Here’s my approach to New Year reflection and planning ahead.

Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 10.20.571. Reflect on the past year

I tracked back and looked at my personal achievements (not business) in 2013. This was enlightening, as I’d forgotten most of it or dismissed some of it as irrelevant. It also allowed me to identify what I hadn’t done and think about why. Doing this made me feel powerful and put me in a good frame of mind for thinking about 2014. This was really important for me, as I’m very future focussed, which is OK as long as you learn from the past!

2. Think Strategically

Whatever your goals or resolutions are, it’s important to align them to who you are (your values) and where you want to be (your dreams). For example, if you want to have a better work life balance, ask yourself why this is important to you and what you will get out of it. It might be because you want to be a better role model for your children and that you want to avoid getting ill again. The intention and driver will be different for everyone, even if the goal is the same. Make sure you pin point why you want this goal and what your outcome will be.

3. Be Operational

It’s no good having a great goal like have a better work life balance if you don’t have a plan for how to get there and how you will measure it. Being operational means being incremental, so plan out what your steps are and what your success will be along the way. Think about how you will measure your improvement and what the milestones are. Consider sharing your goal with someone you trust so you can share your progress and get feedback. By involving others you boost your commitment to the goal.

4. Plan for Obstacles 

Life, other people and your feelings will get in the way but if you anticipate what these might be, you stand a better chance of avoiding them. Be realistic and honest about what these could be and plan for them. Staying focused on your main purpose for doing this will help you navigate the difficult times.

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I don’t find it helps just making a giant list for the year ahead. It can make you feel tired and inadequate. That is why it’s important to think strategically and pick perhaps 3 main items. There may well be many actions under each item, but at least they are grouped together under one area and it is clear why you are working on this.

Feeling powerful and under control are really important for your well being, so deciding what you want to achieve in 2014 is a healthy start to the new year. Call or email me if you want to talk over your goals for 2014.