I absolutely love this time of year!! Now is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the year that was, celebrating successes and finding the lessons that the tough stuff was sent to teach us. Then it becomes time to let it go and turn to the crisp blank page that is the New Year!
A friend was telling me last week over a glass of wine how much she has hated 2016 and can’t wait to say goodbye to it. She had a particularly eloquent way of putting it that I just couldn’t improve upon. “All year I feel like I’ve been stepping out of one pile of crap only to land face first in the next one!” After I heard her say this I realized how crucial it is to actually take the time to go through a process of letting go of the year that was and planning for the year ahead. If we don’t do this we’ll cruise on in to the new year with a piece of toilet paper dragging behind us, only to realize it’s attached to the same pile of crap that we were dealing with last year!
It’s important to reflect in a productive way rather than getting bogged down in the gory details, which is why I’ve created a document to guide you in celebrating the good stuff and focusing on lessons learnt from the tough stuff. After all, the thing that separates the pro’s from the rest is their ability to use what some of us might call failures or losses as opportunities to grow.
I’m not big on New Years Resolutions, but I do LOVE to set goals leading in to the New Year. What’s the difference you might ask? A decision and a plan. The saying “Fail to plan and plan to fail” really rings true when it comes to goal setting. I have spoken with so many people who tell me with equal enthusiasm about their big, inspired vision and the goals they have set for themselves, but only very few who have actually gone about making a decision to make it happen, writing it down and creating a plan which is regularly revisited and reviewed. Needless to say it’s the latter who are ultimately successful in achieving them... Let's be in that top 1%!
Unfortunately it’s not enough just to write down your goal on a post it note, stick it on the fridge and wait for it to work it’s magic… there is a bit of an art to doing it well. BUT if done well your chances of success are much much higher! It is SO worth it, stick with me here because I have a free resource that you can steal to help you on your way to achieving all that you dream of in 2017, just click the link below and I’ll send them your way!
Most of you I’m sure have heard of SMART goal setting (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time bound)... and you probably just yawned because that’s what I tend to do when I hear that term these days. But let me break it down nice and quickly for you, because honestly it’s done to death because it works.
Specific – write it down clearly and concisely. Give as much detail as you can! Example: “Complete Encounter Bay Triathlon November 2017, Sprint distance” rather than “enter a triathlon”
Measureable – how will you know that you’ve achieved it?
Achievable – the above triathlon example is my own goal. Why haven’t I chosen one of the many triathlons in January/February next year? Because I know that I haven’t done anything in a pool since I was pregnant with my now nine month old other than play Humpty Dumpty and sing “everybody splash.” Make it something that is actually doable for you, if it’s too difficult you’re going to be putting too much pressure on yourself and you’ll end up disenchanted, down and out. We’re doing this to make our lives better and to feel positive and inspired – not more stressed.
Relevant – set a goal that means something to you, that you know will improve your life, that fires you up and gives you butterflies thinking about it. If it doesn’t have this effect, either it’s too easy and the waste of a goal setting exercise or you probably don’t care enough about it to actually get it done. The ‘WHY’ is more important in keeping you on track than the ‘WHAT’. If you’re wanting to achieve more balance, try setting a goal in each area of you life. For example, I have a career related goal, a personal achievement goal (which doubles as a fitness and health goal), and a goal centered around my family. Once I achieve a goal in each area I replace it with a new one!
Time bound – Make sure you put a date on it or it will be too easy to forget about and say you’ll do it later.
That’s SMART goal setting in a nutshell. So, once you have that under control you need to make a plan. I’ve already said that the WHY is important, of equal importance is the HOW. You need a plan! Work out exactly what you need to do to get to where you want to go - breaking it down in to daily, weekly and monthly targets is ideal depending on the goal.
For my triathlon example I have printed a training plan off and I’ll stick it up in my office as well as translating each week in to my diary as I go to fit it around my schedule. I know how many times per week I need to train and what each of those sessions will entail. What this looks like will vary depending on what your goal is, the important thing is that it is done and that it is very specific. If your goal is to promote to the next level in your company, ask the person who is there what they did, break it down in to small actions and schedule those actions in to your working week. Make it happen!
I love to make life easier for you so as promised, if you click on the link below I will send you a free copy of the How She Does It New Year Planning e-book to help you reflect on the year that was and cruise on in to 2017 with some exciting goals and a rock solid plan ready for your best year yet.
Wishing you all a Safe and Happy New Year, now go and create and demolish some goals and make your dreams come true!!