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Going into 2023 with intention and purpose.
Hi friends 👋
It’s the holiday season—a moment to unplug from your routine and spend time with loved ones, but also an opportunity to reflect on 2022 and plan ahead.
Since 2013, I’ve completed the same personal reflection activity every year, and it’s been a transformational exercise that has deeply impacted my personal and professional growth.
A few friends have asked if I could share it, so here it is.
It’s a 30-minute exercise that will help you evaluate how far you’ve come in 2022 and set a vision for 2023.
Hopefully, it’ll enable you to start the year in a more intentional manner.
📅 2022 Lookback
“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.”
– Margaret J. Wheatley
How’d you do on your 2022 goals?
First, define the various dimensions of your life:
Mental & Spiritual
For each dimension, write out the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year and evaluate your progress on them. How’d you do?
Simply rank each dimension with 1 (Poor), 2 (Neutral) or 3 (Excellent). This provides you with a baseline understanding and sets up the next few sections.
If you didn’t write any goals for 2022, that’s fine. Skip this section.
What were your most memorable moments from 2022?
Look at old photos, flip through your journal, or scroll through your calendar to detail out the significant moments of the year
Meeting a special person
Landing an impressive job
Accomplishing an important goal
These are the symbolic moments that defined your year.
I usually aim for anywhere from 12-24 moments–and they don’t always have to be positive. Perhaps a defining moment was an unfortunate event that you learned and grew from.
For future reference, I like to keep a rolling list of memorable moments throughout the year. It’s much easier to keep track that way.
What were the key themes?
Read through everything you’ve written down. What 3-5 overarching themes stand out to you?
Accelerating your career
Achieving financial freedom
Cutting off toxic relationships
What you’ve written in this section is a summary of your experiences, struggles, and learnings through the last 12 months. Keep these in mind as you complete the next section and think through what you want to accomplish in 2023.
🚀 Looking ahead to 2023
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
― Søren Kierkegaard
What do you want to have accomplished?
Some think a year ahead. Others, a decade ahead. But I’d encourage you to think all the way to the end by asking yourself:
What do you want to have accomplished by the end of your life?
This is your guiding north star. Most of what you do over the next few years (and decades) should steer you closer to accomplishing these goals.
What are your goals for 2023?
Let’s go back to the dimensions we discussed in the first exercise.
Set goals for each dimension: what do you want to stop / start / continue doing?
On top of that, pick 2-3 goals to set as your big bets. These are the meaty goals—ones that usually involve the more significant dimensions of your life: your job, partner, or environment.
Make your goals a reality
Now, take action.
What actions will you take toward making your goals a reality?
What mechanisms will you put in place to ensure you meet your goals?
How will you keep yourself accountable?
The key to successful accomplishing your goals is to design your environment and systems in a way that enables you to be successful.
You’ve now completed the exercise! Hopefully this was a helpful activity to gain clarity on what you should be focusing next year.
P.S – if you share your 2-3 big bets with me, I’ll do the same. I’d love to learn about what you’re working on. Just reply to this email.
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