Raining in the Sunshine Coast

You know how yearly planning for business often gets a bad rap? It’s deemed as tedious, time-consuming, and seldom fun. Well, the same sentiment applies when it comes to personal planning, especially among business leaders. I’ve noticed they rarely dive into personal planning during their personal time, citing a lack of time and energy.

Bonjour, in this video, want to share a simple and fun process that can significantly impact both your lives and your relationship. 

TK and I are currently in the (not so sunny but still a beautiful spot) Sunshine Coast in Queensland. We are two days into our annual retreat and tonight’s highlight? Well, it’s what we fondly call our “dinner with a pen and paper.”

A few years back, TK and I were kicking off the year with a dinner. Sneaky me, I showed up armed with a pen and paper, and I was like, “Hey love, how ’bout we plan the upcoming year right here, right now?” Needless to say, TK wasn’t exactly thrilled.

young American couple at coffee shop with mobile phone addict man taking selfie photo ignoring bored sad and frustrated woman girlfriend or wife in relationship problem and addiction concept

TK reluctantly went along with it, and you won’t believe it –it’s become one of our favorite traditions. Now, planning over dinner has turned into a highlight of our year. 

Here is the Three-Step Process: 

1. Prepare: First, we book a cozy restaurant. Second, we individually reflect on what a great year looks like for each of us. For me, my approach is using a framework and create visuals. As for TK, a blank piece of paper and a few hours of creative contemplation.  

2. Listen: During the dinner, we start with today. I listen intently to TK’s aspirations without criticism, just understanding. Then, I ask, “How can I help you achieve that?” We swap roles, and TK listens to mine. 

3. Discuss: This is the heart of it. We talk about what our visions mean for us as a couple, for the kids, travel plans, finances, health—you name it. 

Last year and this year, we’ve added a new twist. Each of us picks one word or phrase to guide us. Mine is “Enjoy the journey.” As a chronic planner, I sometimes forget to slow down. TK’s is “Formula to shine,” guiding her towards better habits and a routine. 

It’s more than a planning session; it’s a time to connect and reflect. Antoine de Saint Exupery’s words resonate: “Love does not consist at gazing at each other, but looking together forward in the same direction.”  

So, my question for you is this: Is it worth booking your dinner with a pen and paper? 

This is this week’s Work Smarter: Live Better tip.  

Wishing you a fantastic week and an incredible 2024! 

A bientôt


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