8 Steps to Make an Impact this Year and Accomplish Your Annual Goals
Perhaps you have not written down your goals for the next year, you have not set your intentions, you have not mapped out your annual plan, and you are beginning to feel a little off, without direction, ungrounded. Don’t worry — it is not too late to put pen to paper and create a remarkable year. Use these tips to get started.
Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Now is the time to dream. Take a deep breath, clear your mind, and visualize the next 9-12 months. What do you want to look back at this year and celebrate? What do you want to feel proud about? What do you want your heart to be happy about? What do you want your soul to be grateful for? Jot down all of the things you want to accomplish, learn, explore, see, do, teach, share, and experience this year. What do you want to start? What do you want to finish? Who do you want to visit? Where do you want to travel? Where do you want to simplify? Where do you want to dive in? Think about the professional and personal aspects of your life. Consider relationships, career, health (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual), recreation and fun, and your finances. Create your bucket list. This is your time to brainstorm all of the reasons you will smile as you close out your year. Take 10-15 minutes to do this, and remember that you can always add to it later. Consider my list below for some examples.
- Make exercising a natural and easy part of my week.
- Read one book a month.
- Establish myself as a contributing writer to SharpHeels.com.
- Arrange for biweekly date nights.
- Take a class on mindful parenting.
- Enjoy girlfriend time weekly.
- Have a wonderful trip to India.
- Cook a new recipe each week.
- Develop a meditation practice.
- Soak in self-care (monthly massage, spiritual sessions, reiki).
- Go salsa dancing at least two times a month.
You now have a wide array of wonderful goodies to fill your 2017 basket. Go back through your list and select the things that will have the greatest impact in creating the kind of year you want to have. This is your 2017 list. Don’t throw out the rest because they may be perfect for one of your years to come.
On another sheet of paper or on your computer create twelve boxes, one for each month of this year. For your January and February boxes, think about what you did, what you accomplished, what you are proud of, and write those things in there. (You should still get credit for them!) Now go through each item on your 2017 list and consider what kind of action you will take in each of the rest of the months to make it happen. If you have something like, “Get fit” on your list, then you should write something more specific like “Workout four times each week” in your March-December boxes. If you are excited to “Party on my Bahamas cruise,” then you may put exactly that in the month of your trip. Now is your time to think about what it will take to make your 2017 dreams come true.
Now take a look at your twelve-month plan. Is it realistic? Is there margin for the wonderful surprises that may find you mid-year? Is it overwhelming or inspiring? Make your edits to make this motivating and exciting for you.
You have planned your work, so now work your plan. Put it where you can see it and reference it often. Check off items as you do them and give yourself a pat on the back.
At the end of each month, take a look back. Which items got done? Jot down a few memorable details if there are any — it will be fun to read them at the end of the year. Which items didn’t get done, and why? Ask yourself if they are still worth doing. Now look to the month ahead of you. Carry over those items that didn’t get done but are still important. Remove items that are no longer important to you. What needs to get scheduled? What do you need to block off time to do? Set aside the time to complete the items on your list. Add to your list if something new finds you. This is a fluid plan meant to ebb and flow with the amazing life it is helping you create. Set yourself up for success!
Repeat steps 5 and 6 for the rest of the year. Stay focused, stay committed, and enjoy the life you are creating.
At the end of the year, take a look at your plan and revel in the magic you created. Celebrate everything you accomplished. Know that you were fabulous this year!
Then start the process again for the next year!8