If you’re like me, this time between Christmas and the New Year is an ideal time to reflect on the past year and think ahead to what you want in the year ahead.
Most people set a long list of New Year Resolutions; some would even call it their yearly goals. And that’s great! Most people want to believe that this year will be different. This year is filled with hope because of what lies ahead.
Yet, for many, as a few days or weeks pass, the busyness of life creeps in. Life gets in the way and the long list of goals or resolutions takes a back seat.
If you have always done what you always had, you will get the same results. If you’re aiming for a better goal, don’t fall into the trap of doing the same thing over again. Instead, do the following:
Acknowledge the need for change!
Albert Einstein said that “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.”
We, humans, fall into the trap of doing this out of convenience and out of familiarity.
If you are aiming to make the most of the year ahead, it’s time to invest in change this year.
Change may be scary for some, but most of the time, it’s for your good. Don’t resist the opportunity for growth. Instead, always be on the lookout with this lens, “What is this situation teaching me?” “What have I learned that I can apply moving forward?”
Envision a great year
Before you can start working on the specific details of a plan, you need to have a vision of what a great year looks like.
Consider how you want your life to be different a year from now and craft it into a document to capture your vision of that desired future state. For example, a vision board, a vision book, or a scrapbook.
In December each year, I go through my desires for my life in a number of areas – family, health, finances, business, hobbies, etc., I craft one or even several power point slides for each of the categories to remind myself of the connection between achieving my goals and the ability to live the kind of life I want to live and achieve the vision I have for each of the categories.
When I craft my vision book, I use a combination of pictures and language to stimulate both the visual and auditory parts of my brain.
If it interests you, we have a couple of templates you can download and customize for yourself.
More than anything else, achieving your goals is about keeping yourself in a healthy, resourceful mental state no matter what, and we do that by focusing our thinking on the right things.
My vision documents are powerful tools for sharpening my focus and that’s why I’ve been using them for many years.
Turn your vision into a plan.
Bishop Desmond Tutu once wisely said that “there is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.” What he meant by this is that everything in life that seems daunting, overwhelming, and even impossible can be accomplished gradually by taking on just a little at a time.
This is the same with a big, hairy, and audacious goal. You don’t aimlessly try to achieve a big goal. You take time to chop it off into bite-sized pieces.
To do this, set annual goals. Make sure to create S.M.A.R.T Goals instead of lofty generic ones. SMART goals mean they are specific down to the detail, measurable in time, amount, or any measure. They are achievable, realistic, and timely in nature.
Then set quarterly priorities and actions to achieve those goals. This will help you achieve your goals, one step at a time. Set your milestones or KPIs to track your progress and indicate that you are still on the right track.
What you can’t measure, you can’t manage. This principle from Peter Drucker has helped me with my own personal goal setting too. Make sure to keep track of your progress. If you missed a day, that’s okay. Learn from that and move forward.
Commit to the destination, not the plan
Mike Tyson said it best, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
Everyone requires a solid plan, but the real value lies in being able to adapt, stay light on your feet, and roll with the punches, so to speak.
When you’re sailing to a destination, if you’re sailing into wind, you’re tacking back and forth pretty radically. You’re almost never perfectly on target, but you’re always coming back to where the destination is because you have that reference point.
The people who achieve their dreams don’t do so simply because they had a good plan. Instead, they commit themselves fully to the goals they have set. They maintain a clear vision of what they want, and they work hard to make it happen. They tell themselves that it’s not a matter of if, but when and how.
Get someone to hold you accountable.
Have someone always keeping you in check. We have our blind spots, and most of the time, we can’t see that hence the term, ‘blind’. With someone holding you accountable, they are held without bias and only care for you. Make sure to find someone trustworthy.
As a business coach, I’ve helped many business owners stay accountable for the delivery of the vision they have for their business and their life.
I invite you to book a 15-minute call to discuss how business coaching could help you achieve the life you want. You can book a complimentary 15-minute call with me at www.TimeWithShane.com.