We complained about the Halloween costumes sold before the kids went back to school. We bemoaned the Pre Black-Friday promotions that arrived before the Candy Corn was gone. It’s part of tradition to lament over the Christmas decorations for sale before we’ve even put the Thanksgiving turkey in the oven. So it should come as no shock to hear me say that, if you haven’t already, you better be planning your 2014.
I know, I know, we aren’t even into the double digits days of December yet, but if you don’t do it soon when will you? After the first of the year? That wouldn’t be a very auspicious start would it?
A popular post on my personal blog (Karl with a K) tells how I combined Joseph Campbell’s ‘Hero’s Journey’ with other concepts to create a storyboard template. (If you’re not familiar with Joseph Campbell’s work, get yourself on Google.) The Hero’s Journey Template is a great way to map a story and find holes in its structure.
How does that relate to your year? I can think of two ways.
1. Assumedly, you faced a significant change this year. The term of art for this phenomenon is called living. Most participate, but few reflect on their progress. Here’s your chance to stand out from the crowd. Give the year some thought and retell it through a storyboard. If you’re the hero and this year was a three-act play, how was your performance? Look at each box on the template and jot down your memories from the year. What can you learn? Although there are twelve boxes on the template, it’s doubtful each month will correspond to each phase of your story … but what if it did?
2. What if you made the time to script next year? Maybe there’s a change on the horizon you need to make or lead. I challenge you to prepare for it by using the Hero’s Journey Template. Sketch something out, whether you’re artistic or not. Turn it into a mind map if you prefer, or be traditional and use it as an outline to test your assumptions before you embark.
Things to consider:
- What is the current state?
- How will you increase awareness of something new?
- What will make you or others, reluctant?
- How will you overcome that reluctance?
- How will you show commitment to the change?
- How will you experiment with the change?
- How will you prepare for inevitable challenges?
- How will you first launch the change?
- How will you praise progress and learn from setbacks?
- How will you rededicate yourself to your purpose and mission?
- How will you know you’ve succeeded?
- How will you celebrate?
Depending on which side of your brain you’re partial to, this may not come easy for you. That’s okay, you’re worth the extra effort.
You can download the Hero’s Journey Template here.
Tell me if you use this to reflect on this year, plan next year, or both. If you’re proud of it and want to share, please send me a picture. I love to see what you come up with.