As 2017 comes to an end, this is the perfect time to reflect on the year and come up with a plan for 2018. Having an understanding of your goals for the coming year and the actions you will need to take will give you great momentum and will help you to stay on track in order to achieve all those things you really want.
Here are my 5 top tips in order to make 2018 your best year yet:
1. Time to acknowledge yourself
At this time of the year it is so easy to think about those things we didn’t achieve, the mistakes we made along the way, any sickness or accidents we had, opportunities we missed, goals we failed, etc. However, what is most important at present is to really take the time to sit down and think about those things we did achieve, however big or little; the great events we took part in, the times we spent with loved ones, great friendships, amazing trips or journeys we got to take, etc. Most of us will come to realise that there were more positives than we originally thought, and taking time to appreciate them and celebrate them will be an invaluable tool for us to continue to build on in 2018.
ACTION: Think about those things that you need to appreciate yourself for, your successes, your wins, achievements and special moments, and write down at least 5 good things from 2017.
2. Lessons learnt
I don’t know about you, but in 2017 I made many mistakes, failed at many things too, and I didn’t get to achieve goals that I initially intended to. It was all part of a great learning curve that allowed me to grow and change course, which made me wiser and stronger. You see, mistakes are a great opportunity to learn, and so taking the time to reflect on the lessons that we learnt from those not so good experiences, will allow us to face similar circumstances in the year ahead in a more proactive way and make better choices, which will make us get better results.
ACTION: Ask yourself, what lessons did you learn at work? And in your life? Write down the top 3 lessons you learnt at work and the top 3 lessons you learnt in life.
3. Start looking ahead
Now it is time to look at 2018. What are you hoping to achieve in the next 12 months? This is not the time to be safe and come up with some small, comfortable ideas. This is your opportunity to dream about living the life you really want, becoming who you truly want to be, having achieved things you never thought you could, in order to have lived your best year yet. This will require you to stretch yourself out of your comfort zone and you will probably feel a bit scared. Don’t give in to your fears, as they will soon dissipate once you start your journey.
ACTION: Ask yourself, what would need to happen in 2018 in order for me to live a happy, meaningful and satisfying life?
What would it need to happen in order for 2018 to be my best year yet? Write down the top 5 things that you want to achieve by the end of 2018. Put them somewhere where you can look at them daily to help you stay focused and motivated. Then, write down a list of goals that you will need to complete in order to achieve your 2018 top 5 priorities.
4. Plan for it
Finally, the time has come to put it all together and commit to a plan that will become your road map for the year ahead. Keep your eye on it to stay focused on the task at hand, and see the rewards of your work become a reality in 2018.
ACTION: Now that you have a list of your top 5 priorities, and also a list of what goals you need to achieve in 2018, put them down into a specific plan, and spend some time breaking down each goal into small, achievable, realistic steps, that will allow you to start the process and to complete your goals within a given time frame. In your 2018 action plan, try to be as specific as you can, on a month by month basis, including milestones and rewards that you will give yourself to celebrate for achieving them.
Make sure that you take into account your own values (what’s really important to you) when deciding what actions to undertake, as your values dictate your behaviour. If your action steps are in line with your values, you will find the journey of achieving your goals a very enjoyable experience.
5. Do your best
My last tip for you will be to be gentle with yourself. Life has ups and downs and you will probably experience a bit of both in trying to achieve your priorities. There will be wins and losses, successes and failures, and times when you will feel like giving up. At times like this, ask yourself the following question, how will I feel if I gave it my best try and achieved my goals and priorities? Try to visualise yourself living the life you really want, having achieved all those things, and imagine the feeling living that life. Then, think about how you will feel if you gave in to your fears and doubts and quit trying; how will you feel at the end of 2018?
ACTION: Think about what potential challenges or blocks you may come up against in trying to
achieve your goals for 2018. Is it procrastination, fear of failure, fear of success, a poor support network, a lack of know-how? Whatever these may be for you, become aware of them and try and come up with some possible solutions that may help you remove these obstacles when they arise. Above all, understand that life is not perfect, you are not perfect and not all days will go according to plan. Gently push yourself to get back on your journey, and if things get hard, take smaller steps for a while, until you can manage bigger ones.
The important thing is to keep trying, moving forward towards getting those things you always wanted. And I promise you,
if you don’t give in, if you keep trying, if you just do your best most of the time, you will achieve things you never thought possible.
Investing some time in working on the above steps will place you in great shape for achieving extraordinary things in the year ahead. If you don’t want to do it alone, then contact me for a free 60 min no obligation consultation to help you decide if coaching is right for you.
Here’s to making 2018 your best year yet!