Start by Taking Stock
I’d like to start this week, by wishing you an enjoyable Holiday. This Christmas is going to be especially difficult for everyone. But hopefully, the power that Social Media has to help us connect with our loved-ones, will help us through.
In these few days before Christmas, I thought it would be good to start looking to the New Year.
Clearly this year, wasn’t the best for getting things done and that’s likely going to carry on for a while. But, there are still things you can do, to keep moving forward.
Have you thought about the things you want to achieve next year? I know Coronavirus makes things difficult, but mindset goals can be achieved almost anywhere.
Did you know that according to, this 2018 report from the Statistic Brain Research Institute, only about 8% of the people who set goals each year, actually achieve them? In fact, most people have given up within 6 weeks!
I guess sometimes, this is because they’ve set an unrealistic goal, but more often, it’s because they didn’t use the right process.
I’ve used the same steps every year and they’ve never let me down. I’m sure they’ll do the same for you…
1. Begin by Reflecting
Start by looking a the last twelve months before you concentrate on the next twelve..
No doubt you had many successes this year(even if they were small ones). And most likely plenty of failures too. So, grab some paper and a pen, then spend some time identifying your progress so far. Start by asking yourself some reflection questions such as,
- What did I do this year that contributed to my successes?
- What did I do this year that contributed to my failures?
- If the same circumstances occurred next year, what would I do differently?
- Is there anyone in my life I need to be more attentive toward?
- Is there anyone in my life who hindered my progress?
- What can I improve next year, to become a better person?
- What was my biggest achievement this year?
- and finally, What were the most important things I learnt from my failures this year?
By getting clarity on your previous year, you’ll be in a much stronger position to improve in the next one.
2. Set Large Goals, but Celebrate your Small Wins.
In my book Set Yourself Free, I make the point that what a person can do is incredible, but it’s what a person will do that makes the difference.
It’s great to set lofty goals that are a bit difficult to achieve, you need to move out of your comfort zone, if you want to grow as a person. But the problem with big goals, is you can become despondent very quickly, because there’s a lack of celebration until the goal is reached (if you get that far). By using a SMARTER technique, you’ll set yourself up to receive lots of little wins along the way.
Definitely set some big goals for the year. Just make sure you break it down into smaller goals, that you can achieve weekly, or monthly, with a series of small, simple tasks you can get excited about.
3. Recognize There’ll be Problems Along the Way.
Nothing ever goes exactly to plan. There’s bound to be problems along the way.
Try to prepare for these ‘bumps in the road’, by planning as best you can. Often, if you think about it, you can anticipate issues with certain tasks, necessary actions. or even the people you’ll have to deal with. By thinking about them now, you can offset the level of pain they, create by working out how you’ll deal with them beforehand.
4. There Will be Failures, but Learn from Them.
You can only really fail, if you stop trying. There’ll be times when deadlines get missed, or the results of a task don’t go the way you expect. (like in the moment, you decide that a big slice of cake won’t harm your diet 🙂). Own the failure, learn something from it, then move on with your new knowledge.
5. Plan Lots of Rewards.
Make sure to celebrate your progress along the way, especially in the early days of your journey. The rewards you choose needn’t be big, or expensive. Even the smallest things can make a huge difference to your drive and determination to succeed.
Maybe, each time to meet a small milestone, you could treat yourself to a magazine, or put a couple bucks away for that thing you want from Amazon? Choose something that works for you.
So, before moving forward, always look back.
There are three main things to take from this post…
- Take the time remember the things that went well. Celebrate your wins.
- Make a note of the things that didn’t go well. You’ll learn much more from the failures than you ever will from the successes.
- Any resolutions you’re making for next year, remember to set milestones along the way. Lots of small wins will pave the way for success.
Answer the questions from earlier in the post, then make a plan to address those things next year. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions.