The first step in your 2013 plan – anchor the why, the whom and the what

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A new year can feel like a fresh-smelling sheet just taken off a clothesline in a Swiss village.

Or it can feel big and daunting, like staring off the side of a big cliff.

However this new year shows up for you, before you put your head down and start working, I recommend anchoring yourself by answering a few questions:

Why do I want to create the things I want to create this year?

  • What concrete things will happen as a result  of investing my time and energy to build something new this year? Is it important to me? Is it important to my community? Is it important to the current state of the world?
  • Why me? What unique perspective or experience do I bring to this work? If I don’t have decades of experience or advanced degrees, do I care more than someone else? Will I work harder than someone else?
  • Is it worth trying, even if it fails miserably?
  • Why now? Will I regret not doing this thing this year? Is there a reason why this is the perfect time in the market for me to do my thing? If not now, when? Will next year be any different than this year? Will I regret not doing this in 2013?

Whom do I want to serve?

  • What are the specific characteristics of people I am excited to work with this year?
  • Why do they deserve the very best of my intelligence and energy?
  • What will they do with what I give them?
  • Will they appreciate my gifts, and bring out my best self?
  • Are they fun and engaging to work with?
  • Do they push me to overcome my natural fear and resistance to do important work, because I know they need what I have more than I am afraid of sharing what I have?

What do I want to create?

What are the tangible things I want to add to my body of work this year?

  • Written things — books, blog posts, ebooks, code
  • Programmatic things — classes, programs, workshops, software
  • World changing things — movements, organizations, awareness, insight, permission
  • Artistic things — art, pictures, music, poetry

What if this were my last year on earth?

I hope not. But it might be!

How might this list be adjusted if it were?

Answer the big questions first.

Then we can dig in and get very pragmatic about how to break down your goals into feasible steps.

Let’s do this year justice, shall we?

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18 Responses to “The first step in your 2013 plan – anchor the why, the whom and the what”

  1. […] entrepreneurs, I would recommend Pam Slim’s “Why, Whom and What” […]

  2. […] entrepreneurs, I would recommend Pam Slim’s “Why, Whom and What” […]

  3. […] entrepreneurs, I would recommend Pam Slim’s “Why, Whom and What” […]

  4. […] entrepreneurs, I would recommend Pam Slim’s “Why, Whom and What” […]

  5. […] The First Step in Your 2013 Plan – Anchor the Why, the Whom, and the What by Pamela Slim […]

  6. Liz Staley says:

    Wow, this is exactly what I needed today! I’m going to sit down and give these a good hard think. This is the year that I am determined to make my business a success and knowing these things will help immensely with my branding.

  7. […] are excerpts from Pamela Slim’s January 2nd blog post. Pamela is the author of Escape from Cubicle Nation. To read the full blog post, click […]

  8. Wow, Pam!

    I thought I’d dug deep in planning 2013 — You’ve given me some important things to think about before making my announcements.

    Thank you! As always!


  9. Kristie says:

    Great timing on the post I had three job offers in my inbox this morning and this really helped me decide which ones to accept and which to pass on.

  10. […] entrepreneurs, I would recommend Pam Slim’s “Why, Whom and What” […]

  11. Pam, this post is just what I needed to read today and I plan to sit down and answer all these questions tomorrow. So insightful – many thanks!

  12. faisal says:

    Actually these questions should be asked on a quarterly basis, rather than a yearly basis.

  13. Anthony says:

    Very insightful. These questions really got me thinking. I believe everyone in any form of business venture should read this. Thanks for the insight.

  14. Great questions Pam! I generally take new years as a time to both look back at the prior year and to look ahead to the year to come.

    I particularly liked your question about ‘why do I want to create the things I want to create this year?’

  15. Very helpful questions. I’m intrigued by how we always wish it’s not our last year on earth! The Dalai Lama says death is like changing clothes. Buddhists see the moment of death as a special opportunity to recognize our true nature if we have practiced in life. So maybe it’s not so bad after all! Of course, this life is precious and there’s not a moment to be wasted. I’m not suggested otherwise, just working on eroding away my fear of the natural end of this body and this life.

    • Pamela Slim says:

      So true Sandra! I have to admit I am very attached to this earthly plain, especially my kids. 🙂 But I am not afraid of what is after, I just want to make sure to use every ounce of verve this go around! Happy New Year!