Monday, January 16, 2012

Annual Passion Plan (an APP for a SMART life, not a smart phone)

One of the things I find helpful in organizing my life is having goals and plans. And I mean the kind you write down and/or announce to the world. A few years ago, Blair and I sat down and mapped out how we wanted our year to look like. We categorized our wants, needs, personal and professional goals and mapped them out over the four quarters of the year. Each month we would review how we were doing, whether we were still on target with our plans and assess from there. That was a particularly fruitful year - we had created a vision of how we wanted it to look, and by golly, we made it happen.

We haven't done this for a few years. With the job loss in 2009, with two long distance moves and general upheaval, we got so focused on surviving the everyday. So we took it day by day. And at the end of these three years, while amazing events have happened, we feel less fulfilled because we weren't participating in the driving forward of our destiny as much as we would have liked. So we vowed to not let another year go by for which we weren't mapping out our goals and passions and working really hard to make them happen. Not everything gets ticked off from the list, but it is a great reminder of what is important to us. When we make decisions, we ask "is this bringing us closer to our goals?"

I had the opportunity last week to sit down for a couple of hours and think about how I would like 2012 to look. The categories I used for myself were: educational goals, Dallas goals, personal development, professional development, travel, stuff I would like, things I don't want to forget.

When you create your list, notice what you left off. When I made mine, I noticed that I hadn't written down that I'd like to perform more stand up comedy this year. That was an opportunity for me to get curious about that omission: Am I still enjoying comedy? Do I have other priorities? Is this fun? Does this make my heart sing?

I'm sharing some of my goals with you here. It'd be an amazing year to "git 'er all done" but it isn't about getting your checklist done, it's about living your life with resonance. Does your Annual Passion Plan lead you towards your Life Plan? (As an aside, looks like I created my own APP, LOL. Now if I could just get that on an iPhone.) I find it helpful to write stuff down on sticky notes and arrange them in priority order and then either post them as one big sticky note collage, or write them down in linear form and print out the list.

The most important thing is to be MINDFUL. Whatever that means for YOU. For me, it is posting my goals  in a very visible space so that I see and acknowledge it on a daily basis. This isn't homework or a chore - this is you creating the life you want. If you don't really want to do something, ask yourself why you put it on your list. Get curious.

Do you know what a SMART goal is? In the business world, this traditionally means: Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic and Timely. Blah. That sounds like a to do list with stuff I don't wanna do... CTI's coaching model teaches a new way of looking at SMART.

S = Specific. In order for a goal to be achievable, it needs to be specific.  What is exactly do you want to accomplish?

M = Measurable. How will you know you've accomplished your goals? A goal must be measurable and have a date attached to it.

A = Accountable. In moving toward a goal, it is useful for you to create accountability for achieving it, by having a coach like me, or a friend or family member who helps keep track of your progress.

R = Resonant.  Resonant goals are what move you toward the things that truly bring you fulfillment.  When you think or talk about this goal, can you feel the passion stirring? Is this something you really want for yourself? Will working to achieve it be fully honoring your values?  A good coach can help you find the resonance in your goals, and help you to let go of goals that are not resonant for you.

T = Thrilling.  Goals should be so thrilling — and even scary — that you can’t wait to get started!  Set goals that have you stretch, that will call you forth to new capabilities and power, that push and pull you forward into a bigger life. This can be HUGE but know that you have people in your life who will support you, including me!

That being said, I am now including perform stand up comedy on my list. It must be important to me, because I woke up in the middle of the night last night with a joke and I just had to write it down... which means there is a Jean coming to a comedy stage to Dallas in the very near future...

Educational goals (a place for you to expand your mind)
Fencing class (I bought a Groupon!), intermediate and advanced cake decorating classes, a language class (Spanish or Italian), crafting classes so my crafts look less special than they currently do, a relationships systems theory class (how to coach in groups). 

Delightfully Discover Dallas
We just moved here, and I'd love to know the ins and outs of my new city. I'd like to have a great tour on hand of sights and eats for when we have visitors stay with us! Discover comedy clubs for me to perform in!!

Tuning my Temple (personal development)
Find a fitness class/activity I enjoy and do it 3x a week, meet a friend for coffee 1x weekly, blog 3x a week, bake 1x weekly, keep a gratitude journal and write in it daily, be mindful about food, enjoy the time with my new Little Sister (Big Brothers Big Sisters). Scheduling 1 hr a week for comedy writing!

Kickin' Ass at Coaching (professional development)
Write a book which leads to paid speaking engagements, write workshop outlines for1/2 day, full day and 2-day workshops, connect with the Deaf community in Dallas, create coaching video blogs in sign language for my website, get 2+ workshop gigs in Toronto/Ottawa/Montreal/Vancouver

Travel goals
Visit cities nearby for weekend trips: Austin, Houston
Visit New Orleans 
Go on an Alaskan cruise this September to celebrate a friend's wedding
Go somewhere to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary in December

Here's to 2012 being a thrilling and resonant year for all of us! 


  1. I'm excited for you and by you! Awesome post. So this would be an APP for myLife right?? You could totally start your own iJean terminology.

    1. I totally think I should trademark my APP!