I love a fresh slate.
For me, when the ball drops and the fireworks begin, it’s a symbol of hope. The opportunity for each of us to create a new existence. The feeling that we can do ANYTHING, and that for the next 12 months the possibilities are unlimited.
Because, who DOESN’T yearn for a better version of themselves each year?
I read recently that a full 25% of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions after only one week, and 60% abandon them within six months. Shocking! (Or is it?)
So let’s get real for a minute…
Did 2015 turn out the way you’d hoped, and were you able to accomplish everything you set out to do?
5 Steps To Success In The New Year
We all have 8,760 hours each year to build the life we dream of! All we need to do is follow a few simple steps…
1. Reflect on the year behind you.
Take a moment to reflect on your previous year and evaluate your experiences.
Ask yourself important questions: What are my overall feelings for the last year? What did I accomplish? If I could change anything about the last year, what would it be?
Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful. -Margaret Wheatley
Write your answers down. (Do it!) Recording your thoughts is a crucial step in helping you make the changes you seek in the upcoming year.
2. Daydream a little.
Open up your mind and dream a little about the upcoming year. Don’t hold back! What’s your ultimate vision?
Now write a list of the things that you want to accomplish in the new year. It can be anything—selfish, selfless, and everything in between.
3. Find your why.
Finding your why is a critical step. Your why will help you stick with your commitments when things get tough. (Because life always gets in the way, right?)
Achieving your goals won’t always be easy; however, your why will make it possible!
4. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals.
Whatever you want in life, create goals for getting closer to that. It can be skydiving, volunteering, changing jobs, writing a book—anything. Only YOU are responsible for the year; only YOU can make it your best year ever.
That being said, it’s important to be realistic and to set yourself up for success. Select only a few goals for the year. If you set too many it may be harder for you to achieve them. Make sure the ones you plan to focus on are in line with your why and overall life vision.
Use the S.M.A.R.T. method of goal setting to get you there!
S — Specific
M — Measurable
A — Achievable
R — Realistic
T — Timely
This method helps you create goals that are narrow, in writing, achievable, and have a deadline.
5. Set up systems for success.
So you’ve spent time on reflection, set your vision, and broken your goals down using the S.M.A.R.T. method. But, you still have to implement your plan and make sure it happens!
Do this by:
- Putting deadlines on your calendar to accomplish your goals.
- Creating monthly check-ins and quarterly evaluations.
- Using an accountability partner.
Being proactive and intentional upfront will help create greater success throughout the year. Use check-ins with your accountability partner to help you reflect on your progress and revise your plans, if necessary.
Here’s to a happy (and successful) new year. Now go out there and make 2016 your best year ever!
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