Have you stopped to think about this year and what it has done for you?
Once we get through the hustle and bustle of Christmas, so many people start thinking about the New Year. What are their new goals? How is the next year going to be better/bigger/different?
But before you turn the page on the calendar, why not stop to think about this year? Don’t let the new year sneak up on you! Take some time to do a few things to help put this year into perspective and help you plan for the next year – making the new year everything that you want it to be!
1. Do a yearly review
Take the time to look at where you’ve been and appreciate all of the accomplishments you’ve made in the last year. In your yearly review, you should think about and answer these types of questions:
- What went well for me last year?
- What have I accomplished?
- How did I improve my life?
- How did I improve my relationships?
- What did I remove from my life that is now making me happier?
- What do I wish I had taken more time for?
Keep track of these answers in a journal so that you can go back and review them during the year, and have something to go back and look at each year when you repeat this process. Over time, you can see how you have grown and changed from year to year. Many times, it’s the little things that we do, that make the biggest difference over time.
When you ask these types of questions about all the important areas of your life (family, relationships, finances, spirituality, career), it will help you appreciate everything you have accomplished. This information can truly help you to start the new year off right, and set better goals for the next year.
2. Finish what you started
When you look at your list of things to do, what kind of projects or tasks are hanging out there that you can finish in a few hours or less? Take some time and finish them off now!
Think about how you will feel when you start the new year with a shorter list of things to do! Many of these tasks hang out there and we think about them for hours, when in reality, we can have them completed in a matter of a few minutes.
3. Be Realistic
While dreaming is a good thing, and something I strongly encourage, if you want to accomplish things in your life, you need to keep things real. In order to turn a dream into a reality, you need to believe that you can accomplish it. Are there honest and true obstacles that will keep you from accomplishing your dreams? If we want to turn a dream into reality, we need to be able to picture ourselves accomplishing it. In order to turn your dreams into reality, you need to have a plan.
No matter what the dream, start by breaking into down into smaller milestones. If you have a desire to work from home, what steps can you start taking now to help more you closer to that reality? When will you complete these steps by, and what are the steps you will need to take after that? By breaking it down into smaller steps, it makes the overall goal more manageable, and more likely that you will achieve it
4. Focus on what you really want
Since we are talking about your goals and dreams, stop and ask yourself what those really mean to you. What does that dream really look like for you? Who is with you? What are you doing? How are you feeling?
These questions will help you define what lifestyle you REALLY want. They can also give you ideas about how you can achieve that lifestyle. For example, if you see yourself hiking to a remote spot on the lake to enjoy your morning coffee as the sun rises, ask yourself why you aren’t spending time doing that now. What things are in your way and how can you adjust your priorities to allow you to start doing that now?
Many people get stuck on the thought that their first step towards their goals is more money. If you think that what you want is more money, dig deeper into that response. What would you do if you had endless amounts of money? Would you travel, volunteer, or live simply and quietly away from it all? Challenge that idea and dig to find those things that you really want, and aim to pursue them now.
5. Put yourself first
Once you have gone through the above steps, take some time to think about what you need to do for yourself.
The old saying still stands true. You can’t help others until you take the time to help yourself first. Taking care of yourself and working to reach your own goals will make you a better spouse, friend, coworker or neighbor.
Taking care of your own health and well-being means you’ll be around longer for your loved ones too! Be sure to make time for yourself each day to work toward your goals, or to attain the lifestyle you want.
How will you start your year off right? Share your comments below and let’s finish out 2017 strong together – and then head into 2018 armed with plans to make it great!