In two weeks time we will be in 2017. Now is the time to start planning your year. What you want from it, how you are going to get it, and why this is important.
Even if you don’t have any particular goals or dreams for 2017, and want to continue on with however life is going for you, then it is still good to take the time to reflect on your year that was.
Here is how.
Grab 12 pieces of paper and label them for each month. On each page write down what, if anything was significant for that month, whether an achievement, or something that went wrong.
To recall these events, you might need to go through your email, or social media to get a better idea of how your year played out. You don’t need to write everything, just the things you felt had a big impact, eg starting a new job, ending a relationship, maybe achieving a goal you had.
The whole point it to figure out how it happened. Reflect on that, and how you can repeat it, if it was good, or avoid it, if it was bad.
Was there something you feel you should have done in 2016, but didn’t. Ask yourself why. Time constraints, or not motivated enough?
It should take you a few solid hours of focus to reflect on 2016, so you can start planning for 2017.
The best thing you can do to get 2017 in order is to plan. Start off by getting a diary.
Now, figure out what you want. Spend about 15 minutes writing down all the things you want to do and achieve this year, and how long you will give yourself to do this. Do this on a piece of paper.
Maybe you want to lose 5kg, put in a deadline for this goal. Need a new job? Write down when your first day should be. Want to throw your significant other a party they will never forget? Write down when that will be.
So, you know what you want, and your deadlines. Now time to plan how to actually achieve them, and why they are important.
This means more writing and lists. For example, think about why you want to lose weight? Is there an event you want to look good for, or is it overall health and wellbeing. Once you know what your purpose is, you will be able to visualize the end result. Now figure out how to achieve it. This could mean walking three times a week, without fail, or not eating after 7pm.
Once you know what you need to do to achieve this, put it in the diary. Put the date in for your goal, and the daily, weekly or monthly steps you need to do to achieve it.
This system works for any goal - it’s about planning. Want a new job? This might mean you need to upskill, doing online courses, and then networking with managers.
Maybe your goal or resolution for 2017 is more along the lines of a personal development - not yelling at your kids. Again, you can plan this.
What causes you to yell, and how can you counter this. Go through your diary and put positive affirmations to keep you on track.
Look at the first list you did, focusing on 2016, the things you didn't achieve or the mistakes you made. Keep them in mind while you plan 2017. If you didn't get to do what you wanted to do, and it was because of time constraints, start figuring out how you can cut out what is not too important to make room for what is.
If it was money, think about expenses you don't need, to make room for spending on what matters more.
Good luck! Here’s to a successful 2017!