January is actually the favourite month of the year for me because it represents an arbitrary clean slate. No matter how amazing or chaotic the previous year has been, everyone is given the equal opportunity to hit the refresh button.
It’s a time for us to believe and dream again. We get to set new goals, work out new strategies and have a new game plan to conquer the new year.
However, there’s a common problem; most of us enter the new year with an abundance of drive, energy and enthusiasm, but these positive feelings might wane quickly when we get back into our daily routines of work and life.
In order not to lose sight of what we want to achieve, these are the six things all successful women will be doing before embarking on the new year.
#1 Reflect and evaluate the past year
It’s always easier to start by reflecting on the good and bad from the previous year. Do a recap of everything that happened and identify the following:
- what you found success in
- things that made you happy
- things that caused you unhappiness
- plans that did not work out
- goals you did not manage to accomplish
It’s impossible to create a checklist that fits all since everyone’s experiences over the year are different, but the gist of it is to identify the things that didn’t work for you the previous year, so you can avoid it in the upcoming one.
#2 Determine overarching goals you would like to achieve
After setting the backdrop with point #1, decide what you would like to achieve in the upcoming year. It doesn’t have to involve every single aspect of your life. You can decide on the key areas that you want to achieve something in.
It could be as terrifying as purchasing a new flat, getting a new job or finally asking for that promotion at work, to more attainable ones e.g. finally utilising the gym membership that you having been paying for or making healthier food choices. Just make sure that these goals you set are focused on the goals you feel most compelled to improve or change.
#3 Break each goal down into smaller, more immediate goals
For the bigger goals like buying a new flat or getting a promotion, it’s important that you break it down into smaller more immediate milestones that you can achieve.
For example, if you are looking to get married and buy a new flat, you should think about how you are going to finance it. You might want to set some actual monetary targets. This will help you have a better view of what needs to be done in order to achieve that goal.
#4 List the steps you are going to take
So far, we have only done mapping and given ourselves an overarching view of what we want to achieve. Now, it’s time to list down the actual steps that you are going to take. This is crucial to achieving your goals.
Continuing with the example of flat purchasing, you should ask yourself: Are you working more to gain extra income, or are you cutting back on your expenditure to make up the money required? You have to be realistic with these targets. By doing this, you are creating a step-by-action plan helps to keep you on track if you lose sight along the way.
#5 Create a timeline for these actions
After you’ve laid out everything that needs to be done, it’s time to decide on the timeline. When do you want each of them to happen? Attach realistic and set a benchmark with a window of time that you think you are able to work with.
This keeps you accountable and pushes you to be on task because it’s really easy to lose focus. But don’t exert too much pressure on yourself! These timelines can be flexible and you can adjust them as you deem fit. For example, if you find that things are moving too fast for a certain area and you want to slow down, you can always change your timeline.
#6 Think of who you don’t want to disappoint, and who you want to prove wrong
Setting goals is easy but achieving them is where the challenge lies. Every single year without fail, we face plenty of trials and tribulations when we are working towards our goals.
It’s not easy to stay motivated and power through, especially during the middle of the year when everything seems bleak. In situations like this, you need be be mentally strong.
This point might seem a little unorthodox, but hey it works!
When the going gets tough, add fuel to your fire by reminding yourself that there are people you cannot disappoint because they that placed high hopes on you and more importantly, you want to be able to prove all the naysayers wrong!