Traditionally people plan for major changes in terms of the year. New Year’s Resolutions are the classic example of this. When people want to make major changes in their lives they often think in terms of a year.
Year in Review
Each December there is value in looking back to see what you have accomplished in the past year and what you want to accomplish in the coming year. The hours, days, weeks and months of a year will pass quickly. If you have no goals for the year they will pass without direction and focus.
If you had goals for the past year that were not achieved decide if you truly want to achieve them. If you do rededicate yourself to the ones that are important and make them goals for the next year. If you do not feel passionate about a goal then drop it.
Make a list of the goals from the current year that were not completely achieved and new goals you think you may want to achieve. Do not judge or evaluate them yet, just write them down.
Consider each goal. How important is it to you, really? Why do you want to achieve that goal? Is it to please someone else or to do something you really want to do? Eliminate any goal that you are not passionately invested in. Eliminate any goal that is there because you think someone else wants you to do it.
Winnow your list down to the vital goals you feel most strongly about. The more goals you have the less likely you will achieve any of them. Ideally you should not have more than three, but if you do keep the number as small as you can. Remember that if you achieve all your goals before the year is out you can always add new ones.
Clarify and Plan
Once you have your final list of three or four goals, write each one on a separate piece of paper. For each goal write a clear statement of what you want to achieve as though it were achieved and a date by which it will be achieved. For example:
I weight 180 lbs. on October 1, year.
Then write out the steps you need to take to achieve that goal. For example:
- I will join a health club.
- I will walk two miles each day.
- I will eliminate sweets from my diet.
Write as many steps as you think necessary. You can always add or subtract from them as things develop.
Write down on your calendar or planner for the coming years the steps you need to take and reminders of things to do to achieve this goal.
You have now clarified and created your goals for the coming year. The only thing left is to execute and that starts tomorrow.
Learn more about Effective Time Management from my free series at Effective Time Management Lessons
Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.