I’ve seen a lot of people on Instagram getting their Day Designer worksheets filled out! Someone even shot me a question about how to fill out one of the worksheets, so I thought I’d do a quick tutorial to help you complete your worksheets!
The most important thing to remember during these worksheets is this: trust the process. You’re going to have to dig for some answers. This isn’t surface stuff. It IS solution stuff. It’s progress stuff. It may take you a couple of hours to find these answers, or, if this is the first time you’ve dug this deep, it may take you a couple of weeks. Either way, that’s totally fine. It’s the forward movement that matters, not the speed at which you are moving!
The first worksheet is YOUR WHY: BIG IDEAS. The purpose of this worksheet is to help you hone your focus down to three major ideas for the year. These three ideas are going to become your WHY, your PURPOSE, your MISSION. This can be your WHY for just 2013, but you might find that it ends up being your overarching WHY in life–a purpose that doesn’t change. Start the worksheet by writing down three to five goals in each categorized column. Even though you are writing down different things you want to accomplish in 2013, this is not going to be your final goal list. We’re going to use your ambitions for 2013 to help us hone in on a few specific ideas for you to focus on, and the process might actually make some of your goals change before you’re finished with it. If you think of a goal or a dream you’d like to accomplish, but 2013 isn’t the year for it, use the space on the ENVISION EXTRAORDINARY worksheet next door to park that dream, and then move back to different ideas you have about things you want to accomplish in 2013.
If you’re feeling like you just don’t know where to start on goals for 2013, use the topics in each column to reflect on the past year: what worked for family, financial, personal, career, and in the spiritual (or heart, or attitude) department? What didn’t work? What do you want to change or accomplish in each department going forward?
After you have your page filled up with different to-dos, pick the most important one from each column. From those five goals, further narrow them down to a top three. Write these top three ideas in the spaces at the bottom of the page. You will use three “BIG IDEAS” over and over again in your Day Designer during the course of the year, so make sure they resonate with you! For myself, I’m using my “Life Why” for this year’s 2013 Why: to glorify God authentically, to exhibit to others and my kids the power of choices and change, and to love with gratitude and creativity.
Hooray for purpose, right?
The next worksheet is titled ENVISION EXTRAORDINARY. I also sometimes call this my “Crazy List”. It’s a list of really big dreams. Maybe impossible dreams. In making your goal list for big ideas on the previous page, if you came across any dreams or ambitions that needed to be bookmarked for a future year, then put them on this page. I have left some room on this page so that I can jot down ideas throughout the course of the year. If, as a creative, you’re anything like me, there are more ideas and dreams than time. This is the page for those things.
YOUR HOW: CORE VALUES is the third worksheet. If your purpose is your WHY, your values are your HOW. Values answer the question, “What kind of culture do I want to create? What kind of life do I want to lead? I want to create a culture of _______. I want to lead a life of _______.” Values are so important to your brand and life because they become a part of executing your purpose and why consistently.
This worksheet can be a bit challenging, so I’m going to give you some more to chew on here, and share some personal values as well. At the top of each column, I’ve listed some values to get your brain warmed up, but the rest of the column space is for you to brainstorm. Under my Family Values column, I brainstormed: flexibility, obedience, discipline, organization, elimination, order, gratitude. Under Financial Values, I added: tithing, debt-free, frugal, and stewardship. Under Personal Strengths, I put: analytical, creative, hyper-focused, futuristic, strategic, and sincerity. Under Career Strengths, I added: idea-sharing, helping, cheering, giving, and travel. Under my Spiritual Values column I put: mercy, love, doing, purpose, and humility.
Your values work best when they are natural to your strengths, which is why under “Personal” and “Career” I have titled the columns as strengths, instead of values. It doesn’t matter how much you value peacefulness. If you’re a natural born class-clown, you’re probably not going to be the boss’ favorite peacemaker. You can, however, use that natural strength of disruption to help a team think outside the box.
Once you’ve got some good brainstorm going, pick a couple from each column that mean the most to you. From those, narrow down to a final five, and fill them in in the boxes at the bottom of the page. At the bottom of my page, my top five values listed are: Gratitude, Personal Growth, Creativity, Analytical, and Humility. This is what I KNOW people will get when they work with me: they will get me constantly saying thank you, they will get me being genuinely concerned for their personal growth, they will get me creative and analytical and thinking outside the box, and they will get me being humble. Those are values I know I can commit to operating with consistently.
OK, onto the next worksheet: YOUR WHAT: PASSIONS & SKILLS. This is a worksheet designed to get your juices flowing. Of all the worksheets, this one for me is the most fun. Just go through the columns and write down what you’re good at about each category. What makes you excited about each category. If you know you have particular strengths in a category, feel free to write them here as well as in the last worksheet. Evidence of overlapping answers in the worksheets is actually very good: it reveals consistency and strength, and needs to become core to your brand’s execution and messaging.
Using the same process of elimination you used on the previous worksheets, circle a top couple of passions and skills from each column. From a top ten or so, narrow it down to a top five, and place those top five passions and skills in the boxes at the bottom of the page. The passions and skills listed at the bottom of my page are: Creative Solutions, Seeing Big Picture, Finding Purpose, Listening and Encouraging, and Inspiring Action.
Let’s move on to the next worksheet now: YOUR WHO: YOU & YOUR IDEAL CLIENT. This worksheet is a different kind of brainstorm list. While you’ve spent time on the previous worksheets getting to know YOURSELF, you now need to figure out what connection points you share with your ideal client, so that you’ll know them when you meet them! Here’s the secret to finding your ideal client: your ideal client will share your values, which is why values are so important. And your ideal client will have a need that can be covered by your strengths, passions, and skills. While you’ll be using this page to brainstorm character traits for you IC (let’s just abbreviate that going forward), they will also most likely be traits that you have listed for yourself on the previous pages. The section with numbers is a bit more challenging: what does your IC have 1, 2, 3 of? For my brainstorm, I listed that my IC probably has 2 work spaces, has read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and has 10 million ideas rolling around in their head!
From all that, pick the top five traits you think define your ideal client and list them in the boxes at the bottom of the page. My top five ideal client traits are: my ideal client is creative, bright and bold, classic but real, grateful and entrepreneurial.
Time to bring it all together on one page! This worksheet is a visual representation of your STRATEGIC BRAND PLAN! Use the circles on the outside of the diagram to list your TOP THREE BIG IDEAS. On the circles overlapping in the center of the diagram, list your top five VALUES, your top five IDEAL CLIENT TRAITS, and your top five PASSIONS & SKILLS. There you have it! A complete picture of WHO you can help and HOW you can help them, wrapped in a strong sense of PURPOSE!
I realize that might be a lot of thinking–frankly, probably too much thinking for one session. Find another friend who has a Day Designer and meet for coffee and work through the worksheets together. It really helps having someone to bounce ideas off of, and offer third party insight into your strengths and skills. Take your time as you work through this. If you feel like you’ve hit a wall, that’s ok! Don’t pressure yourself to finish this all at once–in fact, if you want to take all year to feel your way through it, that’s fine as well! Frankly, I’ve spent the past eighteen months working all this out for myself in my mind, and it still took me a couple of hours to re-think through everything and get my 2013 Day Designer all filled out.
Meanwhile, I’ve written this post over the past three days, in between nap times, and telling boys to stay away from a Christmas tree, and with a playlist of VeggieTales in the background. In fact, I’ve even had some extra help writing it, as exhibited in the photo above, so I’m going to save the explanation of the next two worksheets for another post, in the name of going ahead and getting this published.
You know why I love this process, friends? Because this is the process of uncovers authentic. This is the core of the Authenticate process. Once you find authentic, use your Day Designer to help you live authentically, every single day of this coming year. I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me!
On that note, I’m signing off. A two year old just brought me a Sharpie marker, cap off, and I need to go check the living room upholstery. (How’s that for authentic, ha!)