New Year, New Goals, New You
Every new year is a chance to reflect, recharge, and reinvent yourself. This year gives us all an opportunity to apply lessons we learned in 2020 and start fresh with a new attitude. So “out with the old and in with the new” — 2021 IS THE YEAR OF YOU!
The concept of New Year’s resolutions is not at all a new practice. It is said to have been birthed some 4,000 years ago. Since then, the tradition has evolved from vows to pay back debts in hopes that the gods would bestow favor on all who kept their promises to a range of personal, physical, financial, career, and lifestyle goals. Unfortunately, “studies show that only 8% of Americans who make a New Year’s resolution actually keep them all year and 80% have failed by the start of February”. I don’t share this fact to deter you from adopting a New Year’s resolution but rather to remind you that goals require intentionality, planning, and discipline. Simply proclaiming that you are going to eat healthily or manage your money better this year will not on its own make it so.
But don’t fret! Keys to Abundant Life is here with guidance on how to trade your New Year’s resolution for serious strategic goals that will help you create your own destiny and become a better, healthier, happier, more fulfilled you.
- Write Down Your Goals. This tip is self-explanatory, but it may be the most important of them all. Just as writing down what you are grateful for attracts abundance, writing down your goals increases the likelihood that you will stay committed to them and be successful.
Writing your goals, especially in a journal or area of your home you visit often, will help keep you motivated and focused on the tasks at hand. It challenges you to be clear and specific about what it is you are working toward and allows you to track your progress with something tangible.
- Create an Action Plan. You have written down your goals for 2021 in your favorite journal, plastered them across your whiteboard, and placed sticky notes around your bathroom mirror. Great! But, there is more. Next, you will need to draw up an action plan.
It will be your blueprint to achieving this year’s goals. Your action plan will need to be a detailed step-by-step “to-do” list. Even the simplest of goals can become overwhelming. Writing a plan will give you direction and help you prioritize and set dates to accomplish goal-related tasks.
Not sure where to start? Research! There is no need to reinvent the wheel when there is infinite information at your disposal on the internet, at your local library, and in the minds of people you know. YouTube is a great resource for how-to videos, and Facebook is full of groups of like-minded people exchanging experiences and ideas. Take advantage of this information and start planning.
- Develop a routine that maximizes productivity. With your goals written and your action plan (also written) established, it’s time to put your plan into action. With new goals comes the need for new habits.
To successfully work through your action plan, you will likely need to reevaluate your daily routine. Now is the perfect time to reflect and experiment. The questions you ask yourself will be different depending on your goals, but here are some general considerations to make when mapping out your new routine.
When am I most productive? How many hours do I usually sleep and how many do I actually need? Am I more likely to exercise before work or after work? What leisurely activities take up too much of my time, and how can I use that time more wisely? What morning habits are essential to boost my mood and energy throughout the day? Finding the schedule that is most conducive to your action plan may take some time to perfect, but it will make all the difference in your success.
- Find an Accountability Partner or Mentor. Now you have your goals, your action plan, and a near-perfect routine. You are officially on the road to success. So, these next two tips are a bonus. One of the most helpful tools I have had in sticking to my goals is my accountability partners and mentors.
Look for people inside and outside of your network who are on a similar path. Mentors can help motivate and guide you, answer your questions, and share insights on what worked and didn’t work for them. I share my goals, action plans, and dates with my accountability partners who check in with me regularly to offer much-needed encouragement and… you guessed it, accountability.
- Declutter Your Life.
I call this strategy Keep or Sweep. It is when I reflect on my life in relation to my goals and determine what aspects positively contribute to my vision and what aspects do not. If it hinders my goals and is practical to get rid of, it gets swept and thrown away in 2021.
For some, decluttering may involve deactivating social media, removing electronics from the bedroom, cutting unnecessary spending, or ending unhealthy relationships that distract you from your purpose. Whatever it is for you, set small manageable goals to phase it out of your life.
It will be difficult at first, but you will be exchanging those distractions for an increase in productivity, energy, focus, and overall wellness that you will not regret come December when it is time to celebrate all you have achieved.
Happy New Year from Keys to Abundant Life! I wish you unprecedented success and look forward to sharing another 365 days of health, wealth and happiness with you.