Can it be that how you decide to spend some time in December can have such a big impact on your whole next year ahead? YES IT CAN!! Well if this is the case, I'm sure that you, like me, would like to know about this! When I think back over my previous years of Decembers I can honestly say that these next steps were not at the forefront of my mind! So I am really excited about implementing these and watching the outcome. Why don't you join me?
These steps come from an article I recently read by author, blogger and speaker, Michael Hyatt. This article really caught my attention because he had recently interviewed a number if highly successful people that I already know of and admire (like John Maxwell, Amy Porterfield and Andy Stanley to name a few), to find out what they do to set themselves up for a great year. There were unsurprisingly a number of simple similarities in what they do. I have also learned over the years to take note of the value in searching out inspiring mentors and following their well earned advice.
So here are the eight steps they have in common that were shared. I have thought them over and summed them up in my own words and suggest that you read them over and then write them up for yourself in your own words too... because then you are likely to remember them and to take action.
1. Reflect on this past year.
What did I do well. What goals did I actually achieve. What did I love. ...and also, what was not so good. What mistakes did I make and what would I do differently next time? How could I do things differently? What do I want more of for next year and what to I want to delete.
2. Stay positive.
This may sound simple, but it's a choice I need to make with great resolve! When I look back over the past year, it's easy to stare at my mistakes or the 'should haves'... I need to intentionally look at my wins, make sure I've acknowledged and celebrated them and then hold on to this positivity in planning my next year.
3. Express gratitude daily.
I know I've blogged on this one before. You can read this blog here. I love how Jon Gordon expresses to "stay in this spirit all year." “I take a daily walk of gratitude,” he said. “While walking I practice gratitude and pray. If you do this walk just one day, you won’t experience a huge benefit. But if you do it daily, you’ll notice incredible benefits and major life change.”
4. Cut out the things that don't work.
Look at your bottom 30 percent of activities, (the things that produce the least value) and press delete. Some even went as far as saying that even if you enjoy these activities, if they don't produce any benefit, then press the 'delete' button! I know this one will help me to have a much lighter 'overwhelm' and 'too busy' basket.
5. What do you want to accomplish in 2017 and why.
One of the best things I have learned over the past year is to get clear on these two questions. "What do I want?" and "Why do I want it?" Now these may take some time to ponder and to answer, and may even take a few changing-your-mind turns and lots of journaling to figure these out, but it comes down to that saying... "If you don't have your own agenda... you'll soon be following someone else's".
6. Break down your big year goals into bite size pieces.
Once you know what you want to achieve, you need to think about who you need to be and what you need to do to achieve this. Break it down into quarters, then months, then weeks, then days. Have a plan.
7. Schedule your plan.
Use whatever works for you to do this...a big wall calendar or your calendar app...I am visual and like to see it, so a big wall year calendar works for me. Mark out all your already set appointments and important tasks. Schedule in your holiday times, family time, social and other times. Be reasonable. Be honest. You know what you need to keep a healthy balance. Then map out your goals in the time you have to allocate specifically to them. Being brutally honest here is key, and may see you re-evaluating some goals.
8. Take time to unplug.
Some said two weeks, others said one month. The bottom line is that you need to be intentional about taking time out and time away from your usual schedule. This doesn't automatically happen and needs to be scheduled into your planning.
I know that I am really looking forward to being intentional with my journal this December to set me up for the best 2017 possible. Let me know how you go too.
Till next time,