My 3 Words for 2016

My 3 Words for 2016 - Drew Griffin

 

In the spirit of New Year Resolutions and a hat tip to Chris Brogan, I’ll share  my 3 words for 2016.

Acknowledging that resolutions never seem to be fulfilled by most and I’m just as guilty on follow through on my own, I’ll opt to select 3 Words to focus on in 2016. I did so in 2015 but almost as quickly as the year came in, my website was hacked and down for quite some time. So my efforts shifted…

This forthcoming year is a new canvas and an opportunity for a new start. That said, my 3 words for 2016 are Focus, Funnels, Fun. ( I have a fourth which is really a priority but I’ll include ‘Faith’ within Focus).

Focus

Throwing out another hat-tip here to John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire. John often discusses and suggests the acronym F.O.C.U.S. which stands for follow one course until success. I think this is sound advice to anyone especially those that suffer from the Imposter Syndrome and a bit of ADHD or pseudo-ADHD.

In a world that is interrupted by and has so many bright shiny objects or as John calls them, ‘Weapons of Mass Distraction’, its very easy to become side tracked by opportunities, gadgets, fads, gossip and things that consume our time and energy.

This year I will be realigning my focus in a various aspects of my life which include:

  • Family
  • Faith
  • Fitness
  • Finances

These areas are the essence within my 3 words for 2016 but lets touch on them a bit more here.

Family

My family is my why. It comes first and foremost.

I’ve seen a lot of tragedy in the lives of family, friends and acquaintances. As I grow older and watch my kids grow, I am realizing that time on mothership Earth is short. I’ve wasted time and choose to guard the time I have left here as a treasure.

I’ve wasted time working on things that I didn’t enjoy and much of it in a career that ultimately was admirable but not a true passion. Thereafter, I have spent an enormous amount of time trying to figure out what I wanted to do as well as time worrying about what others thought of my work. Some of that time was spent in the imposter syndrome, worrying that my stuff wasn’t good enough.

I let some people down but more importantly, I let myself and my family down by not putting myself out there. No more.

There is a time for work and there is time to reap the rewards for that work and it should rightfully be shared with my family. They deserve it. Funny thing is, they probably don’t care much about my work but rather would prefer to spend more time with me (I can hear their sarcastic responses now). All joking aside, as I think back to my childhood, I’d trade almost anything to have more time with my mother and father. I’m sure my kids would forecast the same.

So, family will get the lion-share of my Focus.

Faith

I grew up and was taught in Catholic Schools. God Bless the Grey Nuns and Jesuits (the original Jedi in my opinion).

A lot has changed over the years and the backstory is loaded with lessons and debatable consequences. But my Faith has come into my Focus again. My relationship with God and my participation in the  church and congregation is something I’d like to pursue and practice a bit more this forthcoming year.

I have been a volunteer coach and have come to realize giving to the community is more than just a monetary donation. Its had an impact and its been a pleasure to experience. Don’t get me wrong. It does come with a ton of responsibility and challenges in and of itself but the idea is something that should be considered by more people for a lot of reasons.

Fitness

I’m a Fat Ass!

I’ve been a Fat Ass for quite some time and as the New Year is upon us (at the time of this writing), its fitting (#seewhatIdidthere) to consider, plan and practice exercise on a routine basis.

It really does need to be a priority and part of my focus and thats why I’m listing it here. I’ve failed miserably over the years in losing weight and maintaining a fitness routine. Part of my focus this year is to switch my approach at ‘losing weight’ to losing fat and the recomposition of my body.

I’ve re-read Tim Ferriss’ The 4 Hour Body and am applying a minimum effective dose in order to stimulate a change in the right direction. I have goals and will manage it a bit more effectively through gamification and a scrum method which I will also be applying to other aspects of my focus in business and productivity.

Finances

As the new year rolls in, finances are typically a topic of discussion and worry for many. Its not been in my focus for a number of reasons over the years but now is a main pillar within my focus.

Since being a business owner for the past few years, the income and revenue has been a roller coaster. If I am honest with myself, my business was not ‘in focus’ and clearly had very little direction to it as it was entirely self-financed (aka under-financed).

After spending a considerable amount of time and money on education, training and resources, my business has a foundation to provide value and sustainability for some time to come. That said, there is work to be done and by all accords, finances and my relationship to it will be in focus!

 

Funnels

Systems. I’ve come to learn that proven systems that are modeled can be tools to get the job done and to achieve goals.

I’ve spent a lot of time learning to implement systems in the last half of 2015 and know that 2016 is my year of the Funnels. I’ve observed a lot of people leverage and implement funnels and systems to automate many of their elements within their businesses with extraordinary results.

If the funnels and systems I establish yield a fraction of the results I’ve seen other’s achieve, I’ll be thrilled! Thats not to say I am looking to lower the bar here. I’m not. But, I know systematizing my content delivery, product creation, marketing and list building should be successful if I model and improve what others are doing.

I’m super excited about this because I know I’ve held back. In part, that is a travesty but the upside is bright indeed. I’ll be announcing some pretty cool projects soon and I can’t wait to do so. And yes there will be some funnels involved, but don’t worry,  I promise they’ll be loaded with value.

Fun

Life is way too short not to have Fun!

And if I am honest in my Fun Audit, I can say that I have not experienced a lot of fun in recent years. I’m pretty certain of that. Its not that I haven’t had any fun, but if I think back over the past few years, its been a dismal display on the fun-o-meter.

But if I continue to be honest with myself, I’m to blame for not having fun. I haven’t been present and in the moment enough to experience the fun that was all around me. Instead I was paid too much attention to trivial things that really meant very little in the grand scheme of things.

So, 2016. I plan to have more fun and be more present with the things in my focus. I’m pretty certain that I can have fun with my family. I’m pretty sure if I practice my faith, that the good things and fun will reveal themselves. As I learn and practice to be fit again, I can have fun by having more energy and enjoy being fit once again. And I am confident that with the systems I have in place, my finances should afford me to experience some pretty fun and extraordinary things.

Cheers

So as 2016 is ushered in, I wish you a peaceful, prosperous, healthy and fun year for you and your families. I look forward to connecting with you more and cheering you all on in your pursuits.

 

Do you have a plan and are you executing?

Scrum Task Board Template - Drew Griffin

Planning and Measuring

Do you make plans? Lists? How do you measure the execution? This has become somewhat of a major interest to me in late 2015 as typically I went through my goals and tasks with very little structure or discipline.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve recently started using a scrum board to help me execute on various tasks, goals and projects.It has been an enormous help for me to visualize exactly what I need to be doing, whats on my backlog (or stuff that I need to get to), what is ‘ready’ to be worked on and what has been completed.

My board is set up and divided into 5 sections on a white board. Using yellow sticky (post-it) notes, I simply write down projects and tasks associated with those projects on separate notes. Then I adhere them to the white board in the various sections that are applicable. The sections I use include:

  • Backlog
  • Ready
  • Doing
  • Today
  • Done

Backlog

The Backlog section is simply a brain dump area of ideas, projects, tasks etc that are associated or not associated. Sometimes writing them down and getting them on a board can help relieve some data from your brain that is otherwise clogging up your head. Its a great place to visualize and start to aggregate items into more logical projects and associated tasks that can be either assumed or assigned responsibility.

That last part of the last sentence is powerful. Assumed or assigned responsibility, once realized, can have a massive effect on productivity and stress levels. What almost immediately happens, at least it has for me is that a sense of understanding is realized of where my time is most effectively being spent and who might be better suited to get stuff done for the betterment of the project (product, service etc)

Ready

The Ready section is pretty cool! It represents items or projects that are ready in order for me to move to the next step in the process of the task. If you have team members, contractors or outsourcers, this section is delightful to view and process when items or tasks get moved into this section. It really provides a sense of progress as elements get funneled through here.

Items that might get moved here are elements like Logos, Website Development, edited articles, edited videos etc. It can be almost anything but typically something you don’t necessarily have to have had worked on. On the other hand, it could also include items that you have personally worked on.

I dig this section as I can get a sense of accomplishment or pending accomplishment as all of the elements of a project start to come together.

Doing

The Doing section is pretty straight forward. It contains or will contain what you are working on now. Unless you are completely adverse to doing anything whatsoever, this section should be stuff you are attacking and doing right now. Today!

Its also the section you should focus on if you have deadlines to meet. Get it done son!

Today

The Today section is almost a forcast section of what you want or need to prioritize throughout the day. This can include planned and must get done items. That being said, some items or elements can move in and out of this section depending on how quick you get things done throughout the day (less any distractions). I almost leverage this section as a ‘What I need to accomplish before the end of the day’.

Done

The Done section is exactly what it implies. Its the stuff that got done and or what has been completed!

I LOVE this section and I think you will too if you start to use this simplified scrum method in order to get things done. I think its important to visualize and measure what you are getting done and this section provides a great sense of accomplishment when you start to see the number of sticky notes piling up in this section.

It almost validates what you’ve done and minimizes any doubt of ‘what you accomplished’ today, this week, this month or this year. And that, is pretty cool if you ever wonder about quantifying what you’ve done.

Outsourcing

Outsourcing is a massive part of this process and an element I’ll leverage a lot more in 2016 in order to get things done. You see, I can be my own worst enemy and critic by opting to do everything myself which ultimately equates to: not a lot getting done over time.

My hunch is that many of you (or may know of a few people) may suffer similar challenges with productivity. I know it has for me.

Get Your Scrum Board On!

There are so many ways that you can set up a scrum board of your own. You don’t need to follow my exact method or even the sections I used. Heck, I modeled Ed Dale’s because it seemed to work. I’d recommend Googling ‘scrum boards’ images and see the various styles and elements of other’s boards to get examples that resonate with you, if at all.

However, what I’ve found and discovered by a virtual mentor, Ed Dale, that leveraging, visualizing and funneling items via a scrum board has made an enormous difference in me getting things done. I think it will work for you too!

Reflecting on 2015

Reflecting on 2015 - Drew Griffin

2015

Its been a year of discovery for me and there were many lessons to learn. A ton of learning I did … as a parent, husband, sibling, son, friend, consultant, business owner and a person.

Imposter Syndrome

I’ve spoken about this a few times with people who know me well and its been a struggle. Worrying too much about what people think and having enough belief or confidence in myself infected me somewhere along the way and I can admit that the imposter syndrome is nasty. It, really prevented me moving forward with a lot of projects that ultimately would have done well.

The good news is I’ve learned to deal with it and work through it to put myself (as well as my work) out there. The bad news is, it still lurks from time to time.

Execution

One of the side effects of the imposter syndrome is the limitation it holds on execution of ideas and plans. I had no short of good ideas, but the execution was not where it needed to be. And that is a shame.

The upside to that is I have a solid system that is designed to help me with execution of my plans and goals and its called scrum boarding. I learned about scrum boarding from Ed Dale and the process has literally helped me visualize my progress much more effectively on various tasks, projects etc.

Forgiveness

Boy I sucked the past few years at literally everything. As a parent, business owner, friend and human. I made a ton of mistakes and was literally a different person. I gained a ton of weight and could barely concentrate or execute on a ton of aspects of my life.

And I hated myself  for it.

But its impossible to go back and correct all those aspects (at least immediately). But I can go forward and do things better. Minimize the B.S. and execute greatness through some pretty cool plans and goals for 2016, which I will re-visit in another post for My 3 Words for 2016.

Hope your 2105 was excellent for you and I’m excited to share with you what I have in source for 2016.