We’re cozied in the corner booth of the pub with tacos and no one else around. It’s been a doozer of a business week and I have some Very Big Decisions to make. Wait. In case you’re not the story-type, I’ll give you the quick take-away:
A SHORT HOW-TO ON DOING A YEARLY RETROSPECTIVE
Step 1: Write a list of the highlights of the last year or season. You only have three minutes. Write anything. It’s fascinating to see what surfaces when you don’t filter it, hence the time pressure.
Step 2: Have a good friend look it over and point out what you missed, and what they see the patterns are.
Step 3: What pattern do YOU see? What very obviously gives you joy? What was “big” but didn’t even make it on to the list?
Step 4: Chill out more and really think about what moved you and mattered the most in your past year.
Step 5: Determine the five things you’re going to focus on in the next year or phase of your life. (Easier said than done, and/but…such focus is ESSENTIAL to your success.) Go back to Step 3.
And now for my story version of restrospective-ing, in which I reveal how much I actually forgot about my life and how simple I really am…Where were we? Right…
My compadre and I just look at each other and start laughing the, “Well, this is a fine mess” hysterical laughter. When I wipe my tears (50/50 laughter/dismay) I kick off the convo with, “Well what the fuck do we do now?”
“K. Open your notebook and write a list of your highlights of last year. You have three minutes. Write anything,” Steph instructed. She is my closest advisor and team builder. We’re road tripping, do-pretty-much-anything-for-each-other-friends-for-life. “Anything? Only three minutes? K. Don’t interrupt me.” I wrote. Steph ordered more food. Our typical rhythm.
MY YEAR’S HIGHLIGHTS
H guitar (My kid has really learned to rock out. So awesome.)
Salt water in Kona
Sanoviv (the way healthcare should be.)
New temple (I bought a dreamy home)
Vision I had in Aire baths of X (Sorry, I can’t tell you what the vision was but…it’s coming true)
Trips (only got on planes for pure fun)
Haircut from Christina (best cut of my life)
So much of Venice Beach
Blue sky strategy
Laughs with X
Dinner with X&X
Franti summer touring
Consciousness expanded, big FREEDOM.
More light. light. light.
Dancing in the kitchen
Broke up with X
About 5 posts (I wrote a few things that felt…useful.)
December in NYC
The timer goes off, Steph grabs my list. I’m all like, “Do I get an A+?!”
WHAT MY HIGHLIGHTS SAY ABOUT MOI…a lot.
She’s quiet. “Hmmm…” she sighs, deductively. “You know what you didn’t mention on this list? HELLO! That the business made $x,xxx,xxx last year! That you did THAT business deal, and THAT business deal.”
Oops. I laughed, “Oh yeah. Money. We did so great. But I also got the BEST HAIRCUT EVER and that is monumental.” And then the laughter/dismay tears/laughter came back. I completely blanked on the dollars and deals. All I could remember was that song, and that day at the beach, and crying in the cafe, and THAT idea and THAT idea, and the ONE THING I said that day that made it all better…
“My body remembers everything that really matters.” I thought.
Steph leaned in, “D, everything on this list is about freedom and relationships. All creativity and love.”
I jumped in, “So let’s plan 2016 around Freedom and Relationships?!” Me learn so fastly.
THE FOCUS FIVE
Next up. Steph pushes the pen and paper back to me.
Steph: You can only focus on five things this year.
Me: Only five?
Steph: Only five.
Me: Not six?
Me: Only five?
Steph: D, that one year plan you gave me is like, a ten year business plan.
Me: So what’s your point? (Batting my eyelashes.) Look, I’ve got shit to do. Biggie big big. Let’s hire more people. (Pause. Pause…Relenting shrug.) But I really want to write my next book. I knooooow, I know. Focus. Five. Fuck. Focus fucking fiver. K. Don’t interrupt me.
Steph ordered more food. Her noble work was done for the day.
I got focused on the freedom that I love so much. Obviously.
. . . . . .
The key to truly rewarding focus is doing what lights you up. Passion is like a laser beam. If you’re easily distracted, you’re not in love enough with what you’re doing. This sounds idealistic, I know. But passion is like that — demanding. And worth it.