2017 is right around the corner, are you ready for a great year?
There are many different ways to prepare yourself to have a great year. Expert goal setters and business-planners do a lot of the same things to ensure that they are ready for a truly successful new year. This seven-step countdown is a list of best practices you can use to be 100% ready for a breakthrough year personally and professionally in 2017. Each of the seven steps in the countdown are crucially important, and they all work together to ensure the best possible outcomes for you in this important new year. Let’s get started:
Seven: Clear Your Mind
We all have self-limiting beliefs and biases that affect our expectations… and eventually our results. This kind of “head trash” can take a lot of different forms, and it’s especially dangerous when you are setting goals. I recommend you spend some quiet time thinking about areas in your life and work where you feel your expectations may not be high enough. Do you have any self-limiting beliefs? Expired excuses? See if you can start with a clean slate.
Six: Look in the Rear-View Mirror
Here’s where you ask yourself how your goal setting and planning worked in 2016. Did you have the year you hoped to have? What are your current trends? Will momentum alone propel you to where you want to go in this new year? We certainly don’t want to repeat any practices or patterns that did not work for us last year. Be honest with yourself, this objective clarity will pay off in 2017.
Five: Ask Yourself “The December 31st Question”
Top achievers understand the power of retrospection. The “December 31st question” puts you in the mindset of someone who has had a great year. So let’s fast-forward to the end of the year. It is Sunday, December 31st, 2017 and here is the question: What would have had to have happened during 2016 for you to feel great about the year? Stated another way… what results would you need in your life or work to think of 2017 as a true breakthrough year? The answer to this question will help you set meaningful important goals for yourself in this important new year.
Four: Narrow, Filter & Focus Your Goals
I would recommend no more than three or four primary goals for 2017. Why so few? A couple of reasons. First, we can become diffused if we have too many goals. Each begins to diminish the others. Second, if we can’t accomplish our three or four most important goals in 2017, we are certainly not going to accomplish nine or ten. Keep your goals narrowed and focused, you can always add more later in the year.
Three: Turn Your Goals into Specific Detailed Action Plans
This is the step that separates serious goal setters from the wish-list makers. Top achievers think through exactly what they are going to accomplish in 2017, then they figure what the action steps will need to be to make them happen. They think about their leading indicators, key routines, and monthly, weekly and daily activities. This step begins to eliminate the variables from your goals. You will hit your targets because you are systematically eliminating the risks. Which brings us to step two…
Two: Get a Sanity Check
You have some smart people in your life. You may even know someone who has done some of the things you are wanting to accomplish in this new year. Ask these people to “sanity check” your goals and plans for 2017. Ask them if they make sense, ask them if they believe that the action plans you have associated with each goal will get you there. This step further eliminates negative variables from your goals for 2017.
One: Take the Risk Out of Your Goals
This final step in the countdown is where you build accountability and consistent review opportunities into your goals for the new year. You are “bolting them down” so that you can be 100% confident in your plans to accomplish them. You’ll want to think through a solid review plan for each goal. Some of your goals may require a weekly review, some you will want to look at on a monthly basis, and for some kinds of targets a quarterly review will suffice. Actually schedule your review times in your 2016 calendar, this extra formal step will give you a sense of momentum before the year even starts.
So there you have it; the seven-step countdown to a great new year. Take your time with these steps, a year is a big chunk of time and you want to get them right. Going through these formal countdown steps will virtually guarantee that 2017 will be a breakthrough year for you.
Congratulations on taking serious and deliberate steps towards 2017, you are setting yourself up for a great year!