As we approach the end of the first month of the new year, I want to share a few more tips to help you have your best year ever. You can incorporate as many or as few of these ideas as you want.
1. Set SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Relevant, Timed)
When it comes to goal-setting, the most effective method I’ve found is the SMART method. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic (or Relevant), and Timed. Setting a goal with these aspects in mind will make you more likely to achieve it.
Here’s a quick example of a SMART goal - I will read 22 personal development books by the end of 2023.
When you’ve set a SMART goal (or goals), chunk it down into bite-sized pieces to make it easier to plan. Using the example above, maybe you want to read 60 minutes a day or 50 pages a day to help you reach that goal of 22 books by the end of the year. Setting the daily tasks to reach your goal will make it seem more attainable.
2. Find Your Energy Source
Everyone has something that energizes them. Whether it’s going for a run first thing in the morning or sitting on your porch with a fresh cup of coffee, find that source of energy to keep you going and take time to recharge.
There will be times when just a short break during the day will be enough, but there will also be times when you really need to recharge. Don’t be afraid to take a whole day, a whole week, or however long you need. You can’t run on a dead battery.
PS - Don’t forget to put time into your schedule for taking breaks to help you prioritize it. It’s all too easy to push your break time aside, but resist the temptation!
3. Celebrate Small Victories and Milestone Achievements
As you work toward your goals, remember to take time to celebrate how far you’ve already come. Since we talked about chunking down your goals in the first tip, you’ll have easy markers along your path to see your progress.
Celebrating your victories and milestones along the way will help keep you motivated to continue pushing forward. And if you’re in a leadership position, don't forget to celebrate with your team as you reach your goals together.
4. Create Efficiencies with Processes, Not People
Trying to create more free time for yourself this year? Find ways to be more efficient in your processes, instead of removing people from your life or trying to control the actions of others.
Seek ways to eliminate unnecessary steps/meetings or repetitive activities. There are numerous tools out there for you to automate some of your work or make it easier. As you think about what takes up your time, look at what could be eliminated or pared down.
5. Find Relationship Building Time
This goes hand in hand with tip #4. When you have freed up extra time in your life by creating more efficient processes, you can use that newfound time to build relationships.
This can be relationships with your team at work, your romantic relationships, family relationships, or friendships. At the end of the day, you’ll fondly remember the time spent with others more than the work you did. Prioritize time for those important relationships in your life to start living to the fullest.
6. Do At Least One New Thing Every Month
If you want to make growth a priority, then trying new things on a regular basis is one of the best ways to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Innovation and creativity will never happen if you keep doing the same old thing.
Whether you try a new restaurant or go skydiving, find something that you enjoy and inspires you. If you need some ideas, check out our blog post - 30 Ways to Get Outside Your Comfort Zone.
7. Declutter and Get Organized
Let’s face it, it’s hard to focus when there are piles of laundry to be folded, mail to sort, or toys scattered across the house. It may not be fun to declutter and organize the house, but it will do wonders for your concentration to have a clean space to work.
Keeping on top of your clutter will help free up mental space. You can focus on tasks you really want to work on rather than be distracted by thinking of the chores that need to be done.
8. Learn Something New Every Day
Part of having a growth mindset is being open to learning new things. Nourish your mind with something new every day.
It could be something you learn through self-reflection, while talking to others, from reading a book or article, listening to a podcast, or by visiting a somewhere new. There are infinite ways to learn!
9. Work from Your Values and Passion Zone
If you want to make your work meaningful or get more motivated, make sure your tasks align with your values. When you’re clear on what your values are and what you’re passionate about, you’ll be inspired to work hard. Working within your values will bring out your best.
10. Find a Planner that Works for You
This last tip is simple, but powerful. Having a planner will help keep you organized and use your time effectively. Take a little bit of time to find a planning system that works for you and your needs. If you can’t find one, create one!
Whether you prefer a traditional paper planner, a calendar app, or an online tool, there are plenty of options to choose from!
Whatever you choose to focus on this year, make it intentional. Don’t let your life just happen to you. You’re in charge, so make this year what you want it to be!
I’ll be right here, cheering you on as your reach your goals and create the life you want to live!