With 2017 almost behind us and the ‘Happy New Year’
champagne corks about to be popped, this is the final post in the blog series How to Survive Christmas with your Sanity Intact!
Are you Ready to not just Survive, but Thrive, in your life in 2018?
What do you want to create for yourself this coming year?
Before setting any goals for the New Year it’s essential, in my view, to take time to reflect on and achieve a feeling of completion for the year that has passed.
So here are seven steps to help you do just that. And to get you thinking about what you most want to create in 2018:
(1) Make a list of all your achievements from the last year
Really take your time with this. Sit with your diary and go through it month by month to prompt your memory. Include everything you can think of, even the smallest of wins.
When you have completed it, spend time reading through your list and fully appreciating all that you achieved and how far you have come. Whenever I do this exercise for myself I am always very pleasantly surprised, and often amazed, when I read what’s on my list and how much I have moved forward!
Please don’t under-estimate the significance of completing this step. One of the reasons we give up on our goals is because we don’t give ourselves credit for how far we have come. We look only at how far we still have to go!
(2) Review your 2017 goals
Review the goals you set for 2017 or, if you didn’t set any, take the major areas of your life (relationship, career, finances, health, etc.) and ask yourself the following four questions for each goal/life area:
- What went well in 2017?
- What didn‘t go so well?
- What can you learn about yourself from your answers to questions 1 and 2?
- What do you want to do more of – and less of – in 2018?
If you could summarise 2017 in three words what would those words be?
Mine are Rollercoaster, Growth, Connection.
(3) Set your Life Goals
Think about everything you want to create in your life – your Life Goals. What kind of relationships do you want – with your husband, your children, your friends, with yourself? What do you want in terms of your health, your money, your career, your home, etc.?
For example, a Life Goal for your relationship with your kids might read something like this:
Life Goal: Cultivate a meaningful relationship with my kids by being a positive role model and staying connected to them. How? By consciously walking my talk, admitting when I get it wrong and spending 1:1 time with each of them weekly.
Ensure you cover each significant area of your life to get a balanced set of Life Goals.
(4) Create your 2018 goals
Read through your 2017 goals if you have them and look at what you have written under: “What do you want to do more of, and less of, next year?” Next read through your Life Goals. From these two lists create your goals for 2018.
Make the goals measurable and specific and decide when you are going to achieve each one.
It’s okay to say: Create more emotional connection with my husband. But be specific and include How you are going to achieve this.
For example: By having a date night twice a month and taking time every day to ask about his day and really listen to the response.
(5) What changes do YOU need to make?
Reflect on and decide what needs to change within you in order to achieve your goals. For example:
- What outdated (and false) thoughts and beliefs do you need to let go of?
- What do you fear most about creating what you want (e.g. that it’s not possible for ‘someone like you?’)
- What support do you need to help you overcome your fears and obstacles? Who can provide that support to you – eg friend, colleague, mentor, coach?
- What negative behaviour patterns do you need to stop repeating (eg people pleasing, approval seeking, putting yourself last, etc.)
- What boundaries do you need to put in place?
- What do you need to say NO to in order to make space for your goals?
- What do you need to believe about yourself and about life in order to achieve your goals in 2018 and create the life you want for yourself?
(6) List the Top Three Feelings you want in 2018
What are the Top Three feelings you want to experience next year – eg Empowered, Confidence, Pride.
Look at your lists of goals. Is the pursuit of these goals going to lead to the feelings you most want? If the answer is No revise your list until you get to Yes!
Hint: The only reason we want to do anything or achieve any goal is because of the way we think it is going to make us feel when we achieve it.
(7) Pick a Theme word for 2018
Decide on one word that will be your theme for 2017 and be clear on why that word is important to you.
My word is Ownership.
Review your goals regularly to track progress and update them as necessary.
Here’s what’s important to know: Your goals are just a starting point to get you into ACTION and moving forward.
Taking action is what creates clarity. You can’t think your way to clarity!
Once you are in action you will find yourself wanting to update or even change your goals as you progress. This is normal and to be expected.
As you review your goals ask yourself if they are in alignment with your theme word for the year. If not, what changes do you need to make?
I hope you use the above process to help you figure out what you most want to create to make 2018 your best year yet!
Here’s to creating the year and the life you really, really want in 2018!
Confused and conflicted about what 2018 has in store for you and your marriage?
If you are dreading the New Year because you’re confused and conflicted about whether to stay in your marriage or leave in 2018, I have a free resource for you: Stay Married or Leave? A 5 Step Guide Before You Decide. Click the link to sign up and immediately download your copy.
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