How To Plan Goals For The New Year
With a new year quickly approaching, it's time to start thinking about goal planning. Personally, I like to grab a mocha at Starbucks and come up with my game plan for the next year. Here are the steps (and questions) I ask myself to come down with my final list of desired goals for the upcoming year.
Step 1: Review Your Past Year
If you have an Ignited Life Planner, this step is a snap. Just review your one year goal pages and check out what you've accomplished. Every time I see an item that I've completed, I give myself a silent high five. It always feels good to look back and know definitively that I've made progress.
And for those items that I didn't complete, I ask myself: Why didn't I achieve this? What obstacles got in the way of me achieving this, both physically and mentally? Is this something I really wanted and needed to achieve? If so, I make sure to add this to my new years goals, but will think a little differently about how to tackle it for this year.
Step 2: Review Your Bucket List or Your 3 and 5 Year Goals You Set Earlier
A bucket list is a list of things or experiences you want to have before you "kick the bucket". As a list person, this is right up my alley, as I like to write lots of random things down that I want to check out. When I goal plan, I make sure to review this list and will pick one or two items to tackle for the upcoming year.
I have had the "Visit Australia / New Zealand and Fiji" item down on my list forever, and this year, I hope to make that a reality. If you don't have a bucket list, you can (and should) definitely review the 3 and 5 Year Goal sections of your Ignited Life Planner. There may be some things on that list that you want to tackle this year!
Step 3: Review Your Habits
I generally like to ponder on my daily habits and take a hard look at what is serving me vs. what is not serving me, both physically and mentally. Is my addiction to YouTube and social media taking over my mornings? Perhaps I need to instill a limit on the time I spend on that. Is checking Twitter and general news sites every few hours helping me or depressing me. (Lately, it's been the latter.) So maybe I'll work to check the news only once a day.
Remember that in order for you to change your habits, the change must really come from within - you must have a strong desire to change otherwise, it likely won't happen. Once you decide to address your habits, use stickers inside your Ignited Life Planner to track your progress weekly. When you figure out new habits to work on, add them to your Personal or Health goal section in your Ignited Life Planner.
Step 4: Finalize and Prioritize Your Goal List
Doing the above three steps helps me to get a good baseline of goals. This last step is where I ponder and come up with new goals I want to achieve that I haven't previously addressed. Here is the time when you can (and should) dream big! Review and create goals for all areas of your life - work/school/financial, family/relationships, personal and health - and understand WHY you want to achieve each one. This step is also the time when you need to prioritize your list. Which items are you going to strive to achieve this year? And which items need to go on the 3 year or 5 year goal list?
Step 5: You Have Your List Of Goals... Now Plan To Make Them A Reality
So this is the most challenging part of setting goals, and yet the most important. A goal without a plan is just a dream! So use the 12-month Project Plans in your Ignited Life Planner to define intermediate action steps with due dates and a reward! Putting in the time to plan how you will achieve your goals will set you up for success and help making your monthly and weekly planning so much easier.