You probably have your own way of bringing in the new year. Maybe you watch the fireworks, or a movie, or get together with friends. Some people like to set “resolutions”. I find the notion of re-solution as being a bit too close to repeatedly solving something, but I do like to prepare for the new year. Below is outlined what I’ve used in reviewing the year that has been and preparing for the year ahead, consisting of a series of states and corresponding questions. I hope that it’s useful for you:
State 1: Clarity
What happened in the past year?
- What were the magic moments; these are those amazing times, the experiences that you want to remember because they were wonderful.
- What did you accomplish in the past year? What are you most proud of?
- What were any other big events? Anything else that was strongly positive that you want to repeat or negative that you would want to avoid.
- What were your best decisions of the past year?
State 2: Certainty
Identify anything in your life that was once a dream. Think about any goals that you have accomplished, experiences that you made happen, physical objects that you once desired; You are after a state of certainty and confidence.
State 3: Excitement
Imagining that anything was possible – taking with you the confidence from state 2 – identify anything that you would love to be, do, have or experience. The next year is a good timeframe to focus on but if longer term ideas come up, that’s fine too. Get anything down, without censoring yourself in a fast moving brainstorm.
State 4: Focus
Identify a small number – perhaps four – specific goals for the next year. Check with your intention and make sure they are well-formed (SMART C4 if you’ve trained with me: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Resources, Timed, Control, Costs/ Consequences, Congruence). Also ask yourself “why” – what is your reason for wanting to make this happen?
State 5: Commitment
Now that you have your targets for the year, schedule your action plan. Rather than just leaving it as an idea, put the idea into specific and explicit form, ready for you to take action. The more precision in the steps, the greater the likelihood that you’ll do it. As David Allen says, Make it up, make it happen.
State 6: Momentum
Take your first step. Do something – even sobering very small – towards your targets so that you can start enjoying the small wins that can give you momentum. This helps by building your self-image (as being someone who is doing something rather than someone who will do something in the future) while also supporting you developing your new habits.
State 7: Design
Setup a suitable review process so that you can measure and review your progress. Ideally at least monthly or even weekly; the greater the shift in yourself, the greater the value of the system – if I want to create dramatic and fast results, I might want to review every week so that I can implement more feedback, faster.
Good luck and Happy New Year!
(I think the inspiration for this was from my time with Anthony Robbins)