In the previous two parts of our year-end series (you can find them here and here), we have looked back at this year for lessons learned and we have looked far into the future towards the legacy you want to leave in life.
This week, we are all going to get super focused on 2018. What steps will you take to make the coming new year amazing?
Identifying your focus areas
In order to understand what you want to accomplish in the year ahead, it helps to break it down into simple categories: personal, professional, and social. Evaluate what’s going on in each of these areas, and what you want to happen for 2018. By looking at these different areas, you can start looking at the specific goals you want to set and the things you want to do in the new year.
Your goal-setting process
Now it’s time to look at the bigger picture. Start thinking about what it is you want to walk away with.
- What do I want to leave behind in 2018?
- What do I want to learn in the new year?
- How will I improve myself?
- What would it look like if the next year went perfectly?
These questions will probably take some time to answer. That’s okay! In fact, the more thought you give them, the better your responses will most likely be.
Set your yearly theme for 2018
One of our favorite ways to start getting focused on success in the new year is to set a yearly theme. In fact, we love it so much we made it a part of the Ink+Volt Planner!
A yearly theme is, essentially, a word that will guide every action you take in the new year.
It reflects the way you want to be. How do you want to approach challenges? What will be the energy that you put behind your goals? How do you want to feel?
For 2017, my personal yearly theme was Strong. At the beginning of the year, I was finding myself in a lot of situations — personal and professional — where it was necessary for me to speak up. This is something that has always been hard for me, even though most of the time when I do it, I find that I get the results that I want or people agree with me and tell me they wish they had said the same thing.
So this year, I wanted to project strength. I wanted to feel confident in my world, and to give quiet power to the things I said and did.
Every time I encountered a situation where I felt uncomfortable but didn’t want to say anything, I reminded myself that the goal was strength, and I would (usually) find a way to do what I thought was right.
Brainstorm your theme on paper, and don’t worry if you don’t know right away what your theme will be. It will most likely take a while. It always takes me days to land on my theme, and even then, I still think about switching it.
Ultimately, your gut will tell you what the right theme is. Imagine if this year went perfectly. How would you feel/be/do things during that year? Work backwards towards the feeling that you want to guide you this year.
Next week, we will look at how you will go about achieving the big goals for the year. For now, though, just let yourself work on the guiding themes and ideas that you want to have with you as you go through the next 12 months. When you know how you want to feel and where you want to end up, you can set the best possible roadmap for getting there.