exercise at least once as prescribed. Making a self development plan is a process.
Unhook your overachieving brain and trust the elegant simplicity in ruminating on, clarifying, and sharing your 3 words for 2020.
Let’s cast some votes for who we want to be today and tomorrow.
“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.” – James Clear, Atomic Habits https://jamesclear.com/
My 3 Words
My journal had these additional thoughts scribbled in it:
Move – Walk. Lift. Stretch. Balance. Smooth. Tone. Enlarge. Reduce.
Grow – To grow we need sunshine, water, food, air, and love. Just like that gifted orchid, you killed last year. Reading. Listening. Certifying. Reaching. Failing. Starting over/again.
Refine – Polish. Better than “good enough”. I’m not obsessed with perfection, but aiming for something higher. Producing something that says “I have skills and I want you to see that I’m better than I was a year ago.
Show me the good stuff
For 2020 I’m going to take experts at face value. I’m willing to try what they are suggesting verbatim. No extra tweaks or assuming that my situation is so unique and special that I clearly need a custom solution. I’m not and I don’t. Not if I don’t already have a rock-solid foundation and a strong data set to test and retest with.
I will be consistent AF. It will be boring and basic. And I’m going to get results. Maybe the results I don’t want. But results none the less. More writing. More keyword searching. More basics.
Seriously, someone point out the downside because I don’t see one.
How I’ll Apply My 3 Words
No reason to reinvent the wheel here. I don’t have much else to say. Follow the simple path laid out in front of me.
I’m going to take a long-term approach to this project. I have my blog for reference and a great community on Twitter for support.
I’ll try to ask myself the question “Does this align with my 3 words?” I’m not expecting a perfect system or something magical. Inflexible systems are for the birds.
Self development 2020 style
My January todo list has been filtered through these questions and looks something like this now:
- Personal – continue eliminating debts. Dental. Choose the blouse over the T-shirt when showing up(thanks Chris!).
- Professional – make meaningful and beneficial connections on Linkedin. Write one 1500-ish word article each month. Polish one social profile each quarter. Get certified in things that are meaningful to me in 2020. Let go of habits and actions that are contributing to the version of myself I don’t want. Cast more votes for 2020 me.
- Writing – Printing shit off and reading it aloud. With my pencil in-hand and pacing around the room.
Consistency is the goal. 1% better on a consistent basis is good enough for me. Write the words. Cast the votes.
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