It’s time. When it comes to accomplishing your goals, maximizing your potential, multiplying your results, growing your relationships, and leaving a legacy, it all comes down to time. How you invest it is your choice. At the end of one year and the beginning of a new year, we all experience a range of emotions. Some are elated that they accomplished so much. Others have regrets that they did not achieve their goals…again! Still others are just limping along waiting for the calendar to start over at 1 so that they can say goodbye to the sorrows of last year and hope that the new year will bring more happiness and joy.
No matter where you are in this spectrum of emotions, the beginning of a new year always seem to bring a feeling of promise and hope. In order to make this promise and hope a reality, here are some things you can do to prepare for making this your best year yet:
- Learn From the Past – It’s easy to get caught up in the past and have regrets of what you could have or should have done in a certain moment over the last year. If we continue to lament and live in the past, we will never take hold of what this current moment and the moments to come have to offer. Instead of living in the past year, we must learn from it. Take time to reflect on what went well and those things did not turn out the way you wanted. Instead of reliving it all over again, write down what you learned from both successes and setbacks and apply the learning in the new year.
- Prepare for the Future – Given your wisdom gained from reflection on the past, apply it toward this new year and beyond. If you need to get back to the basics, do it. For me, I am applying some new things that worked for me in the past that I have not applied in awhile. For some of you, you need to stop trying the same thing hoping it will yield a different result and move on to a new approach. I believe preparation for a new year involves leveraging what has worked when you have been most successful and learning and applying new insight to yield new and better results. Write down your goals, and document an action plan to achieve each goal. A dream only becomes a goal when you write it down and back it up with some actionable steps to accomplish it. Don’t leave your dreams on the doorstep of despair.
- Perform in the Moment – When all is said and done, it all comes down to time and how you invest it. In this new year, make sure to connect your roles, priorities, and goals to your weekly and daily schedule. You don’t want to find yourself on December 31 of the new year having regrets over the past year and offering the lame excuse of, “I didn’t have time!” If it is a true priority in your life, make it one and schedule it. The future is only affected by what you do today, so perform in the moment and advance the ball toward your goals.
Here is one final thought as you begin the new year and consider the goals you are going to achieve. Research shows that people who write down their goals are 4-5 times more likely to accomplish them versus those that do not. When you tell a few others about your goals and ask them to hold you accountable, your probability of success goes up even more. Find a group of mentors or peers who will serve as your accountability group in this journey.
As John Wooden, the Hall of Fame basketball Coach for UCLA, always told his players, “Make each day your masterpiece!” This is your year! Don’t waste it! It’s time!