A new year comes with a renewed excitement for the coming days. Typically, we think of it as a fresh start. A time to leave all our burdens behind. The narrative “New Year, New Me” has been heard for years and years, but sticking to our promises throughout the year has proven to be a hard thing. It is extremely common to hear that by the second month most people have already given up and began saying they will try again the next year.
Here’s how you can ensure that this year is different for you.
1. Invest in a yearly planner
There are several websites that produce planners year in year out. I would recommend one from year compass. This particular booklet is free to download and print. It has a variety of sections where you are able to write down your goals and evaluate yourself in terms of your accomplishments, challenges and best moments. After that, it allows you to write down exactly what you would like to see in your life in the coming year. The booklet serves as an annual check of the past and a written down dream for the coming year.
2. Re-evaluate your past year
A common saying goes “How can you know where you are headed if you don’t know where you are coming from?”
There is need to evaluate various areas of your life in the previous year. That way, you can know exactly what areas need improvement. This will also help you to know and understand yourself better. To do this, you need to meditate, preferably in a quiet place. Ask yourself the important questions. Discover where your life is headed, and what you are doing to move in the right direction. Lastly, ask yourself what changes you need to make in your life and why.
3. Break your goals down
Setting overall goals never works if you don’t break them down into smaller goals. You need to break them down to various categories: Spiritual Health, Mental Health, Physical Health, Education and Finances. Under each of these categories, specify what you want to achieve in the coming year, and then go ahead to write what you will strive to do to achieve in each of these areas.
In breaking them down, ensure that you also bring them down to timelines. For example, set monthly goals and a re-evaluation at the end of every three months. That way, you will be able to question and correct these various areas in good time.
4. Be Realistic
Like any other goal in life, you have to be realistic. You must acknowledge that improvement cannot take place in one day. It needs time. Being realistic entails goals that are achievable. Ensure that your goals are sensible and can be implemented gradually without too much of a stretch.
5. Monitor your improvement
Every month, you will need to have that conversation with yourself. Ask yourself questions. Are you moving towards the right direction in terms of your mental health, spirituality, physical health, work-life and finances? If not, where exactly have you gone wrong? How can you do better next time? What changes can you make to do better next time?
Without this self-monitoring, it’s hard to tell whether these goals are being actualized. It is imperative therefore that you do this self-check.
6. Reward yourself
The best way to ensure that you actually follow through with your goals is to reward yourself. Otherwise, you may end up losing the overall psyche to carry forward. Therefore I would suggest that you appreciate yourself at the end of every month. Perhaps with a small gift or a solo lunch date. This will go a long way in encouraging you to achieve each and every one of your goals.
7. Ask someone to assess your goals
Lastly, I would say you need to find a friend that’s willing to check up on you. Perhaps a mentor. Someone who is able to help you monitor yourself as you achieve these goals. Sometimes we need an evaluation from a third party because we are not able to fully assess ourselves. This person must possess certain qualities. Honesty, integrity and diligence in their own work are just a few of them.
With all these factors in mind, I sincerely hope that 2021 will be a year of prosperity for each and every one of us. To download the year compass click here