Leading Yourself

New year – new opportunity to think about our lifestyling

How to get a clear picture of what you want to be in 10 years? Where do you want to stand in terms of career, family, health etc. And then: How to develop habits to follow that plan. Take a look at what we have achieved and learned so far using lifestyling.

A year ago Peter Dilg introduced us during a leadership training to the topic of life styling. The theory is quite simple: look at different aspects of life such as career, family, health, self-development, finance, purpose and spirituality and then define where you want to be in 10 years. And derived from that: what do you need to have achieved after 5 years. And what do you want to achieve this year to work towards this goal.

Sounds so easy but having a clear picture of my intended future state (where do I want to be at 46) in all these aspects is quite an interesting exercise. Some topics are easy. And I realize that I am working towards them. Others are more blurry. And I realize that I am stumbling across the path and just seeing where it takes me instead of having a picture and working towards this.

In that leadership workshop I did my personal lifestyling. Since then I went through different iterations and learnings.

1. Bring your lifestyling together with your partner’s (this was also suggested as next step from Peter). So in the middle of 2020 we sat down to bring our lifestyling together. Just imagine you have opposing ideas about family planning, location of work etc. There can be tough realizations. But at least you have gained a clear understanding of what your partner wants and can check if conscious compromises are possible. Or if maybe these pictures cannot be brought together. Luckily our pictures matched on these general decisions.

2. Have your lifestyling physically present. We filled beautiful flip charts in the living room with our 1-5-10 year plan… after a few days they started to drop from the wall… they were rolled in and stored under a cupboard… until we took them out in December. Partly being surprised by the topics we had planned for 2020… this had to change if we want to constantly work on the things we regard important for our future. Therefore we changed the setup. 1-10 years are now up on a magnetic wall next to our homeoffice desk. So every day we have them present.

3. Break it down even further. Every week we write sticky notes about what we want to achieve in the next seven days. This can be the number of runs or walks, the next step with a builder or a meeting with the family. Also these sticky notes are placed somewhere where we have them constantly present (I am currently trying the bathroom mirror). This makes my annual goals much more digestible and enables constantly working on them.

4. Make a weekly review together. Where do we stand with our annual targets? Did we work towards them in the past week? If not: why? On our board our feeling for where we stand with the topics is marked with colored smileys. This also gives us an indication where to focus on in the next weeks.

It is an interesting experiment and always leads you back to focus on the important topics. I am curious where this approach leads us towards. One outcome of last year’s goals is this blog 😊

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