The year has just started. For many it is the best time to look back and plan ahead. You may have already broken some of your New Year's resolutions by now. According to a British study, only 12% of us are going to stick to our promises until the end of the year. How to have a better chance of succeeding this time? Get yourself a quiet room or go to your favorite coffee shop, prepare a pen and a piece of paper and let's get it together!
List what you have achieved this year
Divide the paper in two parts. On the left list all your accomplishments from last year. Write all you can remember, no matter how unimportant each item may look. Putting those thoughts in writing can help you to relax so you can analyze better the chaotic mix of information churning through your mind. Write what you have achieved in areas such as work, family, health, recreation, education (personal development) and finance.
You may be pleasantly surprised. In these hectic times of ours, it may take a few moments of quietude to evaluate results and reconsider directions.
List in what you have failed in this year
Now, the right side of the paper. Make a list of the things in which you consider you have failed last year. Keep in mind, however, that failure does not necessarily mean that it was wrong. Think of every failure as an experience that offers an opportunity to grow. Think about the positive aspects your losses have brought.
For example, if last year something did not go well with your business, consider whether the experience will prevent you from failing in a similar but more significant situation in the future. It is better to look ahead and think that you can change everything for the better. Consider whether now you have the opportunity to find a new venture or niche.
Think about what you have failed in, what you did not pay enough attention to, what you did not devote enough time to. It is quite likely that while creating this list you will see the shortcomings of your planning. For example, you may understand that your goals and plans were vague, unrealistic or not followed by concrete and thought through steps.
Now look at each item separately and see if you can find something positive. Check whether some of your accomplishments came from one of the things you understand as failure. Reconsider whether that element belongs in the list of achievements. If so, put it there. Tear the sheet in the middle and destroy the list of failures. Burn and chant, make it ritualistic if you want. Or just toss it with contempt. You will keep the list that contains what can inspire you to start planning for the New Year consistently.
List what you want to achieve
Again, create two lists. In one, write what you want to do. Focus on your strengths, on what you excel in and on those things you are the most excited about. In the second list write down how you expect to be feeling about yourself in a year. If items from these two lists somehow conflict, remove the ones that you believe are there by pressure of the external world. You then have a single list consisting of personal goals to pursue.
Divide your goals into categories: personal, work, family, etc. It is up to you how you want to define each category and where each item belongs.
Sort out your goals by priority and list the most relevant details for each one of them. As an example, if you want to travel, imagine where you would like to go, who you would you like to take along and how much it should cost.
Have a plan and follow up on its fulfillment
Achieving goals takes going through the necessary stages leading to it. Divide your goals into doable activities that you can perform every week or every day. You will notice that this way it will no longer seem as hard at it may have seemed at first. Set monthly tasks to be fulfilled by these smaller activities.
If you feel that it is too much to handle, re-evaluate your priorities and put some of your goals aside temporarily.
Check your plan often. A calendar, scheduler, or colorful sticky note on your fridge, among other things, can help a lot. Create a bulletin board where you can monitor the performance of individual activities leading to achieving your goals or keep a diary where you record your successes. Whatever you feel the most comfortable with. Keep track of the progress you are making in moving towards your goals for orientation.
If things do not go well, ask yourself "why". The most common excuse in these cases is the well-known sentence: "I have no time". If you say that often, consider investigating where your time is going to. A simple diary or a time tracking application can help. Find out whether less rewarding activities are taking too much of your time so you can do something about it.
Always remember one important thing: in order to make your resolutions thrive, you have to make the activities you need to go through in order to reach them a part of your routine. Real life changes need constant effort. Once in the gym can make you ache for days, months of persistence will bring results. That takes willpower, though. You are not supposed to be a hero.
We at primaERP will keep our fingers crossed for you. Have a successful year!