Only a couple of days until 2015. I say this every year around the holiday season – the past 365 days flew by.
In my case, December is generally a whirlwind – my birthday, then a week later is Christmas, then after that – New Years.
Boom boom boom.
Travel east -> see family -> see friends -> get some lifts in -> eat a ton of food -> squeeze in some relaxation -> celebrate and rejoice. Life is good.
During that time, I like to reflect where I’m at, where I’ve been, and where I’m going. Personally, professionally, spiritually.
Some questions I explore reflecting on the past year:
•Where have I improved?
•Have I cut any toxic habits or people out of my life (or have any entered)?
•What are my current values and do I live by them?
•Am I being a good friend/lover/colleague/teacher/student?
•What am I grateful for? Who am I grateful for?
•What struggles have I had this past year and what have I learned from them?
•What have I completed or where am I in the process of achieving a current goal?
•What aspects of my life am I “playing small”?
•Who can I help out or provide value to?
I’ve been making small, actionable goals throughout the past couple years, Where do I want to be in exactly one year for now? Five years?
Without a clear goal, it can be difficult to head in that direction. Rather, you may be heading in any direction. Or treading water. Or growing complacent.
Its all fine and dandy if you have a New Year’s resolution, as long as you structure it properly. For example, if your resolution is to “get fit,” what does that mean? Do you want to lose fat? Gain muscle? Why is this important to you? How will you measure it? The latter two are the most important.
Why is this important to you? What does this mean to you? Having personal reasons behind your goals gives them more power. Do you want to make more money in 2015? What will this mean for you? More freedom, or the ability to travel more or buy things? Dig deep. Be honest with yourself. Take time and figure it out – this is your life.
How will you measure it? Whatever goal you have should be measurable. Even better if you can break it down into components, and have short term goals/tasks that make up the larger goal. Small victories add up over the long run and will keep you motivated. See if you can cut the process down to weekly or even daily goals. Create a timeline. Review your short term and long term goals on a daily basis, preferably first thing when you wake up. Keep it in the front of your mind. If we don’t remind ourselves, its too easy to push it off to the side–and there goes our resolution. And you’re right back to where you were on December 31.
Later, when you’re reviewing the week or past month, the sense of accomplishment that comes with checking off all those small tasks is quite powerful. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish. Let this flow into other areas of your life.
“Every few months you should spend a few minutes thinking about your four life goals – one for your wealth, one for your health, one for your social self and one for your personal enrichment.” – Craig Ballantyne
Something else I suggest considering for the New Year is your assists in this game of life.
What do I mean by assists? I mean who can you help reach their goals?
•Who can you offer assistance to, personally or professionally?
•Is there anyone in your social circle or outside that you would like to add to your social circle? What simple deeds can you do to create value for them? Shoot them an email with some ideas for their business. Or if they’re local, offer to buy them a coffee.
•Who can you lend an ear to? I’m sure you know of someone out who might be struggling with an obstacle in their life, and often times offering advice isn’t the best remedy. Simply listening can really make a difference. And when I say listen, I mean LISTEN. Give them your undivided attention. Put your phone down. Better yet, keep it in the other room.
Don’t do something for someone expecting to be paid in return. Do it because you can and you’re able. Acts of kindness go a long way. How often does someone go above and beyond with helping you achieve one of your goals? Probably pretty rarely. And if they do, I’m sure you remember and appreciate them.
“You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar
Set aside time for yourself as well with friends/partners/loved ones etc. Speak with them about your goals and their goals. How can you help each other? If you each come from a different profession or background, it can be hear some ideas from an outside perspective. Not only that, I love that my friends and I read a variety of books, some the same but many different. This really creates some thunder and lightning during a brainstorm session.
Have a wonderful New Year. Take the next step. Its up to you.