I’m working on something new for Mindwave. An easy way to prioritize who you are and who you want to be. The North Star is a compass for the future you. A simple method for monthly reflection, focus, and direction.
The idea is quite simple. I’m going to make a template for the North Star so others can fill in the blanks, and customize the North Start to their liking.
The North Start Template
My approach here: start simple and improve the template with user feedback. Thinking about the North Star, there are a couple of sections that come to my mind.
The future you
To add a short description of the future you. Prioritize who are you, who are you going to be. It all starts with you! Need some inspiration? Watch this 10-minute motivation speech by Matthew McConaughey to get in the right mindset.
Some weeks ago, I read the book Atomic Habits (book notes here), and even adopting habits start with changing your identity. Change who you want to be in order to adopt a new habit.
Eg. Don’t want to write ten blog posts, but be a writer!
Also, describe what you don’t want for your future. Understanding what you don’t want gives you clarity about what you do want. When I started Mindwave a year ago, I also described what I didn’t want for my future. Such as building a product on my own, being a solopreneur. So, that why I asked Martijn to be my co-maker some weeks later.
Core values are a great way to point out your personal values. I always use and recommend this Core Values List by James Clear. Ha, I just found out this list and Atomic Habits (which I read a year later) are from the same writer 😂. I wrote a story about the Mindwave Core Values before.
Ambitions & goals
Then last but not least, there should be a section to address your ambitions and goals. I don’t want to prefill this section too much. Some people say you shouldn’t have or work with goals. Others swear by it. And since one of the design principles is “Let people create their own magic” I won’t force working with goals. So I’m just going to make it a general content section here for now and find out how that works for others.
Little side-step: When I started with Mindwave (Mbassador at that time) the first concept was creating a goal platform. To align your short-term (90 days), mid-term (year), and long-term goals (3-5years) and find others who have the same goals and challenges. I pivoted to a journal later.
As said before I made the first template and am going to optimize it together with my users. This process starts today!
I just created a North Star Google Docs where everyone can comment with their ideas, thoughts, and suggestions. So please do, and let’s optimize the North Star Template together!
Other nifty features
Nifty, yeah, that’s right! Nifty is on top of my mind since I saw The Big Bang Theory’s episode with Steve Wozniak again yesterday 😎. So, the following nifty features will be in the first version.
Email your North Star
A great way to keep your focus on the future, and work in the right direction, is to auto-email your North Start every month. A monthly moment to check-in with yourself, and align your work with your North Star. A monthly moment to reflect on the work you’ve done, and prioritize the work you’re planning to do.
Starting with a template is easy. But once you made your North Star, it makes more sense to duplicate your latest version before you make any changes. Of course, you can also change your most recent version, but it’s great to document your progress and therefore save all versions. You’re changing you. You can see your personal growth. It’s the best motivation. So, track your progress!