Whether you are lucky enough to have some spare time this holiday or you are working to make Christmas special for others, you should ensure that you reflect on the past year and plan for the year ahead.
This, my friends, is time to reflect and improve your life in a significant way! Don’t hold back on your dreams. As Michelangelo once said:
The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.
This is how you spend the festive season reflecting and preparing your mind for the year ahead…
Year in review
As the old adage goes – “don’t dwell on the past, because the past cannot be changed.”
It’s true, if you agonise over past mistakes then you are likely to cause yourself unnecessary stress and worry. However, if you ask yourself good quality questions, you can boost your self-confidence and motivation for the year ahead.
Tony Robbins is a major advocate of asking good quality questions and it’s easy to find some exceptional advice from him on YouTube:
Just consider the following two questions…
1) …………. did you …………. in the last year that you are really proud of, or would never forget?
2) …………. did you wish you had …………. in the last year?
The first space should include interrogative words… What, where, who, etc.
The second space just follows on from the first, for example:
- What did you achieve last year that you are really proud of? – When you consider what you have done well, what you are proud of or what you really enjoyed, your mind will automatically become more positive, excited and put you in the right mindset for further review. You will also feel a boost in self-confidence, which will motivate you to achieve your goals for the coming year.
- What did you wish you had achieved? – Notice how this question is framed. It is not “what did you fail at?” it is not “what mistakes did you make?” It is framed in a way that makes you dream and that leads again to positive emotions.
Try answering some of the questions listed below and also add your own. Please share your most powerful questions in the comments box at the bottom of this article so we can all benefit from your contributions! We are here to improve together!
- What did you do last year that you will never forget?
- What do you wish you had done in the last year?
- Who did you meet in the last year that you will never forget?
- Who did you wish you had met in the last year?
- Where did you go in the last year that you will never forget?
- Where did you wish you had gone last year?
Filling in the blanks and answering these two questions makes it really easy to plan your goals for the year ahead. To live a happier, healthier life, you simply do (or do more of) those things that you are proud of, that you will never forget and that you wish you had done!
To make sure you are absolutely clear about what you want to achieve for the year ahead and to maintain your focus, creating a plan is essential. Here’s how you do it…
Plan goals for year ahead
Once you have reviewed the year that has passed, planning for the year ahead becomes really simple – you take all of the answers from your annual review and you add one more question:
When asking yourself this additional question, it is a good idea to include all of the categories covered by Tim Ferriss’ “Dreamlining” strategy in his book “The Four Hour Work Week”
- What do I want to have?
- What do I want to do?
- What do I want to be?
For those of you who are unaware of Tim’s work, please take a look. He is excellent at making the most significant goals achievable and provides some great insights into saving time and improving your life. You can find some of his books here.
Dreamlining provides you with a summary of what you want in the next year. Now all you need to do is add detail.
To make sure you are specific enough you should follow the “SMART” method for goal setting:
There are tons of resources on the internet about “SMART” goals but there is an especially good template provided by the HR department of the University of Virginia here.
To clarify the level of specificity needed please consider the following example…
Before he became famous, Jim Carey visualised, with clarity, his future. He wrote himself a $10m cheque, for acting services rendered and gave himself 5 years to achieve it! Now that is SMART!
Another great technique regarding visualisation is provided by Dr. Wayne Dyer, who explains what you should do 5 minutes before bed every night in order to stay motivated and attract achievements. Take a look at his video here:
For making sure you have really well established, water tight, goals please use the advice above. This will allow you to have a clear written target. All you need now is to put it into action. Here’s how…
Goals are only achieved through action. Again, Tony Robbins is a key figure in promoting the significance of taking action. Some of his thoughts can be found here: www.tonyrobbins.com
There is also a great book written by Gregg Krech called ‘The Art of Taking Action’ which provides a great guide, drawing on all sorts of Eastern philosophies, to ensure you get done what truly “should be done.” But as the books description reveals, this ‘isn’t just another how to get things done book. It’s about how you do what you do, and the impact that your action (and inaction) has on the world.’
The festive season provides you with a “testing period” to find the best methods to achieve your goals before you really hit the ground running at the start of the new year. Testing works, no doubt… How do you think the human race have made so many scientific and technological breakthroughs?
Most business leaders begin by testing their product within a certain market to see if there is traction. Test with little or no risk! This is the approach adopted by Richard Branson when he is looking to start a business. If it is good enough for Richard Branson in business, then is should be good enough for you in your life. There is a good related story in Branson’s book ‘Losing My Virginity’ which explains how he started Virgin Airlines, it’s well worth a read!
Once you have tested a few methods to see what works best for you; for example: exercising early in the morning or late in the evening, meditating during the day or before bed, practicing an instrument for 15 minutes per day or 30 minutes every two days, it is time to form habits…
Habits do not have to be overly strenuous but they need to be consistent to ensure that you are moving towards your goal.
Chade-Meng Tan makes an excellent point in his book ‘Joy on Demand: The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within’ that committing to one small task per day, like a mindful breath, creates momentum and the intention to improve yourself.
Once you create good habits your body, mind and spirit will automatically take you towards the destination you are planning. A great read on this is ‘The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business’ by Charles Duhigg.
Duhigg looks into the science behind habits and provides examples ranging from Olympic athletes, to business moguls, to civil-rights heroes and even hospitals, outlining the difference between failure and success, life and death.
So, you have reviewed your past year, planned specifically for the year ahead and have trialled habit forming rituals. Now you need drive consistency in your actions, motivations and mindset by conducting self-reviews…
Reviewing and Mindset
Consistent review and motivation ensures that you take your goals seriously and sets you on the path to achieving a happier and healthier life.
Choose a time during the week to review you progress, update your goals and reflect on your achievements consistently.
This only needs to be a small amount of time per week! And don’t be discouraged if you are not seeing immediate results, the development curve is steep once it starts to rise.
Just think back to when you learned a skill; for example, riding a bike, driving a car, playing an instrument, walking, etc. No-one mastered it immediately, it takes time, patience and lots of practice.
As they say…
If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it!
Mindset and visualisation is key for motivation. Just as outlined in example of Jim Carey, mentioned above, if you want it enough and you can visualise it clearly enough, the only thing that can stop you is you! The power of this technique is not just limited to the Jim Carrey instance; there is a whole suite of resources and examples linked to ‘the power of attraction.’
If you are interested in this topic, consider reading ‘”The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne and watching this YouTube video:
Another clear example of how powerful visualisation can be found in an interview with Conor McGregor when he became UFC featherweight champion. His words: “I dreamt this so much, so clearly, so precisely and so frequently that it has manifested itself into reality.” See the interview here:
If you need further references and information about motivation, you will find lots of applicable content in the on our website and across all of our social media channels.
Also, please share your motivational tips with us in the comment box below and on social media.
We are always looking for new ideas and would love to hear them!
Spend some time over Christmas reviewing the year that has passed, planning for the year ahead and making sure that you are motivated to take action to achieve your goals.
Step 1 – Review
Ask good questions.
Step 2 – Set goals
Make sure your goals are SMART.
Step 3 – Take action
Experiment with approaches, methods, techniques and tactics until you find something that works for you and then turn them into good habits.
Step 4 – Review and motivation
Review regularly to determine your progress, keep you on track and boost your motivation. Also use the tools governed by the power of attraction and motivational content shared by My Home Vitality to propel you forward.
After all, alone we can do so little but together we can do so much.