The end of the calendar is typically a time for contemplation. We think about all that we have accomplished over the past 12 months and – typically – also consider all that we wish we had done but were unable to for whatever reason. This year is especially significant as we will also be starting a new decade in the next few days.
Most of us are always looking for ways to advance or otherwise enrich our lives both personally and professionally. And, unsurprisingly, you are far more likely to actually do so if you have a plan in place.
So, what is the best way to go about doing this? It might seem overwhelming at the moment, but fear not – we are here to help. Grab a pen and paper and use the following three steps as an exercise in self-improvement.
First: Take a Moment to Reflect
Think about all of the things that you had set out to do in 2019. What did you accomplish? What did you start the year off doing but then ended up losing momentum? Were there things that you had in mind but which never even got started at all?
To get the most out of this exercise you need to be truly honest with yourself. Do not worry, we are not here to judge, and you should not either! The point of this exercise is not to make yourself feel bad about any shortcomings. Rather, it is to understand what could have caused you to abandon or forget about the goals that you once had in place.
Next: Ask Yourself What You Want from the Future
When you think about the goals you have for the upcoming year or decade, try to differentiate between what you think you should want, and what you actually want. Again, the key is to be honest with yourself. If you are not truly inspired by the goals that you write down, then you are unlikely to ever follow through with them. Your own happiness is critical here.
The other thing to remember here is that your goals should be both well-defined and realistic given your personal and professional circumstances. Goals are different than dreams, and you do not want to set yourself up for failure!
Then: Create a Map to Get You There
This is where the rubber hits the road, so to speak. Now that you have your goals in front of you, it is time to place key milestones on a calendar. Break down your goals into achievable chunks that you can work toward on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. It is important that you set aside time on your calendar to work toward these goals, as well as reminders for yourself along the way.
By following this structured process, you greatly increase the odds of accomplishing all that you set out for yourself. 2020 will be your most successful year yet!