Step 1 – Set aside some quiet time to reflect on what you’re proud to have achieved in 2022; be specific. What’s so special about this achievement, and how did you make it happen? Also, give some consideration to any challenges or missed goals. What did you learn from those experiences that will help you in the new year? Be sure to write these down. Note – Don’t feel that all steps need to be achieved in one day. Organize the steps with your daily schedule to allow sufficient time for contemplation and planning.
Step 2 – As Stephen Covey wrote in his very popular book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: “Begin with the end in mind.” Picture yourself in December of 2023 – what will you be happy to have achieved on your 12-month journey through the year? Using a simple tool such as the Wheel of Life can help you work through a holistic review of what’s important to you for work/life balance. Be crystal clear on where you are headed. Perhaps find a photo or picture from a magazine that illustrates your destination. Tack it up in a spot where you will see it every day.
Step 3 – Prioritize the Step 2 results you want to commit to strengthening in the new year. You may find it helpful to organize your focus areas into four quadrants, another tool espoused by Dr. Covey to help ensure we focus on those things that need our time and attention – what’s Important and/or Urgent. Additionally, contemplate how to delegate or eliminate the rest of the priorities. Map out your journey keeping the vision of your destination in mind.
Step 4 – Now that you have clarified what’s Important and Urgent, select no more than three priorities and develop S.M.A.R.T goals to help you focus, measure, and achieve each. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) You might write these goals next to the priority on your roadmap. As a priority is realized, replace it with another. A best practice is to limit yourself to three goals at a time to keep yourself motivated and not set yourself up for failure.
Step 5 – Review your 2023 Roadmap and recommit to the success of your goals on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. As life happens, and it will, access and adapt your planned activities to help ensure your success. Keep a journal of what’s working and not working to aid in making future adjustments and planning for 2024.
Step 6 – Celebrate your achievements – big and small! Keep yourself motivated. Perhaps you’ll share your goals with a friend and together, you can celebrate your wins.
Planning for the future and changing behaviors are two important processes to understand and follow. Research indicates that it takes a good 60+ days to develop a habit. Be committed, as well as forgiving, if something doesn’t work out as anticipated and a change in plans is required.
Wishing you all the best 2023 has to offer! Happy Planning, and Happy New Year!