When I think about a plan to start the New Year off right, I start by reflecting on my goals from the prior year. This past year (2020) has been challenging, to say the least. I was so glad to see the backside of it that I was nearly tempted to skip my annual year end ritual. I was ready to simply declare 2020 a write off and move on.
I’m glad I didn’t, though. I soon discovered all sorts of wonderful things happened in 2020 despite, and even because of, the pandemic, not just personally, but globally. For starters, we now have the scientific capability to create an effective vaccine in less than a year. This is a medical breakthrough! Second, by stopping the world, we gave the planet a brief chance to heal, and heal itself it did. The ozone hole has shrunk, the sea creatures have had a chance to repopulate and replenish without the ocean liners and trawlers disturbing their habitat, and air quality improved in many parts of the world.
As hard as the lockdown was on people and business, it has been great for the animal kingdom and planet. However, there have been some real wins for people, such as the freedom to work from home in the future. I know many are eager to get back to normal. However, now it will be much harder for bosses to deny you the option of working from home in the future. Very handy if the kids are sick or you are feeling a bit unwell yourself. I’m looking forward to a world of less commuting and less traffic!
On the personal front, I had 10 goals last year. I accomplished eight out of the 10. I was most proud of and pleased to that we launched the FIRE Course (Financial Freedom, Retire Early). Another first is that I started doing FaceBook Live events during lockdown as a way to help people stay positive and provide free coaching to those who needed it. It has been very popular and successful, so I’m going to keep on doing them this year, too.
One big goal I didn’t finish is writing my next book. So, that is on my 90-day list for this quarter. It is time to stop researching (after seven years!) and go to print. And instead of getting leaner and fitter, I managed to gain 10 pounds while in lockdown. So this year I’m doing New Year’s Evolutions to get back on a healthier track. I’m taking a Ground Hog Day approach to the third lockdown and plan to get it right this time around. Nothing like a bit of practice to see what works and what doesn’t!
Here are the seven steps I use to start the new year off right:
1. Complete the past year with the year end ritual.
List all your accomplishments. Remember that surviving a pandemic is an accomplishment! There is magic in the exercise, so don’t be tempted to skip it.
2. Set a theme for the new year based on one of your top core values.
The theme could be anything you wish to focus on, such as beauty, love, peace, kindness, vitality, fun, play, family, adventure, learning, creativity.
3. Create a visual reminder.
This could be a vision board, a collage with the elements of your ideal life, or a Pinterest board. Have fun with it. And make sure you can see it daily.
4. Think of one or two big goals that you’d like to accomplish this year.
A big goal might take six months to a year to accomplish. Then come up with smaller projects that you’d like to do that support the achievement of your big goal.
5. Orient your life around your core values.
6. Set up a rock-solid structure for support.
Willpower and discipline are often short lived. So make sure you spend time setting up a system that will ensure you achieve your goals no matter what. Think about the structure, the visual reminder, the support and the accountability you need to ensure success. If the goal is an important one, don’t leave it to chance. Set up the system first. A good system is self-correcting and requires no willpower or motivation. When you fall off the plan, the system ensures you’ll keep on going. For example, instead of relying on willpower to go for a walk every morning, make a standing appointment with a neighbor or friend or get a dog!
7. Identify your limiting beliefs.
Write down positive empowering beliefs to replace them.
Forget about setting New Year’s Resolutions. Try evolving instead. Join the New Year’s Evolutions course for fun! Best of all, it’s free! One small thing I can do to help. Hope you enjoy it!