We’ve reached the edge. Everything has an edge. An edge is the outside limit where something begins or ends. Some are real. Some are imagined. Some are self-imposed. We can see this year-end transition point as an edge. Our leadership has an edge. Our knowledge and competence has an edge. Our capacity to empathize and connect with others has an edge. Our comfort zone has an edge. To continue to grow as leaders and achieve more we must choose to go to our edge and push past the limits – real or imagined and self-imposed.
So as 2015 ends and 2016 begins, let’s reflect on the year past and envision the year ahead. The edge of 2016 is the perfect time to pause. Grab a piece of paper. Let’s write some things down using the A3 Model to frame our reflection.
Look back (Aim). Reflect on 2015. Everything produces what it is designed to produce. What did you produce in 2015? What experience did you have? What results did you achieve?
- What was your biggest accomplishment this year?
- What was your biggest disappointment?
- How did going to your edge or not contribute to both?
- What’s the biggest lesson you learned in 2015?
Look ahead (Align). Envision 2016. Next New Year’s Eve, what do you want to celebrate? What experience do you want to have? What results do you want to achieve?
- What professional accomplishments? (Do you want a new job? A new role? A new team? Accelerated growth or increased profit? Do you want to write a book? Start a podcast?)
- What personal accomplishments? (Do you want closer relationships with family? Do you want more or better friends? Do you want to run a marathon or take up yoga? Do you want to restart your meditation practice? Do you want to visit Yellowstone?)
- What accomplishments of those close to you? (What do you hope your family and friends experience in 2016? How do you want to support them?)
- What do you want 2016 to feel like? (Do you want 2016 to be a battle or a breeze? Do you want it to be a struggle, complex, and tedious or easy, uncomplicated, and fun? )
You are at the edge. The 2016 you want will only come to pass if you design it to produce what you envision. Some things will have to change. You may have to expand your knowledge and competence. You may have to connect with others in a new way. You may have to let go of some old beliefs, habits, practices, and relationships. You will have to leave your comfort zone. You will have to push past the limit.
Take a step (Act). The only way to ensure that what you’ve envisioned doesn’t become a list of New Year’s resolutions (we know what happens to them) is to treat them like a vision and mission – a Manifesto for 2016. That requires a strategy and plan.
- To accomplish what you have envisioned, what will you need to start or stop doing?
- To accomplish what you have envisioned, what relationships will you have to nurture?
- To accomplish what you have envisioned, what relationships will you have to change or end?
- To accomplish what you have envisioned, what resources do you need to arrange?
- What are the first three steps you need to take to put you on the path to success in 2016?
We are always at the edge. We just don’t always know it. The edge can be a self-imposed, imaginary limit. In every moment we face three choices – stay still, go backward, or go forward. Choices one and two keep us in our comfort zone behind the limits we impose on ourselves. Choices one and two represent a commitment to the usual and ordinary. Choice three, to go forward, is a push past the limit and a step past the edge. Choice three is an option to go beyond usual and ordinary, to have an ultra experience.
What will 2016 look like if you stay safely away from the edge? What will it look like if you go to the edge, push past the limits and make something new begin? We know the answers to these questions already. Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” He also said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” May 2016 be all you hope for. May you keep moving forward, open new doors, do new things, stay curious and walk new paths.
Happy Ultra New Year!
A final note. You may find it valuable to create a written 2016 Manifesto that you can look at on a regular basis to keep you focused in the new year. If you’d like a couple samples, send me a direct message and I’ll be happy to share them with you. Others may find value in creating a pictorial representation of your Manifesto. A Vision Board is a collage/collection of images that represent what you want in the new year in terms of experience and results.