The Journey Ahead: 2017 – Let’s Get Started!

The Process

I like to complete this process in 1-2 hour bits over the course of 5 to 6 days because my mind tends to wander after a couple hours. In order to keep clear focus on each step of the process it helps me to stop after each section and move on to other activities. The next day I will review what I have completed thus far and spend an hour or two on the next section. I am going to post about each section the day after I complete it. Here is my plan on planning The Journey Ahead.

If you are just joining us, you may want to start HERE first and then follow the steps (posts) in order. It’s never too late to start planning The Journey Ahead regardless of the date.

  • 12/23 (post 12/24): The Journey Past: 2016 – Reviewing the lessons of the year past. Completing a “Mind Dump” of the events, projects, and happenings of 2016. What went well? What didn’t go well?
  • 12/24 (post 12/26): How Did I Do? 2016 – Reviewing the goals set for 2016 in each Convergence Point. Ranking yourself in each area. What was completed? What wasn’t? Why?
  • 12/25: Happy Christmahannukwanzadan. Probably still missing a few people and I am sure someone is offended but so be it. I will be focusing on Family this day and hope you will as well. Although a few days late for Festivus there may even be a few “Airing of Grievances” and “Feats of Strength” this day as well.
  • 12/26 (post 12/27): Wrap It Up! 2016 – Summarize the accomplishments, challenges, & gratitudes of 2016. Learn from the experiences you had this past year both positive and negative. Forgive anyone and everyone including yourself and then close the door on 2016. Let It Go!
  • 12/27 (post 12/28): The Journey Ahead: 2017 – “Mind Dump” – starting with gratitude for a brand new year, think of all the possibilities in the journey ahead. What will your ideal year look like? What will you focus on? What will you accomplish? What may challenge you? How will you overcome those challenges?
  • 12/28 (post 12/29): What Are My Goals? 2017 – Set your goals by Convergence Point for 2017. How will you compete with your current self to become your future self?
  • 12/29 (post 12/30): Wrap It Up! 2017 – Pretend it’s December 2017 and you are starting your plan for 2018. What does the Journey Past for 2017 look like? Summarize the year as if it has already happened. Now commit to making it happen!
  • Celebrate! You have taken the first steps to planning a road map to a successful 2017 defined by your own wishes, dreams, and goals. This is only the beginning. It is an ongoing process throughout the year executing, reviewing, adjusting and planning. You can do this!

I personally like to hand write all of this into my first new journal for the year.  I generally use 3-4 journals a year dependent on how much I write. Using 4 is perfect in my eyes with a new journal for each quarter at which point I will rewrite everything from the current year portion of the process. It is a great time to take a pulse check, confirm or change priorities and keep the goals for the year top of mind.

If you are the type that likes a form to fill out vs. freestyle in a journal or you want to knock this out in one sitting and don’t want to wait for each post I have created a simple form you can download below.

The Journey Ahead 2017 Worksheet

The Journey Past: 2016

Mind Dump

The first step in planning the Journey Ahead is looking at the lessons of the Journey Past. Reflect on the past year both in your head as well as by reviewing any past calendars or journals. I find it very important to both start and end with Gratitude. Mine starts with…

Thank you for all the wonderful experiences and joys in 2016.

Then continue with the specific gratitude you have for special events, completed projects, and happenings this past year.  Let it flow. Keep writing until you can’t think of anything more to say. A few of mine are:

Thank you for a successful recovery from CSF Otorrhea repair surgery.

Thank you for another wonderful year with my soulmate and wife.

Thank you for another wonderful year with our 7 children progressing in their journey.

Keep writing with as much detail as you can think of. What challenges did you face? What are you most proud of? What could you have done better? We’ll get into the details by Convergence Point in the next section but this is a good time to start thinking about all of those areas in your life and how they went in 2016.

I truly believe it will take an hour at a minimum to do this well and the space provided in the worksheet should not be nearly enough so add a couple blank pages if you are using it and keep writing.  Get it all out and onto paper to prepare for the next steps and eventual planning for the next year.  It took me 2.5 hours to complete in both reading through all my 2016 journals and performing this Mind Dump onto paper.

STEP 1 DONE! Talk to you on 12/26 with the next step.

Happy Christmahannukwanzadan!

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