It’s that time of year again. The time of year when you sit down and think about all that happened in 2013, and try to envision and plan for all that might happen in the (new) year to come.
It’s a happy, exciting time, and luckily most of us have had enough rest over the holidays to feel motivated and inspired at the thought of all that’s upcoming, and not dragged down or lethargic already with the demands of 2014 life.
I’m a huge fan of goal-setting, and the end of every year and the beginning of every new one regularly see me with a cup of steaming tea, a beautiful view, and a new Moleskine about to crack open. I dedicate myself to spending some time (an hour is a good timeframe) to first brainstorming, and then clarifying, my year’s upcoming goals.
Here are a few key tips on goal-setting for the New Year:
- First, Review Progress on Last Year’s Goals
Before I start with 2014 goals, I take time to review the goals I set for myself in the past year to see how I did. This year, I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped, but I take consolation and hope from my friend Crystal Paine’s great post summarizing her own progress with her 2013 goals.
In short, Crystal explains that setting too many can be disastrous. I think I fell into that trap in 2013 as well, and so when I think about my goals in 2014, I’m reducing the number of goals I have, in efforts to ensure that I reach an 80-90% success rate.
- Use the Learnings from 2013 to Help You in 2014 Goal-Setting
As explained above, my key lesson that Crystal clarifies well is to set fewer goals. I’ll be taking heart and ensuring to do this for 2014. Crystal went from 25 to 12. I’ll be taking a similar tactic and trying to drop at least 40% of my goals from my 2014 list.
- Don’t Worry About Setting the Same Goals that You Set the Year Before
This is a key learning that it’s taken me a few years to realize. I used to think it was “unproductive” or even “backwards” to set the same goal as the year before. Not so anymore. Now I realize that many of the key things I do in my life I want to happen year in and year out, and making sure they take a prominent spot on my list of annual goals is essential to ensuring they get the time and energy they need. Things like my exercise goals, my reading goals, and goals with friends and family are great candidates for continuity year in and year out. You don’t need to always be increasing!
So go ahead and carve some time out of your New Year schedule to get your goals down on paper and get moving with accomplishing some of them!