As you set your new year goals for 2018, it's a good idea to take stock of the progress you've made toward your goals this year. For many people, this review is unpleasant and can even lead to a downward spiral.
If you didn't achieve all of the goals you set at the beginning of the year, you may feel like you have failed. Our self-esteem can take a hit, we can become disheartened and discouraged, and our motivation drops. Some people actually become depressed.
If this sounds familiar, it's time to reframe how you look at success. Zeroing in on accomplishments that didn't happen puts your focus on what you lack, rather than on what you have (the things you did experience and accomplish). This subtle mental trap leads to a host of negative consequences, which usually leads to attracting more lack.
The answer is not giving up the review of your year. Periodic review is essential to the process of growth and goal achievement. The key is to acknowledge, appreciate, and celebrate what you did accomplish, and then to refocus on the goals that you still want to achieve.
Achieving a goal is a lot like flying a plane. You're guaranteed to be off course 99% of the time, which means that if you want to successfully reach your destination, it is essential to periodically check your position and correct your course. December and January is an ideal time to perform this much-needed review and analysis.
Create a "Win List" For the Year
One of the techniques I teach my coaching clients is to create a detailed "Win List" at the end of the year. Its purpose is to help you acknowledge all of your wins, especially those that didn't start as a written goal or intention.
This powerful technique takes about 30 minutes to complete. Start by listing all of the goals you set and achieved this year. Then list any other wins you think of – both large and small.
Here are some questions to help identify your successes.
• What wins or progress did you achieve in business?
• Did you discontinue an old product or develop a new product or product line?
• Did you identify a new market to focus on?
• Did you create any new marketing pieces or campaigns?
• Did you delegate any tasks to become more productive? This could include adding new staff and/or assistants, such as a housekeeper, executive assistant, gardener, errand runner, babysitter, or child care person. It also might include putting new systems into place to increase your efficiency.
• Did you buy, use or learn to use any new technology? This includes mental, emotional or spiritual technology, as well as mechanical, electronic and digital technology?
• Did you spend more time in nature?
• Did you develop any new supportive habits (such as meditation, exercise, sleep, or gratitude)? Did you overcome any non-supportive habits (for example, addiction to alcohol, caffeine, sugar, video games, porn, gambling, or shopping)?
• How did you grow in leadership?
• Did you deliver any presentations or speeches or develop new programs?
• Did you develop any new abilities, skills, or competencies?
• What success did you achieve in the areas of financial income, investments, or debt reduction?
• Did you create any new relationships or deepen existing relationships? Consider both business and personal relationships.
• Did you make any progress in self-development?
• Did you attend any positive events (e.g., seminars, lectures, concerts, theater, or sports)?
• Did you experience any positive events with your family?
• Were there any positive events in relation to your house or apartment?
• Did you take any trips or vacations?
• Were there any positive additions to your life?
• Were there any positive events in your community?
• How about any positive events in your spiritual life (e.g., church services, meditation, retreats, rituals)?
• Did you experience any positive events in regards to letting go (e.g., bad habits, negative people, or clutter)?
• Did you have any wins in health and fitness (e.g., weight, exercise, cholesterol, sports, or endurance)?
Reduce Mental Friction
Mental "friction" caused by negative thoughts and feelings will slow down your progress as you work to achieve your goals. By using this technique to focus your attention on what you did achieve, you'll shift into a state of gratitude and joy, accelerating your momentum into the new year.
Begin Thinking About and Setting New Year Goals for 2018
Once you've gone through and written down what your successes are for this year, I want you then to start thinking about setting goals for next year. Goals need to be specific and measurable. How much, and by when? When do you want to accomplish it?
Also, review your long-term goals. Maybe you have a goal to write a book, to become a professor, to become a multi-millionaire. That may be five, or 10 years out. But you want to think about, "What do I have to accomplish in 2018 to make sure I get to my long-term goals."
Here are 6 areas of your life that I want you to set goals for:
1. Set Goals for Your Financial Life
Have a goal for your financial life. How much do you want to make in 2018? Do you want to have a side income? Maybe you want to be debt free by the end of the year. Think hard about your finances and set a specific and realistic goal for the year.
2. Set Goals for Your Career
Have a goal for your job and career. What do you want to accomplish at work in 2018? Do you want to make more money, get a promotion, or release a new product? Use your win list to evaluate what you want to accomplish this year in your career.
3. Set Goals for Your Relationships
Have at least one goal for the most important relationships in your life. Think about your family, your friends, your significant others. How can you help them achieve more? How can you give back to them? In what ways can you improve these relationships?
4. Set Goals For Fun and Recreation
Have a goal for fun and recreation. Mine is 135 free days in 2018. That means no work from midnight to midnight, including 30 vacation days with my wife.
5. Set Goals for Fitness and Health
What's a goal for you in terms of health and fitness? It might be running a marathon or achieving your ideal weight. Perhaps it’s to become more flexible or strong. My goal for 2018 is to weigh 195 pounds or less by December 21st, be able to do 40 pushups in a row, do 100 hours of yoga, and improve my posture.
6. Set Personal Goals
Set personal goals for yourself for the year. What is something you want to do, simply because you want to do it? This year, I'm going to commit to two hours a week to learn Spanish so I can talk to the people in Southern California where I live a lot more effectively than I currently do. I'm also going to read 50 books, and totally declutter and reorganize my office and my garage. What's a personal goal for you?
Tell me in the comments below, what is one big goal you'd like to achieve in 2018? Take time to really think about that. What is a goal that you want to achieve that would help you create an extraordinary life, that will be a breakthrough to a new level for you? This is possible, and I want to help you achieve that.
Remember, review your past year, really realize you've achieved a lot, and feel good about that. That's building the poker chips of self-esteem that will allow you to take the risks you need to take in the new year to create your extraordinary life.
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