I absolutely love the new year and the many opportunities that we can all look forward to but I always recommend that you take a few steps to prepare things so that you are all ready to go. Don’t leave it all until January 1st because you will be completely overwhelmed by everything. If you simply carry out the steps that I have listed below on the lead up to the new year, you will find that when the day arrives it really will be a case if all systems go and everything will be in place to ensure that there will be a great chance of sticking to your goals.
So, with that in mind, here we go..
- Clean out the cupboards – usually the ones most at offence are your closet, pantry, fridge/freezer and that spare room or attic where you throw everything that you will get around to one day. Why you declutter – blah blah blah (feel good, less holding you down, stuff can go to good will or family members who might need it)
- The office – put some systems in place for bills, report cards and all those business cards. Sometimes the simplest things are the best such as manilla folders that you can put things in and then every so often go through them and make sure it is all up to date or your can throw out things you no longer need or put them in for longer term filing.One of the things that I personally have is a scanner for all my warranties receipts and business cards. Have a look at this one on Amazon – it is very similar to mine (which is a couple of years older) and it makes my life such a more organised one. The beauty of this is that it has blue tooth connectivity and is portable. I take it with me in my briefcase and it is a godsend for all those things that you want to keep track of (you know those articles that you rip out of magazine and litter the bottom of your briefcase)
- Make sure you give yourself definite goals. So if you are going to clean the fridge – write it down and commit to it – I am cleaning it after work on garbage collection day. Having specific goals and sticking to them will make you goal setting in the new year that much more beneficial.
Actually – I am a bit of a fan of Tim Ferris and the book the Four Hour Work Week he has quite a bit to say about automation and keeping your life decluttered. Or you can go to his blog at http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/ and have a look at his blogs – some of them are very beneficial.
Goal Setting – Overview
We all know the well used saying – those that fail to plan – plan to fail. You know a lot of people who just bounce along from thing to thing and never seem to get any further. Maybe you are like that yourself.
The goals that you set must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and have a definitive time line.
My personal beliefs are that if you set plans of action in place – you are going to get to your final destination. Maybe you have to detour along the way – but you will achieve those things that are most important to you.
Setting goals isn’t just about saying I am saving $100 a week each week this year. It is about actually planning the whole 360 degrees of you life. Me personally – I have 8 goals each year for which I am. I’ve broken my life down into things that are important to me:
You will probably have similar categories as this but feel free to add in more categories if you think you need them – or delete a couple. At the end of the day you can have up to 10 goals for the next coming year – just so long as you plan to succeed at each one of them. I like having these categories as it keeps me in balance. If you just aim for one thing – you will find the other parts of your life start to wither and die……not a good place to be.
So – think over these categories for the next couple of weeks and then we will look at the practical way of setting goals.
Goal Setting – The Practicalities
So – we talked last time of what areas of your life you want to improve. Now it is time to hone down the things that you need to do to set those goals.
What is a goal
Can you visualise it
Is it real to you
Give it a time line
Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and a time line.
Track Your Progress
We don’t just set our goals at 1 January and never look at them again. It is like when we are losing weight. We jump on the scales – see where we are and then each week jump back on and see our progress. Our progress tells us if we are being true to ourselves or whether we need to change our course a bit to stay on track.
I have a simple spreadsheet that tracks my progress through out the year. You can share mine here… or create your own. The main thing is that you must review it at all times. I have an alarm on my Iphone that goes off at6amof a Monday morning that gives me the 10 dot points of my goals. It gets me thinking as I am heading into work. Just the sound of the alarm and I can already tell you the list… and so I start reviewing and setting out what I need to do this week to keep on track.
I’m sure you can see that once all of the above steps are in place there really will be no stopping you, everything is planned in advance so you know exactly what you are doing and why you should be doing it.
I would give yourself a couple of weeks to put everything in place but from past experience, I can tell you that once you get started planning your year you will find that you can’t stop. The reason for that is because it is all so exciting and when you start putting it all down on paper the realisation will suddenly dawn on you that anything really is possible, how fantastic is that?