Most of us get a lot done in a year. Successful ambitious people like you probably get more done than most, but our lives are not measured by the number of to do’s we check off of a list. Our lives our measured by the moments of delight we experience or create for others. It’s measured by the amazing things we create and the amazing people we create it for.
In the last month I got to spend time on retreat with several amazing people I’m lucky enough to call clients. During these retreats I learned a lot about what it means to go beyond your typical year-end planning process and create something truly extraordinary; and I want to share some of the wisdom of what I learned with you:
How To Plan An Extraordinary Year
1. Move Beyond Fear. During my year-end retreats I asked each of my clients what they would do if they weren’t afraid? And their answers astounded me.
One of them talked about working on a new project that would lift people out of the doldrums and sadness of everyday life. Another talked about how he would show his family more unconditional love and be more honest with his followers. Still another talked about finding a way to bring something he had long loved into a more central role in his business.
When most people plan the year ahead they don’t consider how fear might be holding them back. Instead they only think about what they want to get done. But that’s the difference between ordinary and extraordinary planning. To plan for the extraordinary means to look beyond the obvious and visible barriers and search for those subtle and sometimes invisible forces within you that are holding you back.
2. Understand the Past So You Can Let It Go. One of the things that sets successful people apart is that they don’t cling to the past. They take what they need to know and move on. The only problem is that even when you think you’re done with the past, the past may not be done with you.
Each of the clients I worked with had something unresolved from their past. Sometimes it was an issue with an absent parent, sometimes it had to do with some fixed ideas they had about the kind of business and life they had to create.
With each of these issues we looked at how the past had shaped and affected them both for the good and for the bad. We looked at how they might take the best parts of their past while letting go of the stories that held them back. There were tears, deep conversations, and some powerful moments where clients saw how their pasts had been holding them back and realized there was a way to honor that part of their lives without being controlled by it.
The mistake most of us make when we plan is that we only look back at the past year. The truth is that the forces that affect our lives don’t function on the same yearly cycles we’re used to examining. To truly make sure this year is a one in which you move beyond those things that are holding you back, you have to be willing to dig into those parts of your life you’d like to pretend don’t still haunt you.
3. Make Impossible Goals. If you’re like most people you plan your year like this: you reflect on the past, you think about the future, you create some goals, and you think through how you meet those goals in the next year. Let me start off by saying there is nothing wrong with this approach; all of my clients had done this kind of planning in the past and found success.
The problem is that most of the time these amazing clients set goals that other people would find astounding, but which didn’t really push them. These were people who could create the impossible, but planned only for the possible.
If you want to create an ordinary year, all you have to do is set possible goals. If you’re diligent, hardworking, and things go as planned you’ll probably be successful. But if you want to do something extraordinary, you have to do more, you have to set impossible goals.
You see, when you set possible goals you get focused on logistics. You ask yourself what do I need to do to achieve this? But impossible goals ask you to do more than that. They require you to see beyond your normal methods and get creative. They ask you to consider the kind of person you’re going to have to become in order to create extraordinary results.
Each of the amazing clients I did retreats with this year set possible goals on their own and I asked each of them to think about something bigger during our time together. The goals they came up with were scary big, but the goals they set actually didn’t matter. What mattered was the look I saw in their eyes when they talked about these impossible goals. They each had a look of wonder and excitement, the kind of look you normally only see with little kids on Christmas morning.
This is what makes setting impossible goals so amazing, because it asks each of us to be our best selves and to get excited about the future.
**Taking The Time For Extraordinary – ** Of course none of this is possible if you don’t take the time to reflect, plan, and consider your path.
Every year I hear people talking about New Year’s resolutions and year end planning, but very rarely do I see people setting aside the time to actually reflect and prepare for the year ahead. It’s so much easier to keep doing the day to day, to open the next email, and to fall back into the comfortable groove you’ve been living in for the past year.
Don’t let this happen to you this year. Sit down right now and clear one day or even just one hour on your calendar to practice letting go of fear, looking at the past, and setting impossible goals for the future. It’s so easy to let this month and this year just slide on by, but the people who are affected and transformed by your work are waiting for you to get started. Don’t get stuck where you are, take the time to create a plan for a truly extraordinary year.
Help Create An Extraordinary Year –
Every year I run a small set of high level strategy retreats for my amazing and breathtaking clients and every year I’m amazed with the results. Of all the things I do with clients throughout the year, it’s these retreats that create the biggest impact and prepare my clients to create something truly extraordinary month after month. I started to think about ways in which I could take this amazing experience and share it with all of you.
Which is why I’ve decided to offer a small number of virtual retreats to a select group of amazing readers so that some of you can create something truly extraordinary this year.
If you sign up for a retreat you’ll get:
- A handcrafted strategic planning experience designed specifically for your personal and professional goals.
- The same powerful one-on-one coaching I use with my high level clients to help you create a compelling vision for the year and set the kinds of impossible goals that create unbelievable results.
- Tough, honest questions that will challenge you to think bigger this year than you have in the past.
- The time and space to focus on what matters and realign your life with your deepest values.
Cost – I’ve thought a lot about what to charge for these virtual retreats. Normally I charge anywhere from $3,000 for a one-on-one retreat and up to $10,000 for an executive and their high-level team members, but I know that not everyone on my list is at that level and ready to make that kind of investment, so instead of putting a price tag I’m going to offer these retreats at a Pay What Scares You Price
I’m doing this because I want you to decide what kind of commitment or investment you’re willing to make in order to create something extraordinary this year.
When you’re ready join me in creating something truly extraordinary in 2016
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