Happy New Year!

Have you taken a moment to reflect? At the end of one year and the beginning of another, it is natural to think about new goals that you’d like to accomplish moving forward. This time of year definitely stimulates those same thoughts for us.

Take a moment to look back at the year that has just past. Review your previous goals, and ask yourself:

  • Which goals were accomplished and why?
  • Which goals did were not accomplished and why?
  • Have your priorities changed? Have you changed?
  • Did you put energy towards the things in life that truly matter most to you?

Find a quiet place without interruptions and allow yourself the time to reflect. This is an invaluable part of personal growth, life planning, maturing (physically, emotionally and spiritually), and goal-setting.

Once you feel crystal clear on who you are at this moment, planning for the year ahead becomes a lot more effective.

Define Your Goals

List everything that is important to you, absolutely everything that comes to mind! You can edit it later. Here’s an abbreviated version of this year’s list for us (in no particular order):

  • Share new experiences with friends and family members
  • Move Daily
  • Shop for, prepare, and eat fresh, perishable food
  • Share un-rushed, sit down meals with loved ones
  • Choose retirement account contributions over material consumption
  • Read more
  • Elevate the level of personal training
  • Help more people achieve greater results through personal training
  • Spend more time in nature and less time in front of technology
  • Repair, accept or move on from certain relationships

Once you’ve emptied yourself of ideas, thoughtfully evaluate each one. We often find ones that overlap with others and thus can be condensed into one. Take this time to omit those that don’t feel as important. Try to get the list to no more than 5 items.

These are the items that should get your best energy and focus for the new year. Now, we’ll want to figure out how we plan to accomplish these goals.

Decide On ‘How’

As an example, our goals involved managing stress better. So part of the process is to identify what is stressing us out! Mindless scrolling on our phones is something that causes anxiety. Therefore, our plan is to (1) never have the phone visible during meals, (2) put it away for the day every night at 7 pm and (3) go phone-less one day each weekend.

After narrowing the list down to five items and writing out the process that you need to follow to accomplish those five goals, there is just one more step.

As much as you can, add quantifiable metrics. An example of a quantifiable metric would be minutes spent focused on this goal.

Make Your Goals Stick

Put your goals in a place that you can read it daily. Goals that are hand-written and read daily are more than 3x as likely to be accomplished as goals that are just floating in our headspace.
We’ve followed this process since 2004 and not surprisingly, some of our biggest successes have come from the annual “goals” list.

If there is anything in your life that you feel you’d like to work towards, please give this process a try. One thing I’d like to point out is that this isn’t a pass/fail test. No matter what happens, you have information that you can use to help yourself take the best course for YOU.