The only thing that gets me through the downer that is the end of the holidays is planning for a fresh new year. I absolutely love anything to do with planning ahead so while I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, I do try to reflect on what I’d like to accomplish in the upcoming year.
The last year of learning through the books we’ve read, new tools we’ve used, and honestly failing and figuring out what will work for me has given me more ammo to hopefully actually reach my goals this year. If you’re looking for some tips to get you started, I’ve got your back!
- Reflect on the past year. What worked? What didn’t work? Maybe even look back at the goals you wanted to accomplish or what your New Year’s resolutions were. If they failed, think about what made them fail. If you still want to accomplish them, what do you need to do differently to do that? Unfortunately, writing down the same goal in a new year will not magically make it successful THIS year. Put some thought into it.
- Envision the year ahead. What do you want your year to look like? How will it feel? One idea that I learned last year from a training at work is to pretend that it is New Year’s eve in 2016 and write down what you accomplished in 2016 as if it already happened. Or, think about the end of your life, what accomplishments would make you happy then? Where do you want to spend your time? It probably isn’t logging hours on Facebook that will make you feel good in your dying days so figure out what will!
- Write down your goals. Seriously, WRITE THEM DOWN. Those goals floating around in your head will not make it anywhere just hanging out. Put them on paper (or whatever digital device/program you like!). Keep in mind that it’s difficult to tackle a ton of goals so consider narrowing them down to the absolute most important things for this year. For me, I know I can do no more than 5 (sometimes less) at any one time. Make sure they are realistic, particularly for your stage in life. Believe me, I speak from experience. Give yourself some grace if you’re in a particularly challenging stage like having little ones demanding your attention for all.the.things. You want to succeed at these goals, not overload yourself so you accomplish none of them. Make sure you are still leaving room for self care like SLEEP! Moms, I’m talking to you. You can do it all, but not all at once!
- Make an action plan. How will you accomplish these goals? What could derail you from working on them? Figure out what your steps are. Block off the time on your calendar, set up reminders for yourself, ask for the help you need from others. For example, one of my goals is to spend more time and attention on my relationship with my husband and I hope to have more date nights this year. Because of this, I need to figure out the steps I need to take to get a babysitter and put those nights on the calendar so they actually happen.
- Keep track of your progress daily, weekly, monthly. If you regularly check in, you can accomplish a lot with a little effort at a time. If these goals are for your year, that’s a long time and you don’t want to wait until November or December to realize you didn’t do what you wanted to do! Ask a friend or colleague to be your accountability partner and set regular check ins. Tell your partner what you want to accomplish so they can help you. I also have an “accountability coffee” once a month with one of my friends to keep us both on track. I have Becca to support me on my sometimes too long of a list of goals (please refer back to step 3!). Let people in on what you want to accomplish. I’ve learned I can’t (and shouldn’t) do it alone!
- Celebrate! You’ve already done more than most people and are on your way to accomplishing your goals!
I am a total geek for resources for getting clear on your goals and tracking them. Here are some to try out for yourself!
- For getting clear on your values and intentions before setting goals, I recommend checking out how to set intentions from Jess Lively. I’ve used many of her resources myself including going through her Life with Intention class to better understand what I want out of life and what I value.
- For reflection on where things are and where you want them to go, I highly recommend PowerSheets. Becca and I tried them out last year and are both using them again this year. My favorite part is the prep section which dives into what is working and not working in your life, what fires you up, etc. before diving into goal setting.
- For some thoughts on setting goals, I like The ONE Thing or Essentialism.
- For keeping track of your progress, you can use any kind of planner (I’ve heard great things about the Simplified Planner, but haven’t tried it myself), the PowerSheets which have monthly tracking sheets with your room for your monthly, weekly, and daily goals, or the Five-Minute Journal. I also recommend writing down or printing out your overall goals and putting them where you can see them daily. Bonus points if it looks pretty so you feel good looking at them!
When you need a little something to keep you going throughout the year, we’ll be here every Monday (TGIM!) with your inspiration!
Becca & Tiffany