I don’t know about you, but I feel like 2019 slipped through my fingers and we are official a few days from a new year. A new decade is upon us, how crazy is that? I don’t know about you but I am wanting to hit the ball out of the park in 2020 and really amp up my goals, routines and habits. I am not talking about the dreaded New Year’s Resolution that are meant to be broken. I am talking about REAL change. I am talking about starting that business or cutting out those toxic relationships for good. I am talking about some serious change. There are so many ways you can go about this, but let’s get honest if you do not have a plan of action or a game plan then you will have another year like this last one. Well at least that is how I am, if there is no plan for me to follow well, you can forget about it.
Have you ever tried to go on a road trip and set up your GPS but did not type in an address? Take a wild guess at where you will end up. You guessed right, NO WHERE, stuck in the same place you were before. You have to type in the address of your destination for your GPS to know where to take you. Simple, sure! But we all forget that life is the same exact way. You have to type in your destination of your ideal year for Divine Spirit, Universe, Ultimate Intelligence, God, whomever you look for advice and guidance from… so, they will know exactly what you are striving for. To get the address, to type in the GPS of life, you first have to get detailed on where you want to go. You don’t type in the GPS “brown house” and expect the GPS to know you are talking about your grandpa’s old house 5 states away. NO! You type in 1234 Main St. Kansas City, MO 64113. You gave the GPS a house number, a street, a City, a state THEN you gave the GPS a Zip-Code to make sure it was definitely in the right general area. We all have to start thinking of our life the exact way. We all need to give Divine Spirit a destination so that our amazing year will come true!
Gaining the details needed to make a single line address can be overwhelming when we are talking about our life. We, as humans, are so complex and sooooo much can happen in a year. I totally get it and here is the thing, if you do not start with a plan you could bet a million dollars you will get nowhere. There is a common saying that goes something like this, “You will miss a 100% of the shoots you do not take”. So, we have to try, we have to visualize what our amazing year could be so, we can give divine the address and we can give divine the blueprint to our amazing, most ideal, year yet. So let’s get started!
Step 1: Review Your Last Year Goals
When I did this exercise, I was like most of you feeling a bit overwhelmed and frustrated at reading step 1. Last years goals!? I, honestly, do not even remember them at all and then I went into this negative space where I questioned even if I accomplished anything at all this year. I know for some of us this can be a place of a reminder of how much time we have wasted or a reminder of the list of to-dos that still need to be done. I want to stop right now and encourage you to stay in a positive mindset and know that it is okay if you did not accomplished all that you wanted, it may not have been your time, yet. I also want you to know that you are where you are at and where you are supposed to be right here, right now for a reason. Nothing happens or does not happen that was not apart of your journey. This exercise is to help you to become more self-aware.
The first step is to look at your last years goals so, we can analyze them together. From that list take a second to look at what you did accomplish, what may have fallen off your radar, what you have yet to accomplish and what is still in the works of being completed.
Take a fresh sheet of paper and categorize them so you can see the list of accomplished, forgotten tasks, work in progress and yet to be done tasks. Now, I like to use the A.E.D. method for the “work in progress” and the “yet to be done” task list. Then I am going to look at the “forgotten” list and either place the tasks in the “yet to be done”, ONLY if it sparks joy and I feel like it is aligned with my mission, or delete it completely out of my mind.
When you are using the A.E.D. method you will be looking at your task list and analyzing each task. When you are analyzing each task you are asking yourself a series of questions.
-Is this a task only I can do?
-How long will it take me to complete this task?
-Does this task have other micro-tasks I have to do to complete it?
-Does this task cost money? If so, how much money?
-Could I give this task to someone else to do?
-Is there a software I could use to make this task simple?
-Does this task spark joy?
Once you have gone through this list of questions per task you will then use the A.E.D method which is, Automate, Eliminate or Delegate.
I love the A.E.D. method because it is a reminder that I do not have to do it all, if I do not want to. There are some things that we do and we stress ourselves out about them, that could just be simply given to someone who loves it. Once, you have each task deemed as A=Automate, E=Eliminate or D=Delegate you are ready to go to the next step.
The next phase in step one is to now put 3 things into action. Either find an app to automate something right now or eliminate something right now. There is power in putting something into action right now. It will give you the confidence, the relief and the space to NOW think about what is to come.
Step 2: Visualization
Visualization can be the fun part of preparing for your new year. This is the time you get to tap into your imagination and create the most ideal year for yourself. I would highly recommend sitting in a quiet space with a notebook and allow yourself to flow with no judgement and no rules. Just write down everything that comes to mind.
Tell yourself “Okay self I am wanting to visualize the most amazing year yet. If I were to get into a time machine and be a year from today who would I be, what would I have accomplished and what would my life really be like.”
After that allow yourself to flow for as long as it takes. Once you are done visualizing thank yourself for being honest and allowing to have a judgement free zone for pure creativity. Being in a pure creative space can be so hard at times because by nature we want to doubt and place judgement on our goals and aspirations. So, it is important to take some time to quiet the mind with intention.
From that notebook full of goodness take out a highlighter and highlight 3 things, you envisioned for the new year, that if it happened you would be the happiest person ever! Try to keep it to ONLY three things. This could be a business goal, new habit you created and a new relationship you built. Whatever it may look like for you, is perfect.
Phase two of this step is to take those three things and break them down into detailed step by step tasks. This portion can take some real time to think of everything you need to accomplish to make this thing possible. Try to not just think of the big picture task points, do some research and some digging into micro task that will add up to make this thing come to life. As you look at this list use the A.E.D. method. I know that this task list can look long and oh so overwhelming, I totally get that! Remind yourself that you have a year to accomplish it. So, again look at the task and label them with an A=automate, E=eliminate, D=delegate and then circle the ones that only you can do.
Repeat this process for the other two MAJOR things you will do in this up and coming year.
Step 3: Calendar
This step right here has changed my life! It has changed my mindset and has allowed me to accomplish way more than I could have ever done. If you cannot tell I am a huge fan of the calendar.
In this step, you will need to purchase a cheap calendar just a standard fold over with just the months because this is used more as a draft more than your everyday calendar. I purchased my calendar from the dollar section and I would encourage you to do the same.
I would also encourage you to take the time and get an old fashion calendar because the digital one does not give you the same satisfaction for this exercise.
Now, that you have your calendar we are going to plan out each task. Let me pause for a second, I do not believe in placing deadlines on big ticket goals however, I do believe in placing deadlines on micro tasks that can be done easily. The thought process behind this and why it is so powerful is the simple saying “the same tasks add up to the big goal”.
That is exactly what you will be doing, assigning deadlines for all the tasks that are underneath your big goal. Focus on one goal at a time and allow yourself enough time on your calendar to complete each task.
Phase two, now that your tasks are all in and assigned a deadline it is time to schedule in some self-care, birthdays, special events, launches, conferences, etc. Each quarter make intentional time on your calendar for self-care. That can look like whatever brings you peace as in a self-vacation, a spa day, a football game, etc. Then write in time with loved one each quarter. This could be a mini-vacation, stay-cation, having a special day at the park, going to a concert with your loved ones. Whatever it looks like for you, is perfect.
This exercise is for some of us that easily get lost in the day to day tasks of life and can sometimes not be present. I am someone who struggles with balancing my time. I love my work and at times I need a bit of balance for sure. This has changed my relationships and I am sure it will change yours too.
Step 4: Non-negotiables
For some of us, and when I say that I really mean ME, have goals, habits, tasks that have followed us from year to year! For me, each year I am reminded that I need to spend more time with loved ones and people that spark joy and I need to exercise and take care of my body way more. So this year, I have decided to place some non-negotiables into my calendar and I would encourage you to do the same.
Think about something that has haunted you each year… is it to start that business, leave that relationship, start that friendship, be a better parent, get a dog. I have no idea what it is for you but, I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about. This year make time to do that thing that has been haunting you for years. Choose three things you are wanting for focus in on this year and finally do them.
Here is an example, for me, I am going to focus on building better relationships and prioritize my health. On my calendar, bi-weekly I am going to send a message to each of my closest friends and reach out once a month to my network of business acquaintances, clients, etc. Also, on my calendar I have placed check-ins for workouts. My non-negotiables are 4 workouts a week and one can be a simple 30 min workout, another could be a fun class and the other 2 are intentional workouts at the gym.
I want to encourage you to dig deep what are three things that have been haunting your for years and create non-negotiables that you can schedule in your calendar. Remember, that these non-negotiables are legit NON-NEGOTIABLES meaning you must do them.
So, make sure you are taking this exercise seriously!
Step 5: Make It A Reality
Now, it is one thing to write all the task out and another to start to really plan out your year but, let’s be honest it is a whole other thing to place some action behind it. What can you do to hold yourself accountable? What will make sure that you take your deadlines seriously? A mastermind group? Posting all your goals on social media for the world to see? Having a friend as accountability partner? You have to figure out what will work for you and what you will take seriously.
Here are a few tactics I have used to hold myself accountable:
-Join a local mastermind group: to have a group of people know your goals and ask your progress each week.
-Join a challenge that is all about achieving a goal
-Get a coach to empower and hold you accountable
-Ask a friend to check-in monthly with you about your goals
-Write a $1,000 check to your accountability partner and tell them if you do not make your task deadlines they have permission to cash it. (Make sure the check makes you extremely uncomfortable.)
-Write myself weekly progress reports: to see productivity and progress.
The idea is to create a system that makes you uncomfortable because that uncomfort will keep you going and will hold you accountable.
Now, I want to hear from you, what are you 2020 big ticket goals and what are you going to do to hold yourself accountable.