New Year, new start, right? But if you want to make the most of the January opportunity, it’s important to close out the current year first.
And in this article, you’ll discover the reflective process that will help you do that.
So if you’re ready to make the new year your best year yet, here’s what you need to do before the New Year starts.
STEP 1: REFLECT
You can’t move forward until you’ve first looked back to see how far you’ve come. That’s what reflection is all about. It’s developing the self-awareness that helps you consolidate everything you’ve done and learned in the past 12 months.
If you jump straight into next step planning, you’ll miss out on all the insights and knowledge the past 12 months have gifted you. In turn, you’re more likely to make needless mistakes, move forward slower, and even make the wrong decisions.
That’s why reflection is a skill promoted and practiced by some of the world’s top performers and athletes. They know it ensures you learn from your mistakes and make better choices and decisions in the future.
So let’s put this theory into practice with an Action Step that you’re going to like a lot :-)
You’re going to reflect on the past year under these four categories:
- What brought you JOY
- What brought you SUCCESS
- What made you DISSATISFIED
- And what FLOPPED!
Your goal is to be comprehensive so grab last year’s calendar and any Self Journals you used over the past 12 months. Go through them week by week and pull out any events you want to list on your End of Year Reflection.
When completing this worksheet remember to think about all the categories in your life - not just your work achievements. This might include:
Your reflection helps put a line in the sand. Knowing what you loved and what you didn’t will help you map out next year to dial up the wins and avoid the things that didn’t work.
With that information in your head, you can get excited about what’s coming next.
STEP 2: VISUALIZE YOUR PERFECT LIFE
The next step is to visualize what you’d create for your life if anything was possible.
This is powerful because visualization taps into your imagination and empowers you to let go of limiting beliefs, think differently, and create space to dream.
When you think without limits and let go of any preconceptions of what you can or should do, you start to explore the things you really desire.
You become a shade braver and bolder with your goals.
And when you then articulate them on paper, you set the wheels in motion to make them a reality.
“The only thing that’s keeping you from getting what you want is the story you keep telling yourself.” - Tony Robbins
In this way, visualization provides a roadmap - a vision that can direct your brain’s focus.
As a result, your future actions, decisions, and observations all work together to help you discover the insights and opportunities you need to make things happen.
Have you ever wanted something so much that it consumed you? Then, as if by magic, you met the right person, read the perfect book, discovered the missing insight, or solved an ‘impossible’ problem.
That’s the power of visualization.
It’s why Step 2 uses visualization to tease out the goals you long to achieve. So how do you visualize the life you’d love?
All you need is a pack of sticky notes, a pen, and a timer.
Set yourself 30 minutes and think about everything you want to have for your life. Go wild. Think bigger. Don’t allow your perceived limits to stop you from writing something down.
Be as crazy and courageous as you want and see what your imagination throws up. Remember to think about all sections of your life - work-life harmony is key.
When the timer goes off, organize all your ideas into different life categories.
STEP 3: UNLOCK YOUR WHY?
With aspirations for your life worked out, it’s time to understand what’s driving these ambitions.
That’s the power of your WHY. When you understand the reasons you want to achieve your goals, you can unlock the inner fuel needed to help you get there. In the words of Elon Musk,
“When something is important enough you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.”
In comparison, if you’re not overly bothered about the outcome, then it’s easy to get sidetracked - and maybe give up on your goal altogether.
There’s only one reason you don’t achieve your goals…
YOU DON’T WANT IT ENOUGH!
That’s why you need to understand your WHY.
Your WHY is the fuel that motivates you:
In other words, your WHY is a key factor of your success.
So how do you discover what’s driving you?
Before we move on to the instructions, there’s an important distinction that we first need to make.
You might think you already know your WHY, but beware!
Your first thought may be the superficial, surface-layer answer - and that’s not going to be enough to drive you on the really tough days.
Your WHY is like an onion.
You need to peel away the layers until you get to the core.
So don’t take your first answer as ‘done’. Instead, keep digging.
Push through the discomfort and then arm yourself with the real reason you’re willing to do the hard things to create a life you can be proud of. Here’s an example to show you this process in action.
Goal: Let’s say this your goal is to save $20,000 by September next year.
WHY does that goal matter?
Answer: Because this cash will help fund an extension and cut the need for a loan.
WHY does that matter?
Answer: Because we don’t have enough room for our growing family and I want to create more space without piling up debt.
WHY does that matter?
Answer: Providing my family with a spacious home where everyone has their own room will improve relationships and make me feel successful.
Can you see how that works?
Really dig to get to the heart of what you’re striving for. That way, you can remind yourself why you’re putting in the effort to make your dreams a reality.
STEP 4: MAKE YOUR NEW YEAR COMMITMENTS
When you look at the perfect life you visualized, there’s a good chance some of those goals will take more than a year to achieve.
That’s why the next step is to get clear on what you want to achieve over the next 12 months. You can use your Annual Review Workbook to capture your goals.
When you write down your goals, make sure they’re S.M.A.R.T. This means to make them:
- Specific - what exactly do you want to achieve?- Measurable - how will you know you’ve made it?- Achievable - is it possible for you to achieve this goal?- Realistic - are you over-estimating what’s really possible?- Time-bound - have you set a deadline?
Without this degree of clarity, your goals will just be dreams.
With this amount of clarity, you’re ready to move onto the final step - the step when ideas become a reality.
Step 5: CREATE ACTION STEPS
The final step is to get ready to take action by creating your first 13-week roadmap using your Self Journal.
Overwhelm can stop you in your tracks. In comparison, bite-sized steps will reveal the path ahead and keep you pressing forward. 13 weeks is long enough to achieve something significant but short enough to keep the finish line in sight so you’re ALWAYS inspired to keep moving.
You’re much less likely to procrastinate over a goal with a deadline looming than one that feels far off in the distance.
It’s the real secret to achieving audacious goals. Identify the habits you need to implement to step closer to your goals, hit them every day, and success becomes inevitable.
It’s what successful people do:
- They set a crazy, audacious goal
- Work backwards to figure out the steps and milestones in between
- Set targets and deadlines
- Take action on a daily basis
- Work relentlessly until they get there
Most people fall short of their goals because they don’t:
It’s why your Self Journal can help you succeed. It helps you create a workable plan, nurture positivity, and implement the daily steps that take you closer to your goals.
Here’s how to use your journal to create a 13-week roadmap that will set you up for success:
- Using the 13-week roadmap pages, first write down your RESULT GOAL - this is your ultimate finish line and the part you should make S.M.A.R.T. (that’s Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound).
- Next, write down your PROGRESS GOALS or MILESTONES - these are the clear, trackable objectives that can be measured so you can monitor the journey to your goal.
- Finally, write down the ACTIONS + TASKS you need to take to achieve your PROGRESS GOALS. These are the things you’ll do on a daily basis to hit your targets. For example, if you have a goal to write a book then you may commit to writing for 30 minutes each day.
Each Self Journal has enough 13-week roadmaps for you to work towards three RESULT GOALS at a time.
Then all that’s left to do is TAKE ACTION!
The truth is you can create ANYTHING you want for your life.
You can launch a side hustle, grow your business, write a book, get into the best shape of your life, nurture a soulmate relationship, run a marathon, tick through your bucket list - the list is endless.
If you can imagine it, then you can also create it.
You just have to plan, commit, and take action daily - it’s what we’re here to help you do.
You’ve got the 5-step process, now it’s time to get implementing. What will you achieve next year?