If you want to enjoy your best year ever, you have to plan for it.
How do many of us approach the advent of a new year? Well, we usually make the intention, the resolution to make sure the coming year is better than the last. That’s it.
Having the best intentions in the world is not enough. We know that success and achievement don’t happen randomly. We plan to succeed and work hard to achieve. We ACT on our intentions.
Don’t panic! Planning for a great year is not something that requires weeks of preparation and brainstorming. You can do it in just a couple of hours with these 5 simple steps.
Step 1: Review the past year.
Grab a paper and pencil by first making an honest assessment of the past year. How would you rate it on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being spectacularly crappy and 10 being outstandingly super? Just knowing where you stand on the scale will immediately let you know the extent of change you need to make. Below five should be a red flag that you need to make some serious changes in habits, relationships, and behaviors.
Next, list the things that were working and not working for you. For example, working on deadlines at the last minute may have led to a decline in your work quality and perhaps cost you a promotion. This is something that isn’t working.
On the other hand, you may have enjoyed improved health during the past year because you made regular exercise a priority. This is something that’s working for you. Isn’t that amazing? With this simple first step, you are already on your way to planning your best year ever. You simply need to ditch or change what’s not working and keep doing what’s working.
Step 2: Declutter your life to see your goals clearly
The next step is to clearly define one or two major goals that, if achieved, will make your year a huge success. To keep these goals clear in your sights, you need to declutter your life not to get distracted. Your yearly goals need to be your top priority. This means doing whatever you can to simplify so that you can focus better on these goals.
For example, if your goal is to get a promotion, you can commit to cut down on your busy social life and late nights. It can even be something like limiting your social media time online. If your goal is to buy a bigger house, declutter your life, and save money by eliminating non-essential luxuries and unnecessary expenses so that you can save up more quickly for your goal.
Step 3 Use the SMART goals framework.
This powerful goal-setting framework is very popular these days, so you may already know about it. S-M-A-R-T stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-focused, Time-bound.
Deciding to have the best year ever in terms of improved health is not a SMART goal. There are literally millions of ways to improve health, so where do you start? It would be best to define exactly what it is about your health that you want to improve.
Saying, “I’m going to get rid of my belly fat and keep it off,” is a SMART goal. It’s specific because losing belly fat will indeed improve your overall health and decrease your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. It’s measurable because you will regularly confirm that your waistline is getting trimmer and that you feel more energetic.
It’s attainable through specific exercises and diet. It’s relevant because staying healthy is important to you. It’s time-bound because, in a year, you want to have achieved its long-lasting results. This is how you should approach all of your goals because when you place them within the SMART framework, they become very defined and, therefore, easier to achieve.
Step 4: Get control over your time.
This can be achieved with one simple word: No. Learning to say no is one of the most powerful tools you can arm yourself with. It allows you to take control of your time and your life. By learning to say no firmly and politely, you will have less stress, more time for your family, more personal time to pursue your passions and hobbies, and more time to enjoy the wonderful year that lies ahead!
Step 5: Regularly reassess where you are
It’s essential to take stock of how far you have come regularly. How often you do this is up to you, but ideally, every 30 days should be your timeframe. This allows you to evaluate whether you are on track with your goals and to make changes or tweaks where required.
You don’t need to be a time-management guru to plan a super-successful year. These 5 simple steps are all you need to lay down a powerful foundation for success in every area of your life.
This framework will guide you towards achieving your goals successfully, improving whatever you need to improve, and ultimately, get results.
Whatever it is you want to achieve in life, it’s as simple as these five simple steps. They will help you enjoy your best year ever – year after year after year!