Life Design Journaling Framework: Execution

What is Execution

Execution is the ongoing actions we are taking according to our Map to realize our vision.  It takes awareness of what we are doing, how we are doing it, and how effective what we are doing is.  Based on our actions we constantly update our plan and reorient to our goals and objectives.

Execution is the final segment of the Life Design Journaling framework.

Every year you are inundated with people telling you to make New Year’s resolutions. There is a ton of information about how to make goals and how to succeed in your goals. And still, every year after New Years’ you hear of how many people did not follow their resolutions. We seem to have more and more information on how to set and achieve goals, but it isn’t helping.
I think the problem with setting and keeping New Year’s resolutions lies with a lack of awareness of who we are and what we want out of life.

Problem with New Years Resolutions

A business does not sit down for an afternoon during the holidays and quickly set out the corporate goals for the following year. For a business, goal setting is a rigorous process of determining the current state, the future state, and how to bridge the gap.
In many ways, a business is much simpler than your life. A business can arbitrarily decide what is part of the business and what is not part of the business with the focus on making money.

An individual does not have that luxury. We cannot simply say that health is out of scope, or our relationships are out of scope. We must deal with life as a whole. At all times we need to ensure that all parts of our life are working together to make us happy and fulfilled

On top of all that, life is complicated, all the parts of life are interrelated and changes we make in one area affect other areas of our life both positively and negatively. As an example, if we improve our health, we have more focus and energy to improve our career.

And yet we arbitrarily pick a few New Years’ resolutions every year and hope that all the interrelations and complexity of our life allow us to achieve the resolution. It is very difficult to just pick a couple of things for resolutions that are congruent with who you are and where you are going.

Coupled with this, we want everything now, we don’t want to work for it, we don’t want to change, we just want the results.

If you want different results you are going to have to be different, and this is going to require work.

There is hope. People tend to overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in 5.

My advice is to take the next year and build the awareness to know who you are in life and where you want to go in life so that in 2020 you can create goals that are achievable and will take you to the next level of life.

Get a baseline

In our Life Design Framework there are four segments that make up your life; Aim, Self, Map, and Execution.

Creating a baseline means understanding each of these segments as they pertain to your life. As life is complicated you will find that as you understand each segment, other segments will gain more clarity. When you have clarity in all segments, both the way forward and the motivation for moving forward will become clearer.

The Aim Segment

The Aim segment starts with your purpose, what the unique gifts that you bring to the world. From those gifts, you create your vision, the ideal life you would like to live.

Every life requires work. We want to create a life where the work is easy for who we are, and the benefits give us joy, fulfillment, it fits with our overall purpose.

The Aim segment can be viewed through the lenses of the life areas: Health, Personal Growth, Family, Fun and Recreation, Lifestyle, Love, Social, Career, Finances, Life-Long Learning. When looking at our aim through a life area lens, we are still looking at the whole of our life creation. In whatever vision we imagine, each part, no matter how small, contains elements of each life area.

Self Segment

The Self segment of the Life Design Framework is based on introspection. Who we are is defined by our values, beliefs, traits, strengths and weaknesses, interests.

Knowing ourselves entails knowing these aspects about ourselves and how they affect our everyday lives

We can view these aspects based on the roles we play in life. Again, like the life areas, all the roles exist at the same time and to some extent affect whatever we do at any point.

Map Segment

The Map segment creates the map of the journey we are taking through the different life areas while playing the roles we have assumed.

Your life journey is based on your map. Your map was created based on who you are and the opportunities available to you. You may either be conscious of your map or not. If you are not conscious of your map you are just living life by random chance.

Life is a process of discovery, introspection, and action. Each of these will lead to a better understanding of your life design and therefore your map. Don’t become attached to any given map that you have created, instead, constantly review and refine your map to create your vision.

Execution (Planner) Segment

Life requires action. Introspection needs to be balanced by execution.

The execution segment represents how you are living your life, the actions that you take.

Regardless of how well you know yourself, and what your map is, and where it is that you think you are going, you are always going somewhere. Understanding how you take action, and constantly trying to figure out ways that you can be more effective is the core of the execution segment.

Remember, you are unique, the way that someone else is effective may not work for you.

2021 by segment/quarter

Coincidently there are four segments to life and there are four quarters in a year.

My advice for your New Years’ resolutions is to focus on one segment each quarter. By the end of the year, you will be well-positioned to be in control of your life and ready to make next-level New Years’ resolutions for 2021.

  • Each life segment is affected and affects other life segments.
  • Aim <-> Self Who you are is going to affect what you aim for in life. What you aim for in life is going to change who you are.
  • Aim <-> Map Your map (plan) is created to get you to what you Aim for. What you Aim for is based on what you can create a map for.
  • Aim <-> Execution What you aim for in life is going to be affected by how you do the work to get there. How you work is going to affect what you aim for.
  • Self <-> Map Who you are, affects what your life map is. The journey that you create changes who you are.
  • Self <-> Execution Who you are, determines how you work. Doing the work will change who you are.
  • Map <-> Execution Create a map that you can do the work to achieve. Achieving will result in creating bigger maps.

My recommendation is to approach the segments in the following order: Execution, Self, Aim, Map. Start a journal and document your reflections on these four life segments.

First Quarter

Ponder how you get things done.
Questions for reflection on how you execute. Ponder the questions daily or weekly to get an understanding of how you currently achieve things in your life.
1. What is your plan now? Do you have a plan?
2. How do you get things done?
3. What do you do on a day to day basis?
4. What are you currently accomplishing?
5. How do you go about getting big things done?

Second Quarter

Ponder who you are
In the second quarter learn who you are, take some personality tests, learn life habits such as exercise, journaling, meditation.
Questions for reflection on you
1. What do you value?
What do you believe?
2. What do personality tests say about you?
3. What is your personality like?
4. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Third Quarter

Ponder where you want to go
In the third quarter think about things that you would like to have in your life?
Questions for reflecting on your Aim segment
1. What do you want out of life?
2. What is your big why?
3. What are your unique gifts?
4. Who do you want to spend time with?

Fourth Quarter

Ponder your plan for getting to where you want to go
Questions for reflecting on your map
1. What do I need to achieve to create what I want out of life?
2. Who do I need to be to create what I want out of life?
3. What opportunities are available to me to create what I want out of life?

By the end of the year, you should have a solid understanding of where you want to go in life and what you need to do to start the journey towards that life. Then, at the end of 2019, when you are creating your New Years’ resolutions you can create well thought out resolutions that are congruent with who you are and where you want to go. Those are resolutions that you will achieve.
Good Luck.

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