As this year comes to a close, many of you might be starting to think about the year ahead and what surprises it may bring. Why wait to see what the year brings to you? Why not get ahead of your year? Here are some tips that you can use to get ahead of the New Year and set yourself or your organization up for success.
Review Your Last Year
Before you set a vision for where you are going, it is always nice to look back at where you came. Reflection is the pathway to progress. Review your year and observe what choices did you make. Where they good or bad? Where did your choices this year lead you? As you review your year, you might get insights into other improvements that you want to make. Additionally, you might get a spark of inspiration to add something completely new to your list. On the other hand, you might decide to take some things out of the mix due to no progress at all. Whatever the end result, there is a big advantage to reviewing your year and letting that reflection guide your path for the New Year.
Define Your Vision
Looking back can help you look ahead. One of the things that help me define my vision is questioning if I would do things differently. Sometimes things just don’t go the way you want them to, and perhaps some changes can be made to turn things around. Another way to help define your vision is to identify what your biggest improvement over the year, or what risk you took that proved successful. Perhaps those successes can give you confidence to take more risks this new year. Here is a sample of some questions that can help you with defining your vision:
- What are the most important lessons you have learned in the last year?
- What are the five best improvements you have done in the last year?
- If you can re-do any one thing in the last year, what would it be?
- What are three smartest decisions I made in the last year?
- What is the biggest risk I took this year?
- What habits do I need to do less of? More of?
Make Your Goals
After you have envisioned where you want to be in the new year, and your vision is in tact, the next step is to make your lists of goals that support your vision. For me, goals need to be simple and smart. As an event planner, we might have heard about S.M.A.R.T. goals in countless presentations, however this time it’s your turn to use them for you. What are S.M.A.R.T. goals? S.M.A.R.T. goals are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
When making your goals, you should form sentences that contain all of these elements. For example, a general goal might be to “Lose weight.” But a specific, S.M.A.R.T goal would be “Exercise 3 days a week for the next 3 months.” Try to create S.M.A.R.T. goals that support your full vision.
Define Your Strategy
Now that your goals are set, it is important to define your strategy to meet your goals. Some goals that your create might need some support. For example if you are going to actually “exercise 3 days a week for the next 3 months”, that can be easier said than done. If you have kids, 3 days a week might be challenging. If you have no car, phone, or television, that can make this task almost impossible! It is to your advantage to take care of any obstacles that might prevent you from accomplishing your goals. After you provide a strategy for each of your goals, then you are ready to step out and start accomplishing your vision!
Whatever your vision is for yourself is for this year, it will be advantageous for you try these simple tips. Defining your goals and plopping out your strategic plan will help you to gain more ground on your vision and will move you further in accomplishing your goals. Have you already taken steps to create your vision and define your strategy? If so, share your success in the comments below. Happy goal setting!
P.S. Want some additional goal setting tips? Check out this article that I wrote that helps you be more productive in your goal setting.