Starting to Plan New Years Resolutions
The way I start each year is by looking back, looking at where I am today and finally looking at where I want to be tomorrow and then creating a plan to make a better tomorrow happen.
With traditional goal setting most people just look at what they want and then create a plan to get there. My method of setting real New Years Resolutions is much better as it does not just look at myself as a superman and allow me to collapse as soon as any problem gets in the way of my goal.
Tools for successful New Years Resolutions
To start you must have a notebook and realize that this notebook will be your companion for the next year. Give yourself an hour to get started and know that you will likely be sitting down a few times over the next few days, if New Years Day comes and goes while you are in the midst of this process do not worry. Even though we always look at new years day as the switch that begins a new year remember that you are creating a map and a route that is much more important and long lasting than the flip of a calendar, the end of a day, or a fuzzy idea in the middle of the night whose idea of importance is reflected only by the thoughts and actions of a very few minutes.
Looking back over the last year
To do this new years resolution planning correctly you must begin by looking back at the last year. Sit down and ask yourself the following questions.
What did I plan to do this year? Write this list by writing down one at a time with a couple lines between them. Look back and see all of the things that seemed important for a short or long time and write them down in a big list. Did you include health and exercise, spiritual goals, financial and career goals, holiday plans, leisure plans?
What happened to these ideas and plans? Did you complete one or more of these things on the list? With the one that were completed, great. For the ones that you didn't complete, great as well. This exercise will allow you to see from a bit of distance what was important and what was not important apparently.
Now for each of the items in the list that you completed look at the obstacles that you had and how you over came them. You will probably find that for your accomplishments you were in one way or another motivated to really complete and not just 'wishing' to finish. Also go to the things that did not work out. What was the level of priority and what kind of obstacles stopped you? Are these long term plans that can't be finished? Were you just hoping to get these to work? Write out some detail on each of these things on the list and reflect on how you felt about the idea of each of these one year ago today.
Now you have a nice basis for building on what you have now and what will be the highest priority plans for next year. You are going to find a few common threads from the last year. Maybe you procrastinate. Perhaps you are unrealistic with your time and resources. Likely you wanted certain things that were not that important to you at this time in your life. For the things that you did accomplish you are going to see that you needed to complete them either for your job, your ego or for people that rely on you. You may know now how I will have you look at the next year.
Click below to read the rest of how to set these resolutions...