December 21, 2016

Make Next Year Count (Part 2 of 4 Yearly Planning)

Thinking about the distant future to make progress on what's important

I hope you are having a great week and aren’t letting the stress of the holidays get to you.

This week I am back in your inbox again with the second set of worksheets in the 4 part series (if you missed last week, you can download it here). And this week I am taking you in the future (and who doesn’t love a bit of time travel?).

These worksheets are focused on your long term goals – your life goals. Whenever I do these exercises I am always surprised at what they bring into focus for me: my relationships. 

When you fast forward into your future, I want you to really think about what it means to live your life to its fullest. 

Who have you changed? 

How have you made the world better? 

What is going to be your legacy?

For me, I am the happiest when I can make a real difference in the lives of others. My best moments at work are seeing those around me flourish; and I treasure the few thank you notes I still have from past employees. I love seeing my children grow into kind, caring people that give more than they take. 

I want to leave this world knowing I lived every day without regrets; always doing and saying things I am proud of.

And completing these worksheets is a good reminder to be the person you want to be. 

Access your part 2 worksheet here!

This week I needed that reminder.

The stress from peak planner season, sleepless nights with a newborn, and coming back to work after being out for maternity leave has made me a bit short tempered. So last Friday when something didn’t go as expected, instead of being the understanding person I aspire to be, I snapped at my business partner and we had an argument.

It ended up ruining both of our weekends – we have been friends for 18 years and now work together – and so it is just awful to be in a disagreement. I couldn’t think of anything else. When we got back to work we were able to resolve our conflict, but one of the things he said to me really stuck.

He said “you write on your blog about how important it is to be understanding, and the minute I screwed up you didn’t show any empathy or communicate with me, you just got flustered and upset.” And it was true. Ouch.

Our friendship means more to me than our business relationship ever well and so even when we don’t see eye to eye, I need to treat him with the respect I would any best friend. And these things are easy to forget in the moment.

It is easy to take our closest relationships for granted.

The most important people in our lives get the short end of the stick. They see us at our worst. They deal with us when we are tired, sick, and stressed.

And a lot of the time we don’t expend the same amount of effort to listen and understand them the way we would an acquaintance or stranger. Why? Because we don’t have to – we know they love us.

So this week I want you to think about your future. And especially the people you have, or want to have, in your life.

At the end of your day, and your life, the only thing that will matter is how you are remembered and that will always be a product of how you impacted the people around you.
I think this quote says it all:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Until next week!
Kate

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What did you learn this year? (Part 1 of 4 Yearly Planning)

By kate matsudaira