New Year, New Me, yes, no, maybe, WTF?
At a time when we most need encouragement, support, goals, dreams, visions, hope and the certainty that goes with routine, a plethora of self-help books have encouraged us not to make new year resolutions. The reason? We might break them. If like me the logic appears a little lacking, then take my hand and read on.
The beginning of each year is as literal as it is figurative. It is simply the next day or it is a symbolic day. It is another 24 hours or it is imbued with the magic of promise, of new beginnings and fresh opportunities. I choose the latter.
Whether you are a business or an individual you need purpose and direction in order to be engaged and fulfilled. The start of the year is the ideal time to do so.
Not only is it an opportunity to pause and reflect at what you’ve learned and who you’ve become but it allows you to build on those strengths and create the future you desire.
This is not complicated and it is necessary. I follow this process and I encourage all my mentees and companies to do the same.
"Whether you are a business or an individual you need purpose and direction in order to be engaged and fulfilled."
Firstly, call it what you will; ambitions, wishes, aspirations, dreams, hopes, ideals, intentions, designs, targets, goals, strategies, visions, choices, aims, objectives, purpose – choose one, anyone it doesn’t matter.
Secondly, define in your own terms what your resolutions mean for you. To me, they are simply a set of choices as to how I wish to spend my time over the next twelve months; what I want to do and as importantly what I do not want to waste my time doing.
Then keep it simple, no more than one page. But to get to the one page requires some thought. This is how I do it.
Discovery – what is my reflected best self, what are my recent achievements that I am most proud of?
Dream – what is my desired best future self?
Design – what do I need to do in order to make my dream come true?
Let’s go, start by answering the following;
- What do I love? [what activities cause me to lose track of time? What did I love doing as a child?]
- What does the world need from me? [what three skills do I have that are in high demand? What can I teach others?]
- What am I good at? [what parts of my current job come easily to me? What do people approach me for help with?]
- What can I be paid for? [can I make a living doing this for a sustainable period? What do my competitors look like> is there a niche for me?]
- What are my core values? [my soul]
- What is my purpose? [my why, my heart, my Southern Cross]
- What are my strengths?
- What is my one line mission statement?
- Finally, complete your own annual SWOT;
- What are my current strengths?
- What are my current weaknesses?
- What are my current opportunities?
- What are my current threats?
- List the following objectives I want to achieve in the following areas of my life:
Use the SMART method:
- Specific; make sure they are simple, unambiguous clear calls to action.
- Measurable; use simple clearly defined metrics [qualitative or quantitative] to measure your progress.
- Achievable; set yourself realistic goals including quick wins that allows you to experience success and thus reinforce your progress.
- Relevant; this is not a wish list, it is a set of objectives you want to achieve in order to have a successful, fulfilled year.
- Timebound; all successful plans have a clear timeframe that forces us to commit to a deadline.
Now that you have a list of objectives, list a comprehensive set of key results you need to do in order to achieve them.
I call them Objectives [underpinned by] Key results.
It is one thing to have a set of objectives but now you need to incorporate them into your personal DNA.
I do this by considering the following:
- I always accentuate the positive. Rather than entering into a scarcity spiral of “I’m giving up carbohydrates”, I approach it from a spiral of positive abundance by simply saying, “I’m looking forward to increasing my protein and fat intake to build lean muscle”.
- Once I week a view the activities and relationships that give me energy. I increase those and ones like those creating more frequent peaks.
- I look at the areas where I’m draining energy, I stop doing them.
- In this way I increase my levels of positive energy frequently.
- I journal daily
- Every Friday afternoon I check in with myself and review my One Page Personal Plan. I reflect, celebrate, or add more resources to areas requiring it.
- Success breeds success.