In reflecting on what went well (and what didn’t) in 2023, and on what I’d like to do better in 2024, I didn’t want to come up with a series of “resolutions:” too easy to make them, try like crazy to adhere to them in January, and then abandon them in frustration in February. Nope – been there, done that.

What I thought I’d do instead is come up with a few words I could print out on a small piece of paper and tape to the top of my desk, so I’d see them every day and remind myself, mindfully and intentionally, of how I’d like to live my life in 2024 for more joy, greater peace, and bigger accomplishments. I came up with the following “4 for ‘24.”

  • Less. Yep, I tried to do too much in 2023. Too many goals, too much busy-ness, too many meetings. So for 2024 I want to remind myself to do less, focus on fewer goals, jettison what’s not important, and give myself more space to think and create.
  • Leverage. If I’m going to do less, I want what I do to have greater impact and to use the resources available to me to maximum effect. In other words, I want greater leverage in all areas of my life. Much of this comes down to Dan Sullivan’s “who, not how” (you can’t do it all yourself, so surround yourself with people whose skills and passions complement your own and who can help you achieve something much bigger than you could by yourself), finding the right people and delegating to them so I can focus on my own core strengths for the greatest impact. And leverage is not just about working with other people more effectively, it’s also about leveraging all the other resources at your disposal to their greatest advantage – your limited time, energy, and attention means you must focus on those goals that have the highest return, whether in terms of money, impact, joy, or meaning.
  • Learning. Because I was too busy in 2023, I didn’t allow myself enough time for learning: big mistake. The world is complex and getting more so on a daily basis, and it’s critical for all of us to make learning a top priority as we figure out what new insights and tools we can leverage to make a bigger impact. So I’m going to carve out part of every week to dive into learning new skills that I think are relevant to my goals and that I think I can use to the greatest effect to achieve them faster and on a bigger scale.  Learning also implies a certain confidence in yourself and in the future, that you’ll be able to absorb new knowledge and use it to create a better life for yourself and others, so I want to embody that as well as I embrace curiosity and asking better questions in 2024.
  • Process. Finally, I didn’t spend enough time in 2023 discovering, creating, and using more well-defined processes to simplify my life and work, to do rote tasks with more ease and efficiency, and to magnify my efforts. We all use various processes unconsciously in our daily lives (we tend to put on our clothing the same way in the morning, for example, and we tend to “automate” tasks with daily or weekly habits so we don’t have to think too hard about, say, exercising or eating healthy foods). I want to do this more consciously and consistently in 2024, thinking about ways I can create more effective and efficient processes in my life so that I can use more of my precious attention and energy to be more original and creative – and build more value for myself and those who are the most important to me.

So that’s it: my “4 for ’24,” a short list of inspiring and motivating words I’m going to be looking at every day to help me make 2024 better than 2023. Feel free to use these as a starting point for your own year-end reflections, and to help you create a fresh and exciting New Year full of energy, positivity, and accomplishment!