1. First take a look at all the areas of your life and give yourself a rating from one to five on where you stand in each area. If you give yourself a “1” it means you’re not satisfied at all in this area and a “5” means you’re very satisfied. Evaluate what worked for you last year, what didn’t and why?
2. Set goals in all areas of your life and make sure you write them down. But take a look at the areas that you are not happy in and put your primary focus on those areas for the big goals this year. The areas you are happy in can have smaller goals. You still want to have goals in each category you just don’t want them all to be so large that they are not achievable. As the saying goes “You can have anything you want, you just can’t have everything you want”—at least not all at once. Make sure they are S.M.A.R.T. goals. (Specific; Measurable; Attainable; Realistic; Timely). Don’t just say “I want to make more money”. Say, “I want to earn $5,000.00 more income by midnight December 31, 2015”. This is specific and by being specific it is also measurable. You know at the end of the year whether you achieved this goal or not. Ask yourself if the goal is really attainable in your present circumstances. You may have to change jobs or career paths to make this goal realistic and attainable. And finally ask yourself if it can be achieved in the time frame you have specified. Is this a one year, five year or ten year goal? Assess what new knowledge or expertise you may need in order to achieve these goals and work them into the goal setting equation.
3. Once you have your goals in place for the different areas of your life see what you need to accomplish quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily in order to achieve those goals. I find it helpful to start as if it is already December 31st and act as if you have achieved each goal and work backward. What did you have to do each step of the way in order to achieve these goals? When you map it out, it’s easier to see if it’s doable in one year.
4. Once you know the goals are SMART goals it’s time to create a Vision Board. Vision Boards are not only great fun to create but they start the year with fun, creative, playful energy. It can’t get better than that. You’ll need a piece of cardboard, some magazines, glue and scissors. Find pictures and words that express what you want to achieve in all areas of your life and cut out the pictures and words and create a collage for your goals. Once it is done, put it in a spot where you can see it first thing in the morning when you wake up and last thing at night before you go to bed. Focus on these goals daily and visualize them as if they have been achieved. Note: The new moon has long been associated with new beginnings. If you want to start a project or set your goals for the New Year, it makes more sense to start them on a new moon than the full moon which is completions. This year the first new moon is on January 20th so get all your goals and vision board materials together and set your sites on creating your vision board for your new you, new life on January 20th.
6. Don’t waste your time or energy on gossip, toxic people, negative thoughts, issues from the past, unachieved goals etc. Focus on the present moment and ask yourself “what are the three most important things I need to do today to move closer to achieving my primary goals?
7. Focus on where you are going instead of where you are.
8. Expect and see the good in all people and situations.
9. Compliment, don’t complain. Complaining is only possible if you have a picture of how something could be different. If you have the picture, instead of complaining about it, make it happen and authentically compliment everyone you can in the course of a day. This will make you and the people you compliment feel great. Besides complaining only makes you feel good for a few minutes. The energy of complaining only serves to bring everyone down. It is toxic energy.
10. Focus on “what can you give from yourself” instead of “what can you get for yourself.”
11. Let life be about what you get to do daily instead of what you have to do.
12. Make it a habit to smile and laugh more daily. A smile is contagious and laughter is a great anti-depressant for you and others.
13. Spend time daily visualizing each goal as if they have been achieved. It is important that you experience how you will feel once the goal is achieved.
14. Each night before you go to bed, make note of what you accomplished toward your goals and create a gratitude journal for everything you already have in your life and everything you have accomplished toward your goals.
15. And lastly, stay optimistic. Just because you did not achieve your goals before does not mean you won’t this time. You just have to remember to follow the above guidelines to make them happen and make them more fun.
I won’t say “Good Luck” because luck has nothing to do with it. By using this strategy you are literally designing your life the way you want it. Be as creative as you can be.
Debbie Darling, ©2015 The Presentation Pros
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