Every year, we kick off the New Year with renewed enthusiasm and the notion that this year is going to be different.
It’s like we give ourselves permission to make changes because we want things to be better.
The reality is most of us do not follow through on what we had originally set out to do and before we know it, another year has passed us by which can leave us feeling disappointed, discouraged and even, sad.
If you’re like me, you do not want to make the same mistakes again in the New Year!
If you did not make as much progress as you had hoped to this year, here are five things to consider doing differently so that when you reach the end of next year, you will have accomplished more of the things that were important to you with ease and less stress.
- Evaluate your current year. Before any meaningful or lasting change can be made, knowing what has or hasn’t worked is the starting point. Questions to consider answering include:
- In which areas did I do really well this year? Why?
- In which areas did I not do well this year? Why?
- Where did I stop myself from taking action? What came up? What did I make more important at that time?
- What can I do differently next year? Why is it important for me to do that?
While there are other questions that can be asked when evaluating your current year, these questions are a great start and will help trigger new ideas for next year.
- Have written goals or projects to focus on. It is very easy to get sidetracked by things that are urgent throughout the year, and lose focus of what we are really trying to accomplish. Having written goals or projects to focus along with an action plan to follow will ensure that we are heading towards a defined destination. While writing goals is just one aspect of goal achievement, it is also important to regularly review our goals and assess whether we’re on track or not.
- Narrow your focus. While having goals or projects to focus is very valuable, the risk is we can also get carried away and set too many goals. That’s when we’re more likely to get stressed, overwhelmed and stretch ourselves thin. While most high achievers want to achieve more and more, by narrowing our focus, we’re more likely to have greater clarity on how to achieve those goals and also increase the likelihood of actually achieving them.
- Consider different areas of your life. A typical mistake achievers make when deciding what to focus on is they put more attention on career or business related goals. While that is certainly valuable, it is also vitally important that we give attention to other areas of our life such as health and wellness, relationships, personal growth, finances, fun and recreation, and service or contribution. By addressing different areas of our lives, we will have a much better quality of life.
- Hold yourself accountable. Oftentimes, our excuses get in the way of us making real progress. Rather than succumbing to our excuses, holding ourselves accountable to someone is a powerful way to overcome our excuses. This is why having a coach, a mentor or an accountability partner is such a powerful way to challenge ourselves and go beyond what we’re familiar and comfortable with.
It is not unusual to look back at our year and think that we did not make much progress. However the reality is we’ve all made progress — some of us more than others.
If you want the New Year to be different and better than your current year, then these ideas will guarantee that you will achieve more than you have previously if you are committed to applying these ideas. Let your New Year be your best one yet.
Question: What would you recommend doing to make next year a better year than this year?
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