With the advent of a new year upon us, how we plan our year ahead can be a game changer. Facing a new year often has us focused on feeling clear about our purpose and how we want to spend the next 365.
Whether you are a CEO, the mail guy, or simply trying to figure out what you are "supposed" to be doing, planning ahead helps us to achieve our highest level of clarity and success.
Planning ahead is important for two reasons -- first, it allows us to stop putting out fires and get focused on the tasks we need to accomplish in order to achieve our goals.
When I first started my business, I wasn't sure what I was supposed to be doing therefore I tried to do ALL of it at once, ALL the time, just so I didn't miss a step. I felt like I was running around putting out fires. Addressing each new task (or new bright shiny idea) as it was thrown to me. If I saw other coaches launching a new years offering, I scrambled to think that I needed to do the same. I felt chaotic, overwhelmed, and beginning to burn out.
The second reason that planning ahead is important is because having clarity about our purpose gives us the power and confidence to live life on our own terms. We are able to have the impact we desire, the career we want, and most importantly the lifestyle that fuels our soul.
Once I realized that each year could be exactly what I wanted it to be, I felt more empowered in making the best choices and decisions for my career and path ahead. I felt more confident in asking for what I wanted and took massive action in getting what I wanted out of life.
Here's the thing, being "busy" and "overwhelmed" in your life (and business) isn't a badge of honor. It just sucks.
Although it can feel like we need a crystal ball to plan in advance, the truth is that when we decide how we want to feel in the year ahead, we can have tremendous success in our careers and lives.
As the author and modern day philosopher, Danielle LaPorte said, "Planning your day turns into living your life."
6 Tips to The Best Year Yet:
1. Put The Brakes On: You, my friend, need to start at the beginning. I know that as ambitious women, once we read the first chapter, we want to skip to the end of the book-not so fast. Do yourself a favor and enjoy the journey. We've got 12 months to prepare for, give yourself a little time to plan accordingly.
2. What's Your Why?: When you think about the year ahead, what do you want to accomplish? Surprisingly, what's more important than the actual accomplishment? Knowing WHY you want to achieve your goals. Our WHY is our fuel and without the fuel, we won't make it very far.
3. Learn What You Want: One of the biggest mistakes I often hear my clients saying, "I just want to make a lot of money," "I just want to feel good." I can help you with those things but first we need get some clarity around what will make you happy, healthy, and feel successful. Instead of feeling overwhelmed to "figure it all out," break your life down into manageable areas then decide what you want from there (i.e. Self-Care, Family, Friends, Finances, Career, Spirituality)
4. Think About It: It can be a Tesla or getting a promotion but if we aren't clear about what we want to experience or achieve in our year ahead, it's highly unlikely that we'll actually check that box on our list. As Ralph Waldo Emerson kindly pointed out, "We become what we think about all day long." He wasn't messing around. We need to get clear about what we want and then keep it on top of our mind (all day long).
5. Don't Forget the Supporting Cast: We all know that your "big goal" is the star of the show but did you know that we actually get more done when we pay attention to the details. If we want to run a 5k? It's more than just lacing up our shoes. The success of achieving our goal is in the details-getting enough sleep, eating right, making time for runs, etc.
6. Forget Going It Alone: According to a Dominican University of California research study conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews, we are 76% more likely to achieve our goals by holding ourselves accountable to someone than "going it alone." This isn't too surprising-how often do we set a goal then fail to meet our mark? We are less likely to let down a friend or coach than ourselves.