Happy New Year! It’s a brand new, fresh calendar, all set for your dreams and goals to fill it up. And what better time than chilly January to envision what you’ll be doing in springy April, sunny August or cozy October? Follow our tips to set your path for 2013 with intention – and set yourself up for your most amazing year yet.
1. Daydream. Set yourself some time free from distractions – no kids, no phone, no commitments – just to ponder. What have you always wanted to do? What’s the thing you wished you’d done last year, that you could do now? Imagine in to the future and picture yourself this coming spring (At BlissDom ’13!), this summer, even this time next year or 5 years from now. What would future You like the now You to have accomplished?
For this exercise, I like to have a new journal and some coloured markers (I find pen and paper work way better for this than a keyboard – doodles inspire creativity!) to start making a list. I free associate. And you can too. Write down everything you’d love to do, have always wanted to do – big, small or in between. This isn’t a time for realism or self defeat or criticism – this is a time for big dreams or little ones to just get out of your head and your heart and on to your paper. (If doodles don’t work for you, don’t worry: Inc has a great article on Setting Goals by Tapping In To Your Brain!) Do you want to start or grow your business? Learn a new skill? Become a public speaker? Sky’s the limit! Write it down, then take a step back and look at what you’ve come up with.
2. Choose Your Goals. Whew! Now that the imagination phase is over (wasn’t that fun?) we move in to the more practical phase. What do you really want to get done, this year specifically? Pick goals you’d love to get accomplished in the short term and the long term. Mindtools has great advice on setting goals both large and small. It’s OK to leave things on your original doodle list off this year’s list… but keep the list and revisit it next year and see if it’s something you still want to pursue.
3. Choose Your Success. Take a few minutes to think through each goal and understand what accomplishing your goals will actually look like. If your goal is an organized basement, then that’s pretty easy to envision. But if your goal is a better marriage, what does that really mean to you? More couple time? More laughter? Take some time to think about what achieving your goal will really mean to your life. This part will also help you to…..
4. Be realistic. Know your own schedule and how much time you’re going to have to dedicate to these tasks. It helps to look at your year in total – sit down with a full calendar for 2013 in front of you marked with of the things you know you’ll be doing to keep you busy (work, vacation, birthdays, BlissDom ’13 in Dallas from March 21-23 – all the important stuff!) It’s OK to look at your year and realize your goals are lofty and to reorganize your thoughts. Once you’re on timing, then it’s time to….
5. Break It Down. Once you’ve settled on your list, break your goals in to manageable tasks. Want to finally renovate your kitchen or write that book? Amazing! What can you do today, this week, this month to get you moving in the right direction? Set up some practical to-dos. Want to save money? Maybe you can set up an automatic deduction from your account each month. Want to establish a writing practice? Set up specific writing time, scheduled just like any other appointment. The practical how-to phase really tells you how to get your goals moving – and also gives you a reality check on how much time and energy things may take.
How do you set goals? Tell us your best tips here – and happy planning for your most successful year yet!