2018 - A year for robust action

My 2018 started off very differently to other years.  Instead of the big fanfare and fireworks, followed by beach sunrise reflection time [with a few hours’ sleep in between], a little planning of priorities, and diving straight into it with gusto on the 2nd of January; this year I deliberately took a longer break. 

New Year’s Eve was spent in bed with jetlag, and I don’t recall noticing whether the sun rose on New Year’s Day behind the thick grey London skies.  I did, however, get to spend quality time with family; falling in love with the newest member – 4-week-old baby Saffron.  And, despite the bitter cold, I ventured out a few times [in more layers than I’ve ever been known to wear!], to explore the very different way of life that is London amid winter.

Other years I get frustrated with having to wait until clients are back on deck in late January.  This year, the shoe was on the other foot; on the other side of the world. And, I battled every day with a rather different frustrating feeling; that I hadn’t started 2018 yet.  Like I’d somehow missed that boat, and it was slowly slipping away without me. Felt like a mild, slowly building panic.

But, internal panic aside; turns out it was exactly the type of break I needed. More time to reflect. More time to write. More research and exploration, and more time for personal and professional development.

Yes, continual development is one of my ‘must haves’, so no one will be surprised that I embraced a couple of upskilling opportunities while in London [more on that in a later blog].

Long haul flights and stop-over time spent in airport lounges, provided me with the most in-depth reflection and writing time I’ve had for a long time. On the way over, I really needed to clear out my thoughts on 2017; finish the year with some valued learnings, so I could close that book. I did that, and it was an epic task; taking the entire flight time from Cairns to Singapore [read previous blog: ‘2017 – the 7 R’s Salute to a Radical Year’].  The lift and shift I felt after online posting that very real and raw account from Changi Airport lounge, was both exhilarating and strengthening.

You can’t focus on new stuff if your head is still full of yesterday’s crap

So, with that done, I was ready to spring board into 2018; with deliberate intent for a better, more productive year.  Lots of return flying time later - [read: thinking, writing and planning], I feel readier than ever before to leap into a new year. 2018 - ready to be ROCKING ON ALL OUR STRIPES!

2018 will be a year of robust action; totally in line with my purpose and passion; more structured in planning, more determined with persistent habit forming, more influential presentations, and massively productive. How do I know that?  Because I’m planning it that way; deliberately focused on implementing the new actions, personal habits, and valued partnerships that will make that happen.   


Here’s some focus tips I’m actioning this year …

Focusing on strengths … those things that drive, motivate and energise me. Doing more of that. I might be good at lots of stuff, and get asked to do all sorts of things, but not everything is good for me or fits with my core purpose and passion.  Some of it, is really just an enjoyable distraction.

Identify things that weaken … those distractions, the procrastinated tasks, those things that suck my energy.  I’m mitigating the impact of these with robust scheduling [do quickly or not at all], or delegating to others who love this stuff and do it 10 x faster than I can do.  Time to stop sweating over the small stuff.

Focus more on WHY [my purpose] and WHAT [desired outcome]; in my thinking, planning and service delivery, rather than getting bogged down on HOW.  Too much time is lost on planning out detail and perfectionistic over-preparing; when I know from experience that the HOW is often variable, and stuff generally works out. Agility is the key to resilience and success.

Now, because I like visual frameworks I can stick up on my office wall as motivating reminders [you know it involves bright colours, right?], I’ve turned all that into my 2018 mantra to keep me on track and focused on the right things …

BOLD Purpose Does it match our core purpose?  Does it boldly demonstrate what we stand for?

BRAVE Passion Does it fuel our passion and energy?  Does it bravely showcase the reasons we do what we do?

BALANCED Planning Will it fit with our current plans and feed our desired outcomes?  Can we realistically achieve this with our current resources?

BLATANT Persistence What is the potential outcome? Priority rating? What habits are necessary to support this?

BENEFICIAL Productivity - What will it give us? What will that allow us to do more of? Who will benefit most from the greater good outcomes?

2018 will bring personal best results. How do I know that?  Because I’m planning it that way and deliberately focused on ensuring these PB [ok, BP] support strategies are central to all our stripe rocking decisions, deliverables, and achievements.

What’s with the stripe talk? And those zebras?  My zebra stripe obsession is not just a fashion statement; it has a deeper symbolic meaning. 2018 will be a year for bravely revealing my bold stripes, for the purpose of helping others to step up, stand out, speak up, and lead change. Several of my biggest, robust 2018 actions will involve zebras. More on that soon ... 

So … after sharing my intentions and strategies for 2018, I’m wondering:  how ready are you? 

If you need help to identify what’s blocking your way forward, or more courage to drive changes, or strength to implement new habits, or a Vital Boost session to really hone in on your purpose … contact us. 

Self-leadership is a crucial foundational skill for successful leaders.

Leadership is a journey of continual tweaking and learning … for all of us.  


Written by Jilinda Lee - Change Champion, Leadership Coach, OD Strategist, Writer, Speaker … Founder and Managing Director of Vital Leaders, and passionate inspirer of dynamic, game-changing leaders.

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