Whenever this time of years comes about, it’s about two things: feeling festive, and a fresh start. I don’t know about you, but I personally love the new year! It’s a great time for reflection, a time to see how far you’ve come, what you’ve achieved so far, and what you’d like to do with the new year ahead. Some people hate it, and just carry on as normal, but I take this time and really utilise it, especially when it comes to my business.
I spend quite a lot of time each December reflecting and planning for the new year, so I thought I’d take you through my process, and perhaps it will help you plan for your years as well!
Before I can do any goal setting, I like to take a step back and really look over the year I’ve just had. What have I achieved? What has improved? What hasn’t gone quite how I wanted? What changed? What could I have spent more time on? What went really well, that I didn’t anticipate?
These questions really help me get a good picture of the year I’ve had. And honestly, no year is ever bad. Every year I learn more, things progress, and my business shifts and changes. Looking back over 2017 I can already see a massive amount of growth in my business, and in myself!
After I’ve done the first exercise, I like to take some time and let myself dream. What is it that I’d like to achieve in the next 12 months? I don’t do this exercise all at once, I take my time with it. I’m a big lover of stationary, so I always have loads of notebooks laying around. I’ll pick one, set aside 2-4 pages of it, and put a big title on the top: “Dreams For 2018.”
This is my favourite part of this entire process, because I can really, fully, let myself dream. No dream is too big either, there’s no limit here. No matter how crazy I think that dream may be, it gets jotted down.
I don’t do this exercise in one go. In fact, I let myself dream over quite a few days. Sometimes as much as 2 weeks, and I watch the list grow. Eventually, I feel like I’ve explored everything I could imagine, and I stop with my list. I can’t really explain how I know I’m done with it, but you just get a feeling. The best advice I can give is to listen to your gut!
Ok, so you’ve got this massive list full of hopes and dreams… What now?
This part can be a bit trickier, but is just as important. It’s time to look over that list with a more practical eye. Some of the dreams I’ve got are sometimes a bit too far fetched, or perhaps over ambitious. So what I like to do is take some time looking over my list, and pick out the 10-15 most important goals. Which items on that list feel the most important to me? The ones that I feel I really need to dedicate a lot of time to.
Again, don’t rush this process. Take some time, and go back to it over the course of a few days. I find that if I do this all at once, a few days later my feelings may have changes. It’s important to give yourself time and space to get quite serious with yourself.
Set Your Goals
Now that you’ve spent some time analysing everything, it’s time to set your goals.
How do you actually do that? Well, there’s no one way, and I encourage you to take your time with this, and explore what feels best for you. But for me, I like to give myself deadlines.
These deadlines are never set in stone, but they give me something to work towards.
I’ll grab my calendar, and think to myself: “When do I want to achieve all of this by?” I’ll look over my 10-15 goals one by one, and think hard about how much work would be invovled, and how achievable it is. How much time do I think I’ll need to get it done?
Of course, it’s not always easy to know. Some things take longer, others are quicker to achieve. This is why it’s important not to get totally hung up on achieving one particular goal by March 21st, for example. If it takes 2 months longer, no worries, but the important part is knowing what your goal is, and working towards it.
And there you have it, a step by step guide to setting yourself goals for the new year. Does this work for you, or do you have a different system? I’d love to hear how you plan your goals for the year ahead!