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Planning for Success in 2021

The dynamics of 2020 made planning 2021 in a traditional way a little challenging. In this podcast Leslie discusses those challenges in my own process to help you with your own planning, and the value of habits in relation to long term goals.

Relevant Links:

Michael Hyatt’s Book: Your Best Year Ever

Full Episode Transcript

Happy New Year, everyone, this is Leslie Lello and I am talking to you from 2021… first podcast of the year. I’m going to talk today about the same thing I talked about last time, which was wrapping up the year, but this is going to be more of a focus on bringing what you want to bring into the new year.
And this relates to filmmaking in a way where we can look at a year or several years and say what projects we want to focus on, what seems to be coming down the pike. Often when you’re producing, you may have 10 projects and you can kind of see what you’ve been working on. “Is that still going? It’s a good time to assess that.”

But before I get into that. I’m going to talk about my own process, and I hope that that becomes something that you can use to overlay your own process and maybe it’ll help you be more effective in that, because I feel like my process is quite effective.

This year has been different. Normally I go somewhere, I take a few days and I get a little hotel room and I spend two to three days really doing a deep dive into my previous year and my upcoming year. And I understand it inside and out.

What worked, what didn’t work in the previous year and what am I continuing on with?

What am I dropping?

What am I starting all that stuff?

What is inspiring me this year?

Because it does shift a little bit in content, though, there are some ongoing themes that never change.

So, for this year, I had to stay put, I’m not traveling at all during this time, and it was a bit more of a process that I would do for a couple of hours, and then I’d have to go take care of something or just regular holiday stuff that I usually would take care of and then go on this trip in order to do this inner work.

I think this inner work is, by the way, very important. And I mentioned in the previous show that there are workshops that will help you go through this, but I’ve gotten to the point where I can pretty much do it on my own, although this year I found out about a book, synchronistically, I suppose, called Your Best Year Ever, and it’s by Michael Hyatt. And he does have his own workshop and I think it’s coming up. I don’t think he’s done it yet for 2021.

But I took his book out of the library and I read it and I found it tremendously helpful. Not too different from what I already do on a yearly basis and on a quarterly basis but I found it was a reinforcing thing that did shift a few of the ways I look at things in terms of doing time management and just goal setting. And so I recommend that book. And I’m going to be talking a little bit about what I discovered just in how this year was different.

And so when you do your grand year review, you’re looking at the things that worked and the things that didn’t. And one of the things that Michael Hyatt talks about is about looking at regrets.

And so it’s kind of a weird thing to look back on a year full of lockdowns and staying inside.

And the one thing I have to say is I think that this was a year where you kind of go,”You do the best that you can,” because when I got to that section, I was like “Regrets? Well, I wish that I had been able to implement this this and this.” But I also understand that it was a very high priority thing to keep healthy this year and to make that a top priority for myself and for my family.

So in that, there were zero regrets.

But when you have a year where you’re primarily doing all your stuff as much as possible from a position that you hope is as safe as possible, which involves staying in more, then it kind of becomes a weird year of assessment.

So what I got from that is not only did I look at this past year, but I went back into even 1999 (oops), 2019, and I looked even about the energies that I had already processed the previous year.

But it’s hard not to look at that this year because that’s still kind of present, even though it’s diminishing.

Like the things that I wanted to do were very much oriented toward creating productions that were much more environmentally oriented.

And I’ve mentioned this in previous podcasts, but I’m permaculture oriented. I feel like that’s an important thing. Regenerative land management, whatever you want to call it.

We’re not going to get into that because that’s a separate thing but I did want to start creating more media around that and really highlighting the wonderful things that people are doing in that realm.

And so that didn’t happen because that was something that would have required me to travel and to go out and to interact and to be in hotels and be in close contact with people.

So saying “regret” is not necessarily a thing… No regret around that, but. At the end of 19-… Why do I keep saying 1999.. 2019…

That was something that… So when you’re doing it, that was something that was coming up for me. So when you’re doing that, you might want to look back even further for this particular year, because if it was a year that is unlike other years, this 2020 that we just left, there might be some elements that you need to, you know, pick up again from 2019.

At the same time what was interesting, the most interesting thing about 2020 and looking at it is I could say “These are definitely things I don’t need to have in my life anymore.”

And that is… Even things that were big and that I had really committed to in 2020, where I also wanted to incorporate with this permaculture media that I was creating… Videos, little workshops that would also play into a commitment to travel.

And I had gone so far as to start learning how to set up tour groups and everything that I wanted to encourage people to do environmental, you know, workshops that relate to permaculture and all of that.

So that didn’t happen either, even though I was building that at the beginning of 2020 and I feel like that was interesting because the environmental stuff is still definitely there, but the whole travel element has really just gone out the door.

I definitely don’t want to travel. I don’t want to plan travel for people. I don’t. And I was trying to look at that, and it would incorporate into the media, and the blogging, and the videography, and the vlogging, which is all part of this creator aspect of me and very much relates to producer and me, even though it’s not always film producer or movie producer, that aspect.

So I thought, OK.

So it was nice… Not always feeling totally nice because it’s still an aspect of me I’m letting go of, but I really looked at that and I went, “I don’t want to encourage people to travel for a number of reasons. And I actually have a podcast about… It was a long time ago, but I had a podcast about travel that I haven’t posted to, and I’m going to post a final podcast to that one, because I am really clear on how done I am with that, unless I’m talking about zero footprint travel, which is really hard to do right now.

So that was a feeling good of letting go of something.

So that is a unique thing, maybe to 2020 that maybe you can also think about. What did you have to let go of in 2020, and was that a terrible thing in terms of your own activities…

And maybe there were commitments there that had to go and, you know, life is better not holding that commitment. You weren’t fully invested. It didn’t matter who you are.

Maybe it matched you 10 years ago, but it was time to maybe let that go. And that’s the case with me and travel. And I’m not going to talk much more about that because it doesn’t relate to what I’m talking about as a whole on this podcast, but it is just an example of the process of pulling things away that do and don’t work.

So the final thing I would like to talk about is that this was an interesting year of forming habits, and I feel like that’s a really important part of creativity.

And here I am on this podcast, the first one of 2021, and I can feel myself a little bit less comfortable in the process simply because I took a week off and that habit that was forming was not engaged with for an entire two weeks.

And so I want to talk about the creativity aspect of filmmaking and building that into one’s life in an automatic way.

There was a time when I was podcasting this podcast every day, and I didn’t continue with that because I felt like I didn’t have a lot to say every day, really.

I’m still in a quarantined state, so I don’t really go out. And it’s my activities relate to post-production, essentially, but not much more beyond that.

And I don’t have… I didn’t want to fill the space with noise, essentially. So I stopped and yet at the same time, I see the value in doing it every day because it was building a habit, so I’ve kind of been torn between engaging every day and putting that out there, not just for other people, but for myself.

And then also just, you know, speaking when I feel like there’s something valuable and significant and not just blah, blah, blah.

Although I have to say most of talk radio is built on blah, blah, blah.

A lot of YouTube is built on blah, blah, blah.

So everybody is doing it.

So I can, I guess.

But no, that’s not a good reason in my opinion. I’ve always been a person who, even with my movies, I wanted to edit it down to the essential and the interesting.

And I’ve seen so many documentaries, especially in modern times, where tape is cheap or digital memory is cheap and people just let it go. They just keep going. They just let the interview, blah, blah, blah, and it’s boring. It is boring. And I have always been very resistant to doing that whole thing. They might have a feature [film], but it is a crappy documentary feature because they just let somebody do an interview for ten boring minutes and they left that entirely in their movie.

OK, sorry, that was a little bit of a sidetrack.

But anyway, we’re going back to habits… I encourage you, once you’ve set down your next year to look at where you can put in habits into your life, where it is something, and maybe it’s a small something, that you just implement and create something…

Something the word something is a very nebulous word.

Create an action that you can do that will reinforce the habit you want to create, that will reinforce the goal that you have

And I have found this to be a very effective thing in my life.

So I’m not sure about podcasting, but I do feel that things like guitar, if you create a system and you say, I commit to this system, it usually keeps going for a long time. And I guess that’s really all I want to say right now.

I do encourage you again to read Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt. That was incredibly helpful. And it gives me a process to go in and look at my goals on a regular basis and also connect them with my day to day life.

So that is just about it. And he talks a lot about habits as well. And in fact, that’s a big part of what he talks about. So I am encouraging you to go do that.

I hope this was helpful to you. And I just wanted to give you a slice of what I’m focusing on right now and chunking my life and going, OK, this project happens, you know, third quarter of this project happens… Now.

And just looking [at] what I need to get done and what can be put into my life as a habit.

That’s it for tonight.

Tonight? It’s like… I’m recording this at like 7:00 in the morning.

“That’s it for tonight. I’m going to go to sleep now.”

Anyway, have a great day. And I wish you, again, happy new year and I will talk to you soon.
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