Look, it’s fair to say 2016 has been a bit of a tough year for many. A lot of stuff happened that seemed near impossible in January. And it feels like we’ve lost more than our fair share of artists and actors during 2016.
But with a new year brings new possibilities and the chance to take your goals further, or get started on the ones you’ve put on the back burner until now. It’s an exciting time, but there can also be a lot of pressure to ‘get it right’ or try and set all the goals.
So to help you simplify and plan for an awesome 2017, we’ve outlined our New Year goal setting process.
Find a quiet space and let the planning begin.
And once you’re done, leave a comment letting us know your top goals for the year.
Let go of the previous year
Look, whether 2016 was personally a bit rubbish, or you just picked up on the negative energy, it’s time to let those feelings go so you can make room for positive thoughts and energy.
As a first step, grab a blank piece of paper and write down everything that didn’t go well for you in 2016, or anything that you associate negative feelings with. Big or small, just get those feelings out of your head.
When you’re done, tear up that paper and throw it away.
This might sound a bit woo-woo, but a 2012 Ohio State University study found that physically discarding your negative thoughts can actually reduce how you think about them later.
Choose five main goals
With the excitement of the new year, it can be tempting to load up on your goals in an attempt to get a lot done in 2017. But trying to do too much can leave you with not enough time – or energy – to see anything through.
Start out by choosing just five main goals to focus on. Ask yourself how you want your life to look at the end of December 2017, then choose the top goals that are going to get you there. Check in to see if those goals also fit in with your vision for your future.
Create milestones for your goals
It’s easy to underestimate how much can change in a year. But consider that one year equals 365 days or 8,760 hours – even when you take out time to sleep that’s a lot of time to get done what you need to get done.
Break down your big goals into logical milestones and set deadlines to reach each one. These will stop you getting too overwhelmed and will let you know how you’re progressing at each quarterly review.
Set due dates for each milestone so you make steady progress throughout the year.
Schedule in your action items
Whatever your goals are, they’re going to take real time and energy to achieve. But the biggest failure for reaching your goals can often be making the time to get shit done.
Commit now to making that time priority. Schedule those things into your day – whether it’s a daily run, an hour night to work on your business plan, or an evening a week to review your finances.
We like to plan our day each morning, placing the most important tasks – those related to our goals – at the top of our To Do list. The Desk Pad includes space to track your goal and daily actions.
Plan to review your progress regularly
If your usual year goes something like: make big plans in January, get a whole lot of shit done in February, get distracted in March, and give up by April with the pledge to do better next year, then make 2017 the year you follow through.
As well as breaking big goals into milestones, plan (and schedule in) quarterly or even more regular reviews of your progress throughout the year. Literally book them into your diary now so you're committed. Enlist a friend or partner if you need extra accountability.