The holiday season is a great opportunity for productive downtime.
Small, but important, steps taken BEFORE the next year begins gives you a head start to create what you would like to see in 2016.
Below you will find a distilled version of my favorite end of the year routine I do to start my new year off right. I personally love doing this in a quiet place other than the office with a delicious cup of coffee.
First, review your year before planning out the next one.
This tip sounds simple, but violating it will make your planning less effective. I have made the mistake of not reviewing my year in the past and paid for it by repeating the same behaviors I wanted to stop and change the year before. Without evaluating where you really are, it is hard to gain perspective of where you want to go.
For reviewing the year, I like to look at my calendar and journal entries. If you have been doing the Five Minute Journal, reviewing the last year (or six months) can be a wonderful way to get a snapshot of your days and get a sense of what was on your mind. If you want to get granular, review all your emails for the last year.
Next, ask yourself the following questions and DREAM BIG! Don’t hold back. Take your time answering these questions. This isn’t the Five Minute Journal :)
What are the wins, big and small, that I can celebrate?
What was I doing when I was achieving my best results?
What mistakes did I make over and over again?
What are the experiences and achievements I’d love to look back on this time next year?
What’s my ONE most important thing for 2016? (*This is what you will focus most of your efforts on in 2016)
Finally, plan your first month out in detail - especially the actions that need to happen to make your most important thing happen.
I like to plan the year in quarters and review every month because I feel 90 days is a great window of opportunity to get real traction on your targets. A year is too long of a time to iterate on what you really want.
Once you’ve done this, I recommend reviewing it every month. I keep my plan in Evernote and save my monthly targets to my lock screen.
Creating accountability (with a friend or a spouse) and having stakes on the line are also great ways of ensuring you’ll follow through on actions.
That’s it. Wishing you a wonderful 2016!
P.S. What is your most important goal in 2016? Please share in the comments here. [LINK]