I love the end of the year, and not just for the awesomeness that comes from celebrating the holidays—time with friends & family, food, festivities and fun. What I love about the end of the year is the clean slate and promise of all the positivity the upcoming year brings.
Here are 6 steps to help set actionable goals—and achieve them—to help make 2017 your best year yet!
Before you start the New Year, it’s a great practice to review and reflect on what’s happened in the past year in the important areas of your life: your family & relationships, career, finance, health & wellness.
What did you accomplish in the current year that made you proud? What were the most special moments from the last 12 months? Spending time actually reviewing what has happened over the last year will help you make the best decisions and focus on what is important in the year ahead.
2. Look Ahead
Leave any frustrations, regret and negativity behind and stay positive as you move into the year ahead. Instead, be grateful for the successes you’ve had, and carry that positivity with you as you plan for the year ahead.
Write down your “Big Wins” from the past year, and review them for an added boost of confidence as you plan for the year ahead.
During that time of year between Thanksgiving and the New Year, things tend to be a bit slower at work. You know what I’m talking about—people are focused on the holidays, and seem to be a bit checked out. But not you! Oh no, you’re going to use this time to plan for your year ahead.
Allow yourself to dream big! What do you want to accomplish in the coming year, and WHY? What will you work on that will bring you joy? How can you grow in every area of your life?
List your goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound, or SMART for short. This can help you start off your year with clarity and direction.
4. Break it Down Now!
A list of big goals can feel incredibly daunting. You’ll never check anything off of your to-do list if you just have large goals on it. The key to successfully completing these big plans is to chip away at them daily, and that happens when you break them down into manageable tasks.
Once you’ve set your three or four big goals for the year, go through each one and brain-dump everything you can think of that will go in to completing these goals. What are the 2 or 3 next actions you need to take to move those goals forward? These become your weekly or monthly “to-dos” that you can feel good about crossing off your list (like a boss!) as you move closer to achieving your bigger goals.
5. Schedule Your Year
Now that you have established your goal and broken them down into smaller, more manageable tasks, now you have to schedule them to make them happen. If you don’t add what’s important to you to your calendar, you leave yourself open to others taking up too much of your time with their agendas.
I have found that whatever I calendar actually happens, so if I want to see a shift in any area of my life, I have to actually add it to the calendar. Working out, date nights, time with friends, self-care—all of it gets added to the calendar like an agenda item. Same goes for the important daily and weekly tasks needed to move my goals forward. I calendar them to make them real and ensure they actually get done!
6. Take Care of YOU!
I hinted at this above, but part of being productive, successful, and having a great year is taking good care of yourself. Plan time off, take vacations, learn a new skill, or develop a deep expertise in something that interests and excites you. The bottom line is, pay attention to your needs and what you need to stay mentally and physically healthy.
Practice self-care so you can avoid burn-out and maintain focus to accomplish everything you set out to achieve in the new year. I have a “self-care accountability partner” and we check in with each other every 2 weeks to ensure we’re taking good care of ourselves. Sounds silly, but I know she will email me and ask what I did for myself, and I better have an answer! The healthier, more rested and taken care of you are, the more your family, and work will benefit from having the best version of you possible.
This is the perfect time of year to reflect on your achievements from this year, dive into setting your goals for the New Year, and schedule them to make them happen.
Come join us in my Jeneration Entrepreneurs group and share your goals for 2017 so we can help support you along the way!