“I’m not sure Steve has a spontaneous bone in his body. Everything is planned!”
My wife, Barbita, loves to tease me with this common refrain, but I enjoy her joking because I do love to plan. Hey, if you’re gonna to get called out for something, why not be thrown under the bus for being a planner? In fact, right about now is when I start to make my plans for the upcoming year, and 2022 is no different. Well, actually it is for several reasons, and I’d like to share them with you.
Do I reflect sooner or later?
The power of reflection is consistently underrated and something we should practice every day. For instance, as I write this post, it’s been one year since I announced my departure from my eleven-year tenure as president of the West Division at Comcast Cable. That was a 24/7 job that required an all-out commitment from my entire family. One year later, my landscape has changed completely; I get to take my son to sports practice or to school, spend time with my wife, and expand my focus on service.
As I look back on the last year, I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to pay it forward while giving back. That gratitude gives me the buoyancy to withstand the new challenges on the horizon. Gratitude can also cause us to reevaluate our lives and focus on what’s truly important, which helps us realign with our purpose every day as we look to the future. Don’t wait until December 31 to make important decisions and emotional deposits for the coming year. Start planning now.
Am I living or existing?
It’s a powerful question I heard recently, and I’m not sure I always have the right answer, but it’s something that fills me with earnestness when I plan ahead. While it’s true that sometimes our schedules feel like they fill up with busyness that leaves us with uncertainty, other moments give us inspiration and direction.
The best way to experience more of the latter is to carve out time regularly to focus on your why and how you might connect to your personal compass. If we could call it a silver lining, the last two years have allowed us to look at our lives with renewed discernment and ask tough questions like the one I’ve presented above. If you’re not living by your why or making incremental steps on your journey toward a purposeful destination, then you’re simply existing and performing with obligation rather than passion. Find that personal time every day to meditate on what fills you up.
Am I creating a margin in my life?
A good friend of mine who retired from his position as CEO of a publicly traded global company likes to say he now has margin in his life, which is a great way of celebrating that you have the gift of time. But that freedom comes with responsibility.
As you think about the new year, what will you do with the precious spare time you have between work and life’s responsibilities? Will you put an emphasis on your working relationships or personal friendships? How will you incorporate more of your why into your life if it’s not getting the attention it deserves now? What might you do to share your abundance with others who may need to bask in your light for a spell?
Start planning now for the new year by looking back with gratitude and performing the exercise of writing it down. Next, ask yourself if you’re living or simply existing. What do your reflections tell you? Do you deserve to live with purpose and a fulfilling why? You bet. Now ask yourself how you can create margin in your life so you have time to refuel for the challenges ahead in 2022. Make it a year to remember.
Live your why,
Planning for the future doesn’t have to be a solo endeavor. In my upcoming book, Uncompromising, I outline seven pathways toward success and fulfillment. These principles have guided me through a challenging and uplifting career, and I believe they can do the same for you.
Explore the seven pathways by preordering a copy of Uncompromising. Launching February 2022.