Every 12-18 months, I work through a process that I call “What got you here won’t get you there” or WGYHWGYT. That’s not the most helpful abbreviation – so, I prefer the longer version of the name. :-)
The guiding principle is the idea that what got you here won’t get you there. It is a call to myself to pause, press the refresh button and change how I do things.
But, how do you know what to change?
I have a simple rule to get started- look for dissatisfaction. Over the past few months, for example, I’ve observed dissatisfaction at multiple moments. Here are a few examples –
- Want to reduce the number of times I check my phone and, instead, switch to reading books during downtime
- Need to shut down old project websites as old versions of wordpress are liabilities
- Could exercise more.
- Want to up-skill myself
- Need to make the creation process for the weekly “Notes by Ada” project more efficient
- Could do with a few wardrobe changes.
(there’s plenty more)
Once I’m satisfied with my dissatisfaction list (ha. there’s an idea), the next step is to think about what the next 12-18 months would ideally look like – what are the kinds of things I’d like to be doing differently? What should I be learning? How would I like to spend my time?
More often than not, the dissatisfaction list is nearly identical to the “future self” list. I think that’s because we are most dissatisfied by behaviors and processes that we believe aren’t consistent to who we want to be. This process is just about listening carefully to ourselves.
This list, then, is ready to be prioritized and acted upon. Some items require thought while some others require action. But, the plan exists. And, ideally, I’ll walk out at the other end of the process feeling refreshed and reinvented.
Life has a way of pushing us to refresh and reinvent ourselves from time to time. I’ve found it to be much better to own the process.