As the year winds down just before New Year’s Eve, time seems to slow. Activities may be centered on the home and family and if you can plan it, you may have an hour or two to do some goal-setting for the year ahead. Judith, a colleague of mine, annually schedules a retreat on New Year’s weekend. It's great because it accomplishes two things: It allows her to measure where she has been and then to decide what she wants to achieve in the year ahead. It’s also the perfect time to recover from the pressure of the holidays and cultivate the inner resources you need for the challenges you want to take on in your life and work.
Not all of us have the time to go away right now, but you can still find an hour this weekend to look back and plan ahead for everything you want in the coming year.
You may already have a method of doing this, but if not, here are some tips to get started:
1. Schedule It
If you want to get something done, you’re going to have to make time for it. Just as you schedule your workout to accomplish your health goals, you must carve out time for your New Year's goals. It takes commitment and repetition for activities to become habits. My brother, for instance, is in the midst of a major health initiative. It took him three months before the habit of going to the gym started feeling like a natural part of his routine. You will have to commit to doing what you need to before this becomes an automatic event in your day.
2. Define a Focus
Decide what’s important to you, then construct your goals around it. If you want to get healthy this year, then decide what that looks like to you. Is being healthy eating better to feel better? Is it being more active? Maybe it means eating more veggies and less cheese. Maybe it means walking three times a week or going to the gym. Name your goals and be specific.
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