Every year begins with a heightened sense of new beginnings, fresh starts, and clean slates, yet most of us soon slide right back into the same old habits, regardless of our good intentions for making things different.
It takes us immensely longer to achieve our goals because we do things the hard way, if at all.
Let’s take a look at 10 sure-fire, strategic ways we can plan our forward progress this year, and every year ahead.
Review your previous goals.
You can’t look forward unless you’ve had a concentrated view of where you’ve been or what you’ve already accomplished.
Determine whether your goals were relevant, necessary, or realistic. Just because you set a goal previously doesn’t mean you need to pursue it year after year. Set your sights on the goals relevant to helping you progress toward the results you want. Other goals can still play part, but they need to not hinder your end-game.
Celebrate big wins.
We don’t take enough time to truly celebrate, and we don’t visit our wins often enough. We’ve been taught from the time we were very small children to be humble, not to brag, not to boast, etc. We’re told it is arrogant or prideful to celebrate our successes.
We’ve been taught that nonsense, but I’m going to tell you something: it is healthy and right to celebrate those moments and accomplishments because they are the foundation for the next chapter of our life. What happened to you that was over the top? What relationship breakthroughs? What business breakthroughs? What financial breakthroughs? Give yourself permission to take time to think about and celebrate your wins.
Identify progress and successes.
Name the areas you performed well in. What did you do right? What did you do well? What did you do that really made a difference? Take note of these, and see if you can build them out to further your progress in the weeks, months, and years ahead.
Don’t shy away from the areas you could have done better in. Where did you perform less than optimally? Which opportunities were missed completely? Identify areas you missed the mark, own it, and adjust your gameplan accordingly.
Answer this question: What did I not do that I needed to do? Reflect on those moments you could’ve taken positive action and, for whatever reason, you did not. What opportunities? What did you have in front of you that you did not execute on? What habits did you not form? What tasks did you avoid? What disciplines did you forsake?
Why did you not do the things that you needed to do? This is not a point where you make excuses or rationalize yourself into oblivion. This is a point to evaluate what caused you to not act on that in that moment. Why?
Was it fear? Insecurity? Limiting belief?
Turn your mind, focus and confidence toward what can be. Take time to clear your mind, visualize opportunities, and allow yourself to creatively construct possibilities you may not have allowed yourself to consider previously.
Create a strategic plan.
If you’re not sure where to start in creating your plan, remember considering your possibilities. Hire a coach, find a consultant, find a counselor in whatever area you need, to formulate a plan to move the needle forward. Make sure your plan is detailed, deadline-driven, and measurable. Set up rewards along the way if you have to, but create the plan and find motivation to stick to it.
Count the cost.
Every goal you achieve is going to have associated cost with it. It’s going to cost resources. It’s going to cost time. It’s going to cost energy. It’s going to possibly require you to reevaluate relationships and leave some people behind. What is it going to cost you? Every good thing in life costs something, but the reward of doing that and following through with that is greater than the cost, ultimately.
Consider it as an investment. You invest a certain amount of money, but you’re looking for a return on your investment, which is going to be greater than the investment itself.
Such is the cost in planning your progress. It might get you up front, but the returns will be worth their weight in gold.
Collaborate and cooperate with others in a community of like-minded leaders. It is not healthy to be mixed with the wrong crowds. Find relationships or some context, like a mastermind group, a group coaching program, where you can glean from the wisdom, energy, and encouragement others can offer you.
Your input, in turn, will also be valuable to them. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship when you collaborate rather than compete with others.
Execute the plan.
Confidently engage, then execute your plan. It’s one thing to have a plan. It’s another thing to do it. Eliminate excuses, create new and helpful habits, review these steps (daily if you have to) and start moving forward. You’ve got the goods, so put your foot to the road and start moving forward.
Go through each one of these steps. Take time to invest in your future. It will make a huge difference in positioning you for the most successful, consistent progress you’ve ever had.