I’ve noticed that my December blogging has a theme: my posts are all about the importance of taking time for reflection and for doing year-end reviews for one’s business and book. You would think that would be strategically planned, but it wasn’t. This is simply a natural time for doing these things, yet many people are so busy they simply won’t take the time. That’s a mistake. I won’t repeat myself here about steps for doing those reviews. You can find it in other blog posts, but I will share a technique I use every day as I plan for the upcoming day, week, month, and year.
Asking questions. It is one of the most powerful tools to embrace while making a plan. I learned the importance of this from Richard Bandler, the co-founder of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and author of numerous books on the subject, including Get the Life You Want and Richard Bandler’s Guide to Trance-formations. (Full disclosure: I worked on promoting these two books and I highly recommend them if you’re interested in creating good, lasting change in your life and business.)
The brain is a very sophisticated, powerful mechanism, but it needs to be directed. If it isn’t, it will simply run on automatic pilot and keep churning up the same old thoughts every day, particularly ideas that we took on as little kids. Thoughts such as, “I’m not good enough,” or “I’m too fat,” or “I’m not smart enough,” or “I don’t know how to do this,” and on and on and on…ad infinitum. Generally, not very helpful thoughts at best, and at the worst, they can keep you for reaching anywhere near your potential. If fact, they can cause many people to abandon ideas before they even try to implement them.
Questions are a way to direct the brain toward what you do want. Below are some examples. Imagine if you started each day by asking yourself questions like these:
- What is the one thing I can do today that will have the most impact on myself and others?
- Who can I talk to today that will give me the biggest push forward regarding my business or my book?
- What can I do today that will have me saying, “Wow. What a productive day!”
- How can I make this fun? (Ask this when you have a task that you really don’t like doing.)
- What could be good about this? (Ask this when something happens that you initially see as a negative.)
The questions you choose to ask yourself depend on what you want and the language you easily respond to. Sit down and make a list. Imagine what you want your day to be like. How do you want it to unfold? What do you have coming up that you must do, and how can you do it better?
One important note: As you ask yourself each question, pause for :30 seconds to see what answers come to mind.
You can ask specific questions for each day every morning. For the week, ask them on Sunday night or Monday morning. Then have a set of monthly, quarterly and yearly questions, e.g., “What is something I can do between now and the end of the year that will set me up for success in the New Year?”
Be sure and keep a journal and write your answers down. Then when you do your annual review at this time in December, but sure and look over that journal. See how far you’ve come. Notice what changes have taken place due to taking a little more control of your brain and asking the important questions.
I’d love to hear what you think about this process. Remember to have fun with it!
To your success!