New Year, New Possibilities
Another year has come and gone…
As 2016 comes to a close, it’s important to take some time to reflect on the experiences we’ve been through, the lessons we’ve learned and the progress we’ve made. We’ve gone through both good times and bad. We’ve made some new friends, lost a few old ones and we’ve conquered many of our goals. We have another full year of wisdom and experience under our belts and I hope this past year has taught you many great things.
For me, this past year has been a tremendous success. I started off the year getting engaged to the woman I love while we were vacationing in Punta Cana. I met many incredible people, read many great books and spent time creating amazing memories with great friends and family. I bought a new car, dressed up as a zombie groom for a fantastically successful wedding social and still managed to take time for myself amongst such a busy schedule.
Looking back, I can honestly say that 2016 has treated me well. I hope you too can look back at 2016 with a sense of accomplishment. I hope you can be satisfied with everything you’ve done and how far you’ve travelled. But I also hope that you can look forward to a 2017 with a renewed sense of wonder and anticipation. It is the first page of a 365 page book that you are starting to write today. You can write any story you want for the coming year and I hope that you make it a good one.
I, for one, am excited about what this next year will bring. There are so many possibilities, so many new goals to conquer and so many exciting things to experience. If you’re like me, you are probably planning on making some positive changes this year. Creating goals for the new year is a great way to motivate and challenge yourself to bring about this change. But unfortunately, as honourable as our intentions are, so many of us struggle with maintaining our goals. After only a few weeks we slowly slip back into our same old routines.
To make sure that you are sticking to your promise and staying on track, here are few basic rules you can follow. The acronym S.M.A.R.T. is easy to remember and is a great guideline to follow which will help conquer your goals in the new year:
S – Specific
Being vague about your goals is a surefire way to not follow through with them. Be precise about what you want your goals to be. Don’t tell yourself “I want to lose weight”. Tell yourself I want to lose 20 lbs or I want to be able to run a 5K marathon in under 30 minutes. Think about the “Who, What, Where, When and Why” and be as specific as possible. When you know exactly where you’re going, it’s easier to reach your destination.
M – Measurable
How will you know when you accomplish your goal? Do you have a way of measuring your progress? This is one of the things that needs to be considered when creating your goals. Making a checklist or a timeline will help you to measure how close you are to achieving your goals. Lay out a detailed plan and decide what works best for you to track your progress. Document every step of the way and let your accomplishments motivate you to the finish line.
A – Attainable
Your goals have to be reasonable and within reach. Don’t choose a goal that is so far out there that you can’t connect the start with the finish. There’s nothing wrong with including goals that are part of a larger vision, but start by setting small, manageable and attainable goals.
R – Relevant
Is your goal worthwhile and does it align with your values and long term plan? There’s nothing worse than creating and planning a goal that isn’t contributing to your ultimate vision. Make sure that it’s meaningful to you and consistent with your other goals. If it’s not going to put you on the path to your ultimate vision, then it might be a wise idea to reconsider.
T – Timely
Do you know how long it’s going to take you to accomplish your goal? Anything you want to accomplish needs a timeline. Specifying how long you have to accomplish your goals will help to keep you accountable and also keep your goals more attainable.
Looking ahead to 2017, we are once again given the opportunity to start fresh. We have the ability to set new goals and to resolve to be better, to do better and to make a difference.
To all of the Guiding Lifers out there….I wish you all the best in the new year. May it bring you peace, prosperity, love and above all, happiness.
Cheers to a fantastic 2017!