I don’t know about you, but I am a big fan of starting a new year. I enjoy reflecting on the past year, setting new goals and getting a fresh start. It’s a time to dream, to prioritize and focus on what is most important. As you think about your new year, I encourage you to ask yourself three questions.
These questions can apply to any area of your life – relationships, career, business, physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, etc.
- What do I want to do more of next year? This could include being more thankful, exercising, leaving the office in time to spend quality time with those closest to us, sleeping, scheduling time with close friends or family, reading, praying, writing, giving, listening, focusing on priorities, believing the best in those closest to us, and many other things. Start out by thinking of the area that you want to emphasize and then try to turn it into a goal for the year.
- What do I want to do less of next year? This could include complaining less, working fewer hours, saying “yes” too quickly, participating in extracurricular activities, eating unhealthy food, eating out, shopping, spending time on social media, comparing ourselves to others, scheduling meetings without a clear purpose and agenda, talking too much, avoiding conflict and the list could continue. These can also become goals for the year. I remember one of the goals I set for myself in 2016 was to “Reduce involvement in at least two extra curricular activities (and say no to any new ones) by October 1, 2016.”
- What do I want to be about the same next year? It’s easy to think that every year has to be completely different with entirely new goals, priorities and focus areas. However, we don’t have to move on so quickly just because it’s a new year. In 2017, you may have had some great breakthroughs in one of your most important relationships and you want to continue that progress. You may have found a rhythm in your day and your week that you want to continue. You may be exercising consistently or have successfully created some margin in your life. As you reflect on 2017, I encourage you to keep up the things in your life that are working well and not to get burdened by having to move forward to new things in every area of life.
Now that you have taken some notes on these areas, I encourage you to pick a few to focus on in the new year. Find ways to make them specific, measurable and keep looking at them at least once/week. Make notes on what is going well and what you would like to adjust. Again, they could be things you want to do more of, less of or things you would like to mostly stay the same that worked well in 2017.
So what kind of things make your list? What do you want to do more of, less of or stay the same in 2018?