At the end of every year, most people have some sort of ritual to reflect on the past year and plan for the new one. I’ve tried various ways to set goals, like KPIs and OKRs, but I kept failing and trying different methods.
In 2020, my perspective on goal setting changed fundamentally. I now focus more on developing good habits rather than setting personal KPIs. Instead of thinking about what I want to achieve, I ask myself what habit I can cultivate to improve myself by 1% every day. It’s a shift from a goal-oriented mindset to a growth mindset. Paradoxically, because I am tracking fewer goals, I am able to scale and do more with less cognitive load.
Another breakthrough for me was reframing the year-end ritual. I wondered why firms and companies place so much emphasis on off-site’s, but we don’t do that for our personal lives? So, two years ago, I started planning for personal year-end off-sites.
My personal off-site lasts between five to seven days, and I have the following agenda:
- Reflect on the year.
- Review my habits across different areas of my life – work, personal, family, health, community, fun.
- Set a theme for the new year and create processes to encourage new habits I want to build.
- Take some time off to have fun. 🙂
During the personal offsite week, I try not to react to day-to-day work but instead focus on fulfilling the agenda above. It’s less anxiety-inducing than completely switching off, as I give myself permission to react to work if needed but also say no whenever I can. Naturally, all the above agendas are tracked on Evernote, and I have templates and prompting questions to help me along.
I am happy to have discovered a rhythm and process that works for me, and I am aware that it will continue to evolve. For 2024, my goal is to focus on finding ways to scale up by simplifying. Let’s see how I do.