Life’s a game with winners and losers every year and in every situation. In terms of winning, this was the year for Elon Musk; from nowhere he became the 2nd richest man on earth. First showing us how to successfully commercialize space travel and then he went ahead to build further an electric car company that is now the number one automobile company in the world with a capitalization that equals the summation of the top 7 automobile brands (including Toyota, Benz, Volkswagen, Honda and co combined).
This year we lost so many international celebrities and local politicians; we had a very dramatic American election too. Locally there were so many protests and price hikes; even onions became gold. Climate change became so real (I feel this through our temperature helped Africa to resist better Corona), there is still no Harmattan or Agbalumo till date; and then we entered a recession with dollars hitting N500 as the unofficial exchange rate. This year Stripe acquired Paystack, Kuda raised 10M dollars seed funds, COVID-10 kept the whole world on lockdown and even away from it, we all know at least 3 people that died in our circle from something else too.
Regardless of all the drama, we still saw the end of the year; we still love the Christmas lights, the smell, the sound and the feelings. The 2020 holiday is here and will also soon be gone as we all hope for a better 2021. But hope is not a strategy. I mean, how are you planning for 2021?
Strategic planning is key, top down. I personally don’t believe in New Year resolutions. I don’t think they are strategic, structured and intentional enough. Instead, I do themes; it refers to one or at most 2 central word(s) that guide my year and then with a mind map of my plans all around it. I apply the Be-Do-Have model to it. This method is otherwise called the Triads of Manifestation – Things to BE (in the wheels of life- Health, Family, Business, Finance, spirituality, Social Relevance and Personal Development. For the business part of the wheel, I plan around finance, structure, innovation and stakeholder experiential design. I plan on how to get better at each one. This is an excerpt template from the Balanced Scorecard). For each wheel, we dig further to define what to DO, and what I should HAVE to be those things. Mixing the sequence up gives a different result. The Be- Do- Have model of planning is also metaphorical to the BSQ Pyramid- Think Big (Be), 2. Act Small (Do), and then 3. Move Quick (list out the measurable Haves) layers. All these in each wheel of life must be guided by the same theme.
Inline with this, I have personally themed my next year as a year of Accelerated Partnerships. What’s yours? For me, it’s time to do more with less through others. This means I have to concentrate on building a stronger team and strategic partnerships. Beyond having a theme and mind mapping the key touch point of your wheel of life into it with measurable things to be, do and have, here are a few more hacks:
1.Define your own theme. Read a book/audio/visuals on your chosen theme.
2. Invite grace to your theme and corresponding plan via a ritual. For me, I will go on a 3days fast and a spree to commit the theme to the realm I believe in.
3. In that deep realm ask for light, discipline, insights and the spirit of follow through. Then, come back to the physical and begin to talk about it, first to yourself and to others (to yourself, it dips it deeper into the realms of consciousness and unconsciousness, and to others, it puts you on the spot to deliver accountability). Yes, if you can find an accountability partner, the better for you.
4. Draw a mind-map of your key theme. And then break it down into the touch points of the wheels of life (Say 1.Family: Things you want to be, broken down into sets of things to Do and Have. You can loop the same process for 2.Spirituality, 3.Health, Business, 4.Finance, 5. Social Relevance, 6. Family etc).
In a nutshell, the secret sauce is in the process of writing down your themes, creating a wheel of focus and then detailing the measurable goals, reviewing them constantly, and making incremental progress on them. Other side hacks may include having daily to do lists as a support to them. Stay on a task or thought/thought process till you’re sure it is done without distractions. An example is, if it’s not time to social media or calls, don’t go there and keep a mental timer: stop watch of each activity.
5. Find a partner (an accountability partner) that shares a similar theme.
6. Find a quote that summarizes your theme and use it as a DP, wall paper and on the door, and mirror where the sticky notes are.
In 2021, we can either plan to create success or we can create excuses. And it’s up to your strategy, structure and will power to drive through, even in pain. Yes, change can be painful, but nothing is as painful as staying stuck where you do not belong. Engage us. I look forward to working with you and your team in making the best out of 2021.
“….none of us is as smart as all of us.. we can pull this off ”