I am such a fan of reminiscing about the year before setting goals and New Year's Resolutions for the next one. If you read this post, you'll know I'm setting goals and planning for 2017 NOW, so that come January 1st I can hit the ground running and make real progress.
Today's post includes some tips if you want to do the same this month.
Highlights & Gratitude
A great place to start is to write a huge list of your achievements from the year, as well as things you're grateful for in your life. Not only does this set you off on this task in an uplifted, positive mood, it's also something you probably haven't done all year.
We often beat ourselves up, but actually if you sit down and write out everything you've been awesome at this year, you'll realise that you already HAVE made huge change in your life.
Once you get writing the achievements will come to you, but a few major ones to get you started:
- Life changes and milestones - moving house, new arrivals, getting through tough times, working on relationships
- Work challenges - interviews, career changes, promotions, new projects, business start ups
- Personal growth - new healthy habits, quitting bad habits, self care, new hobbies and other healthy lifestyle changes
And whilst it's great to want more wins and more growth, first take this moment to take a deep breath and give yourself a huge pat on the back.
Focus & Prioritise
Whilst I appreciate many of us are raring to go in the first week of January, with plans to workout 6 days a week, earn thousands in our new business, quit drinking, learn another language and eat a 'perfect' diet 24/7, it's just not realistic!
My advice would be to focus on one key area of your life - whether it's personal development, work, relationships, health, finances, etc.
Life has its seasons, and sometimes we have to knuckle down and focus on one area more than others. And that's totally okay! Have a think about which area is most important to you in this time of your life. Own your decision, and set 2-3 main goals in that area. You can have smaller goals in other areas, or add them as the year goes on, but its important to not overwhelm yourself at the start.
For example, my focus next year is going to be work. I've focused a lot on personal development and my (mental, physical and emotional) health this year, and have made leaps and bounds with it.
Next year, it's really important to me to get a new project off the ground, and reach a point where my business is thriving, I get to do what I love and my work allows me financial freedom. More on that in a later post, but you get my point - realise what your focus was this year, and decide what you want it to be for 2017.
Plan of Action
Most people think of New Year's Resolutions, or write their goals hastily on a slip of paper and leave it lying around somewhere, to be accidentally thrown out at the end of February. Get those things written out and display them proudly somewhere you will see them everyday.
Make them look pretty with fancy pens, colours or a nice font if you're typing them up. Pin the sheet of paper on your bedroom wall, by your bathroom cabinet, anywhere you will read them daily.
Then, actually break down those goals into small achievable tasks you can do daily, weekly and monthly to get you there. Get those tasks written on to do lists and start working towards them ASAP. If you're getting this done early, why not get started early? You will thank yourself come January when you already feel you're making progress!
Take Time for the 3 'R's - Reflect, Regroup & Reassess
A lot can happen in a year. A lot can happen in even a week! So it's important to have some regular time to reflect, regroup and reassess your goals at different points throughout the year.
I like to schedule weekly 'check ins' with myself, either on a Sunday afternoon or Monday morning. Have I worked towards my goals that week? What have I done? What haven't I done? What can I do next week to progress? Are my goals still exciting to me, or relevant to my circumstances? Do I need to reassess my priorities and change directions?
This last point is probably what people need most. Time for yourself, to think, to plan, to listen to what you really want. This is the exercise that could be the difference between completely forgetting about your goals on February 1st, and still being motivated about them in October! Try it out for a few months and see for yourself.
Are you going to set goals for 2017? What exciting things do you want to achieve next year? I'd love to read about them, and offer words of encouragement. I'm rooting for you!