Where Do You Want to Go? (Productive Flourishing Pulse #465)
And how do you plan to get there?
Before we jump into today’s Pulse, thanks for all the check-ins and well-wishes about how Angela and I are doing in the winter shutdown we’re experiencing in Portland. Our power was out from Saturday morning until Wednesday morning but we were able to stay warm, comfy, and safe by running an extension cord from our neighbor’s house to power a space heater and a few other essential electronics. Community FTW!
Now that we’re a little more than halfway through January, we might be coming out from the swirl of the new year and starting to see what the year really has in store. Our first-quarter plans might be starting to take a more defined shape and we may be seeing a little more clearly the constraints we’ll be operating under.
If our objectives/goals are the reason why we take the journey, our key results are the destination(s), and the constraints are the roadblocks and other limitations, then our projects are the vehicles that get us where we want to go.
It’s important we don’t confuse these different parts:
Objective: the thematic or qualitative goal we’re shooting for (“why”)
Key Result: the quantitative, measurable yardstick that tells us we’re achieving the objective (usually “what” and sometimes “when”)
Project: the means for achieving the key result, and therefore the objective (“how” and “who”)
Constraint: our limits of time, energy, attention, and money, among others
If you haven’t yet taken the time to get clear on your vision for 2024, and the themes and objectives you want it to include, please build in some time now to do that work. There’s no point identifying key results and projects if you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve with them. You’ll spend a lot of TEA(M) only to end up somewhere different than where you wanted to be.
Once you have your vision and objectives defined, you can shift from visioning to planning, and answer the other questions: what results are going to help us achieve our vision, and what projects are going to help us achieve the key results?
Some additional resources that can help you with both phases:
Visioning and Objectives
The 5 Must-Practice Skills For Doing Your Best Work: a refresher on some of these steps
How to Set SMART Goals: build Simple, Meaningful, Actionable, Realistic, Trackable objectives
Yearly Planner: this has room for vision/theme, objectives, key results, and constraints [for Paid and Pro]
Planning Key Results and Projects
Making Progress Towards Your Goals & Dreams Quarter by Quarter: how to set up your 12-week roadmap
How to Referee Your Project Cagematch (and Unveil Your Values and Priorities): how to choose the projects that are right for your objectives
How to Find the Right Level of Success for Your Next Project: knowing your level of success can help pinpoint the necessary key results to get there
How Success Packs Push Your Project to Done: defining your “who”
Quarterly Planner: breaking down your yearly objectives into actionable quarter-sized plans [for Paid and Pro]
The first “official” quarter of the year may be in full swing, but now’s the perfect time to make sure your objectives and key results and projects are all lining up to support each other — and you. Do your projects accomplish the results you want, which in turn measure the vision you want to achieve?
PS: And if you're finding your year “started without you” and you need some additional support getting a real plan in place, consider upgrading your subscription to a PF Pro membership, and join us Wednesday, January 24, 11:00 a.m. PST for our guided Quarterly Planning.
Other News & Features
Need a more structured pause before the year gets fully underway (and away from you)? Maybe to do some of that deep visioning and planning uninterrupted by your day-to-day responsibilities? There’s still time to join us in the Dominican Republic in February for the Level Up Retreat. Final registration ends in just a week (January 26), and we only have a few spaces left. Secure yours today. We have payment options available.
Team Habits won the Management and Culture category in Bookpal’s 2023 Outstanding Works of Literature competition! Woot! Here’s what they said about it: “This was such a fascinating read. It's not just another book on teamwork but a book that teaches you how to create a team that is not only successful but one where everyone feels like they belong. I feel like this should be an essential read for all teams.” Of course, I feel like it should be an essential read, too. :)
Reads and Seeds
We’ve been without power for most of the week, so I haven’t done as much online reading as normal. I kept up with my new journaling process, though, so here are some gems from it:
So much of the wealth of marginalized people has been eaten up by forced migrations and displacement. We’re thus often more reticent to leave our neighborhoods when things get socially uncomfortable. We’ve lost so much already, and if we left every time something got socially uncomfortable for us, we’d be transients indefinitely. Someone’s quick declaration of their exiting an uncomfortable social situation is often a tell-tell sign of their privilege.
The trick with creating good mental models is filtering out the noise from the salient data points. For instance, when determining whether to work from home, the temperature outside is less important than whether the sidewalks are covered with snow and ice. Mental model = if you can’t see the sidewalks, work from home. (Learned after falling two days in a row.)
“I’ll let it slide for the next couple of months, but if I see this level of cash buildup in April, I’m going to be more adamant that you pay yourself more or that we find a better way to use the cash than just sitting on it. You’ll be paying too much for peace of mind.” —Me, to a client during a coaching call
“I know you would’ve liked to see it coming sooner AND we’re not going to kneecap the win that you had some unexpected free cash at the end of the year.” —Me, to a different client during a coaching call
“We’re both assuming that the song recording I’ll send will actually be less embarrassing than the shitty cat song [I’m being threatened with]. That remains to be seen.” —Me, to a collaborator for a podcast project