The new year is upon us and just like every year some people are excited about what next year has to offer and many more are not sure what life will throw at them and are just willing to let the chips fall where they may.
People usually make some kind of New Years Resolutions but they tend to be not very well thought out and tend to fail as soon as there is any adversity
There Is a Better Way
The way I start each year is by looking back, looking at where I am today, and finally looking at where I want to be tomorrow and then creating a plan to make a better tomorrow happen.
With goal setting most people just look at what they want and then create a plan to get there. My method of life planning is much better as it does not just look at myself as a superman and allow me to collapse as soon as any problem gets in the way of my goal.
Tools For Goal Setting
To start you must have a notebook and realize that this notebook will be your companion for the next year.
Give yourself an hour to get started and know that you will likely be sitting down a few times over the next few days, if New Years Day comes and goes while you are in the midst of this process do not worry.
Even though we always look at new years day as the switch that begins a new year remember that you are creating a map and a route that is much more important and long lasting.
Trust the plan more than the flip of a calendar, the end of a day, or a fuzzy idea in the middle of the night whose idea of importance is reflected only by the thoughts and actions of a very few minutes.
Looking Back Over The Last Year
To do this life planning correctly you must begin by looking back at the last year. Sit down and ask yourself the following questions.
What did I plan to do this year? Write this list by writing down one at a time with a couple lines between them. Look back and see all of the things that seemed important for a short or long time and write them down in a big list.
Did you include health and exercise, spiritual goals, financial and career goals, holiday plans, leisure plans?
What happened to these ideas and plans? Did you complete one or more of these things on the list? With the one that were completed, great. For the ones that you didn’t complete, great as well. This exercise will allow you to see from a bit of distance what was important and what was not important apparently.
Now for each of the items in the list that you completed look at the obstacles that you had and how you over came them. You will probably find that for your accomplishments you were in one way or another motivated to really complete and not just ‘wishing’ to finish.
Also go to the things that did not work out.
- What was the level of priority and what kind of obstacles stopped you?
- Are these long term plans that can’t be finished?
- Were you just hoping to get these to work?
Write out some detail on each of these things on the list and reflect on how you felt about the idea of each of these one year ago today.
Now you have a nice basis for building on what you have now and what will be the highest priority plans for next year. You are going to find a few common threads from the last year. Maybe you procrastinate. Perhaps you are unrealistic with your time and resources.
Likely you wanted certain things that were not that important to you at this time in your life. For the things that you did accomplish you are going to see that you needed to complete them either for your job, your ego or for people that rely on you. You may know now how I will have you look at the next year.
Creating New Goals
Create goals for what is really important and do not just put lofty goals that are not critically important to you. The real reason that most people fail with their new years resolutions is that they are not important enough for them and they are really just goals that sound good at the time.
You probably see from your accomplishments over the last year that the things that you did right were not planned on new years eve but instead in March or June or even November, so if you want to succeed then you will need to find those things that would make enough of a difference in your life that you will not let any of the obstacles that get in your way to stop you.
Now For Planning For Next Year!
Look at you list of things that you did not accomplish this year. Are any of them really important? Are there any that you can accomplish right now for a quick win to start the year with? More importantly get the ones that you did not complete and are not important enough and just put a line through them in your list.
Many of us hold on to goals that we are not going to ever complete as they may be lofty but are never really that important to us and just take some of our waking time.
Some scientists say that almost all of our thoughts today are just thoughts recycled from yesterday, if these thoughts are not going to do us any good then dump them so that you can free up some space in your head for more things that are really important instead.R
emember that it is important to set SMART goals
After you have gone through your list look at the following list and see if there are anymore things that fall into what should and will be done.
- Spiritual Goals
- Health and Fitness Goals
- Monetary Goals
- Career Goals
- Family Goals
- Entertainment and Leisure Goals
I find that most people that try to make goals or that come up with systems tend to be very narrow focused, they will rely on what seems normal and moving forward. We are all individuals and because of that we may find that some of our goals may seem strange to other but are fun and exciting just for us.
For example, what would be wrong with a new years goal to eat the food from 10 different countries? Or to take a course in holistic interior design, when you aren’t even a designer?
If you need a little help to really see the big picture I have found a site called www.43things.com this site has list of what people would like to do from all walks of life and many of the ideas are sure to surprise you.
Now that you have a list do not worry about how big it is, I have heard people say no more than three goals should ever be on your list and another that says that you should have 101 goals. Your list is yours and you now have to go to your list and figure out the following.
- How long will it take to complete this goal/outcome?
- How important is this goal to me to complete?
- What will happen if I do not achieve this goal?
- What are the roadblocks that I can expect to have crop up because of my weaknesses in the past?
- What will I get if I complete this, what is the reward?
- Are there any goals that I should achieve first to get this one done?
These are big questions and are the questions that never get asked when we just jump at making a new years resolution. Answer these questions for each of your goals and don’t really belabor the questions or you will never get them done.
How Should My New Years Goal Setting Look?
Let’s say now that you have 10 things that you want to complete by the end of January, 30 things that you want to complete by the end of the year and another 10 for the end of next year.
Now you have to have some kind of action plan to get it all completed. Most of getting a goal completed is to get your head aligned with what you want to get, to do this make sure that you have a roadmap to completing each of your items and then your mind can really believe these things possible.
After you have done this pull out your daytimer or at least some kind of sheet of paper and list down each goal and when a certain part of it is due so that all of those things in life that get in the way won’t stop you for these.
Celebrate your accomplishments, share your dreams, and always make this day the day that will make tomorrow even better. New years goal setting in this manner is a lot different than just setting a resolution or just wiping the slate clean but the benefits to your life in the year to come are amazing