As we enter a new year and look forward to 2023 and what we hope to achieve in the year ahead, there will be a lot spoken about planning for the next year, and whilst this is the perfect time to plan for the year ahead it is just as important to reflect on the past 12 months, our successes and or challenges and use these lessons to shape our focus and goals for the year ahead.
I want to share with you an approach I have used for a number of years which is by far the most effective way of planning for a successful year ahead and it is as much about reviewing the previous year as it is about planning for the year ahead.
I want to break this down into five main areas of thinking, what’s gone well? what challenges have you faced? what are your goals for the year ahead? what actions do you need to take to achieve these goals? and what challenges are you likely to face to achieve these?
To make this really effective you need the following
A quiet space
Around 30 – 60 minutes of uninterrupted time
Complete honesty on your part
So let’s start by looking at this year’s successes and what’s gone well, ask yourself the following questions
What’s gone well this year?
Why has this gone well and what actions have shaped this outcome?
What could you have done differently to make this an even more productive outcome?
Then let’s look at the challenges we have faced this year and ask yourself the following questions
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced this year?
Why has this been a challenge, what actions have shaped this outcome?
What could we have done differently to overcome this challenge?
So now let’s turn our attention to the year ahead, so many people set goals and make plans for the year ahead but rarely use the lessons of the previous year to shape a different set of outcomes, after all as the saying goes the definition of insanity is to continue to do the same things as you have always done and expect a different outcome.
The key to setting goals that will make a positive impact on the year ahead is to learn the lessons from the previous year and use these lessons from this year to shape our goals for the year ahead, so let’s look towards the year ahead.
What are your goals for the year ahead?
Most people get a bit carried away with this and whilst there is no set rule to this I always find that less is more so try and set roughly 5 goals.
What specific actions do you need to take to achieve these goals?
This is critical to giving yourself the best possible chance of achieving your goals, along with discipline, focus will be critical to achieving your goals and linking your goals to focused action will dramatically increase your chances of achieving them, but be realistic and make sure the actions that you set will be able to have a direct impact and influence on aching these goals
What challenges are you likely to face to achieve these?
This is the game changer as far as I am concerned because goal setting is usually focused on the positives and full of optimism, all of which are massively important, however rarely do we consider the potential challenges or obstacles we will face in our quest to achieve these goals and as a result, this can be the big de-railer in achieving our goals, the lack of anticipation or preparation in overcoming these challenges, by planning not only that there will be challenges but also how we will overcome them puts us in a far stronger position to achieve our goals.
Until next time have a wonderful Christmas and here’s to a successful new year