I love the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. All the news stations do a recap of the significant events of the previous year, and most people take a moment to review the events of their own lives over the last 12 months. As important as I believe this reflection is I also believe it’s only one half of a very important process. Equally important is looking to what lies ahead in the upcoming 12 months.
I believe that each of us have a tremendous amount of control to design and build the type of year we’d like 2014 to be. Will things that are beyond our control occurring next year? Count on it! But that doesn’t mean that we can’t look ahead, decide what we want out life to look like on December 31, 2014 and take daily steps that move us in that direction. The greatest tool we can employ to this end is to write down our goals for the year and review them regularly throughout.
Our goals are the roadmap that will guide us through the days of 2014 toward the life we desire. It is important to know what you want out of the next year, otherwise the year will just drift by and you’ll find yourself 12 months older and no different, or closer to where you want to be in your life, than you were a year ago.
If you want to cause something to happen in your life this year, I suggest writing out goals for yourself in each of the following categories:
For each of these categories, write out what your goals are for the upcoming year. And be specific. Don’t use phrases like, “Be better about exercising”. Write out exactly what your goal is like, “Exercise 30 minutes a day 4 times a week” or “Lose 25 pounds by June 3rd”. Make them specific and measurable with a timeframe attached. That way you’ll be able to see what kind of progress you’re making.
I’ve found goal setting to be a worthwhile exercise that is both fun and encouraging in building the life you desire. And don’t get too worried about achieving every goal. Your goals should be big and require effort without being so easy that success is guaranteed. Stretch yourself. Besides, if someone sets a goal to lose 25 pounds by December 1st and they only lose 19, are they a failure? Not in my book!
Spend some time planning out how you want your life to look next year at this time. Write down your goals to get you there and review them regularly throughout the year. Doing so will provide purpose and direction for your life and move you toward the life you want in the upcoming 12 months.
Here’s to your best year ever!