There are a few known facts about the new year; it’s a time when we are usually filled with optimism, on our best behaviour, or hope to be. But more than that, it’s a time when we are inundated with tips on setting resolutions, crushing goals, choosing our words for the year, and even living our dreams (or what we are told they should be).
At such times, it can be overwhelming making sense of all the information, advice and tips, it has certainly been for me. We are left wondering which way to go and the best way to do it.
Here’s another thing about new years and setting goals; it will probably be useless if, year in year out, we are setting goals or making resolutions we fail to meet.
Studies have shown that most of us lose steam by late February, mid March. Ever wondered why?
I have a few theories on why this happens, here they are:
- The ‘should do’ theory: This is when we set goals for things we think we should do and not things we actually want to do or are meant to do.
- The ‘No incentive’ theory: Where we don’t include the right incentives or consider our reasons (our ‘why’) for the particular goal or resolution.
- The ‘Keeping up’ theory: We are more concerned with following everyone else rather than actually finding out what works for us.
- The fear theory: We allow our fears and insecurities stop us from moving forward and achieving our dreams.
Do you agree with any of my theories? You may be surprised to also find you have been guilty of one or more of these. I certainly have.
Well, before we move on to goals and all the tips to make the new year the “best one yet”. How about we take a moment to breathe. To drown out the noise and find what really matters.
Thankfully, this post is not just about calling us on out on the things we have failed to do. I also wanted to share some tips on how we can get ready for the new year and I hope this will help you chart a more ‘intentional’ course for your year.
Three steps to a better year
Here are three steps to get you ready for the new year and new opportunities:
Review the past year
I believe the first thing to do in the new year, before you even set your goals is to review the last year and possibly the year before that. Now, this is more of a high level review. You will be considering the biggest wins and fails of the year.
This should be in all areas of your life and not just your work/business. This is because different aspects of our lives are intertwined and it’s harder to change one without it having an effect on the other parts.
In considering the things that worked or didn’t work, also consider why you think they worked or vice versa. It could be that you did things differently, you used additional resources, had more or less time, had some external help, more distractions or whatever your unique situation may be.
Reflect on your ‘why’
This step is integral if we are looking to live a purposeful and more intentional life. I have noted that finding time to consider our reasons for doing things also helps us put things in perspective.
If done right, we will find that we are more likely to spend our time on the things that get us closer to our why.
This second step is truly about going back to our source – God. About finding out want he expects from us and if we are truly walking the path set before us.
This means delving in the word, praying for wisdom and understanding and just allowing ourselves think deeply.
Another important ingredient in this step is total honesty. We have to be honest with our selves and lay our emotions bare.
At this point, we will also be looking at the results of our review and determining if there are things we need to carry on to the next year. These may have been goals we failed to finish or didn’t even start in the past year and need to focus on in the new year.
It may also mean letting go of other things which we thought we needed to do but realised upon further reflection, were the wrong things or a distraction.
Strategize for the new year
After collating the information from steps 1 and 2, the next step is to strategize, this simply means to use the information you have to craft a more realistic plan for the new year.
Here’s the thing, many times, we move straight to step 3 without considering steps 1 and 2 and this also means we end up setting goals we are unable to achieve.
Steps 1 and 2 provide the road map we need to navigate the new year. You could also call them the building plan for your new year.
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it. “
Under step 3, the plan is to create the framework for the new year. For instance, if you found that in the past year, you struggled to complete all the projects you started, it may mean your focus (or word for the new year) should be completion or finishing. This would also mean resolving any issues that kept you from completing these projects such as – working on the wrong projects, procrastinating, not planning amongst other things.
Take steps now!
There you have it, three steps to help you orchestrate a better year. I do hope you’ve found these useful and you are able to use these steps to create a wonderful new year. One filled with actionable goals and finished projects.
Please let me know how it goes. All the best, sweet friend.