There are 100 days left in this calendar year.
Where last year felt like the longest year of my life, this year has felt relatively short. The thought of there being only 100 days left creates a sense of urgency for me, which naturally creates the conditions for me to wonder about what might be most important right now.
At the start of each calendar year, I take time to reflect deeply on who I am becoming and how I am choosing to live. These reflections naturally give birth to many intentions. Some intentions have more clarity and conviction behind them, and others are better described as mere ideas.
Fast forward about nine months, many of my intentions and ideas have either been fulfilled or forgotten. I feel satisfied with those that have been fulfilled, and at peace with those that I have forgotten about, as it turns out that they were not that important to me anyways. If they were, they would have been fulfilled by now.
If my life is a reflection of my mind, and its inner workings, then I better pay attention to where my mind is going, as that is where my life is going.
My mind is like water.
It will naturally flow where there is the least amount of resistance. If you drop a bucket of water on top of a hill, the water will flow in all directions. When flowing everywhere, it feels like I am going nowhere.
Alternatively, when water is directed in a single direction, it becomes powerful. It moves fast enough to create energy. Its momentum takes in everything along its path. It is going places.
Going here and there takes resources, and there is a finite amount of resources available to me. The resources I speak of are called energy, enthusiasm and excitement. Given the choice between spreading and sharing these resources among many or few, I am best to choose few. This is how I can create impact, for me and for others.
With 100 days left in the calendar year, now is the time for me to pick two or three priorities to focus on. And to let go of trying to do too much more than this.
It is the time to give myself the space to focus on only these two or three priorities, and to not feel the pressure, from myself or from those around me, to have to focus on anything else.
It is the time for me to commit fully to these two or three priorities, and to not make any excuses as to why I chose not to actually focus on them.
Business advice that I long ago received and still remember is to describe my strategy and priorities in timelines of three years or three months. Three years provides a long-term direction and vision from which to align decisions. Three months gives enough time to make real progress, and forces me to reassess the situation based on what has been learned. Anything in between three years and three months introduces the risk of me losing connection with reality, which is always changing.
My two or three priorities are best to include some diversity, to be truly reflective of my life. There may be one related to a business, professional or work domain. One related to a relationship, community or service domain. Or one in a health domain, be it mental, physical, emotional or spiritual.
By this point into reading my reflection, your mind has likely surfaced one or two of your priorities. This is a reflection of what it is that is really important to you right now.
You might be wondering what mine are. I am not sharing mine intentionally, as it does not matter what I, or even you, choose to focus on. What matters is that each of us make an intentional choice of what to focus on, and as a result, what not to focus on.
This ‘100 days’ reflection exercise encourages me to have a bit more intentionality in life. To pick only two or three things, not seventeen, to focus on is not easy and the upfront reflection is where the value in this exercise is found.
With greater intentionality, the qualities of gratitude, grounding, ownership and responsibility are all strengthened within me. These are the same qualities that help me move through life with a little more ease, and a little less friction.
What are the two to three priorities that you will focus on in the last 100 days of this year?