hello, hello! i've completed the fourth phase, options, of the institute of you program, and it was hard. whoa! this phase deals with identifying the actual steps you will take to align your current snapshot with your personal vision. if i had an 'ah-ha' moment in the last phase, this one was like a canon going off when i realized how far i was drifting. there are three exercises in this phase:
- saying no - this step was eye-opening and involves making a list of things you will say no to. they can be projects or habits like cutting back on checking your email every 5 minutes, twittering or getting your nose into everything because you need to know what’s going on everywhere like i do. they can also involve saying no to negative feelings like fear, complacency, lack of focus or worry. have you ever tried to assign a time line to your worries? it's very powerful to do so and see the opportunities that might be trickling right through your fingertips as you obsess over whether you're creative enough or if people will like your work.
- reprioritize projects - somehow, i have to reallocate about 20 hours a week to to projects that will be fulfilling and give me an opportunity for some financial reward. i'm very disappointed in myself for losing all concept of time management and have started to keep a daily log (love this one from muji!) and use our kitchen timer to keep me on course (i’m serious about the kitchen timer).
- backcasting - this is a sophisticated concept often used in corporate strategic planning and the only task that stopped me in my tracks. it involves filling out a large chart, in reverse! basically, you write down your current snapshot on one side (reality phase), your personal vision on the other (aims phase) and then work backwards to come up with a list of indicators and actions that will help you achieve your goals. then, pulling from the chart, you create a project plan of items you can work on over the next few months. some will be quick wins, which is great because when you look at everything contained in that chart it can be overwhelming.
ps brandon flowers from the killers has a new album. i love the song crossfire, although i'm not sure why charlize theron doesn't save him sooner in the video. maybe she does, but he keeps getting captured? boys!