For many people, attention to what they want to accomplish in the new year begins around the 30th December. The end of year festivities are drawing to a close, the new working week is fast approaching and the realisation that a new year is about to start hits them. It’s then a panic to think about what New Years resolutions if any, they should have.
Part of the reason so many New Year’s resolutions fail is that they are often decided in a rush without much thought, and there’s no real commitment to them. The “what” might be there, but the “why” and the “how” are missing.
This is why October is a great time to begin thinking about what you want to accomplish in the new year (new decade this year). The three months gives you time to think, time to flesh out ideas and time to plan what you would need to do to make those changes happen and goals achieved.
The way I do it is start October with four questions. These are:
What would I like to change about myself?
This question is centred around you and your daily habits. Do you smoke or drink a little too much? Are you overweight? Do you lose your temper too quickly, or view life a little negatively?
Go as deep as you can with these because what you want to be is completely honest with yourself. There is going to be something you want to change about yourself and you may have to dig very deep to find it. Maybe you need to talk with the people who are closest to you to see what their perspective is. That’s why giving yourself three months to go through these questions helps you discover the things you want to change.
What would I like to change about my lifestyle?
There are likely to be things about the way you live your life you would like to change too. You may have been thinking about moving house, but never done anything about it. You may not like that you spend every weekend sat at home watching TV dramas all day and want to start doing a hobby or exploring the countryside.
Think about how you live your life today and what you would like to change, improve or add so the quality of your life improves and you start to feel more fulfilled.
What would I like to change about the way I work?
There are far too many people stuck in jobs and careers that bring them no joy. Too many people wake up on a Monday morning with dread about the week ahead. If that is you, you need to think about the career you are in and what you would like to change what you do today.
It’s never too late to change careers. It’s never too late to apply for a new position within your company or ask to work from home on some days per week.
This question is designed to get you to think about how you would like to work, where you would like to work and what you would like to be doing in the future.
What can I do to challenge myself?
Finally, how can you challenge yourself next year? As we get older it is easy to settle down into a pattern. One that becomes automatic. This does not aid our growth and contributes to our decline. Instead, find a few things that would stretch you physically, financially, mentally and spiritually.
This year, I chose to do something about my fear of medical procedures and have surgery to fix a hernia I have had for the last eight years or so. It’s scary, but at the same time liberating to know that I can go through surgery — albeit minor surgery — in the future I will no longer have fears of going to see a doctor.
There are also two further questions to ask:
What can I do from my bucket list next year?
Most people have a bucket list either written down or in their head. The problem is that bucket list usually stays there and nothing ever gets done to make any of the things on that list happen. During your thinking process over the next three months have a look at that list and pick two or three things you would like to have a go at doing next year.
By doing something from your bucket list every year you will always have something to strive for and look forward to.
What goals will I have next year?
If you are reading this blog you are likely the kind of person who sets goals. Having a few goals to attack each year helps you to grow, gives you a challenge and contributes to a sense of fulfilment. These could be to run a full course marathon, to lose 20 pounds in weight, to take part in the Tough Mudder race or get the promotion you have wanted for a while.
When you give yourself time to think about these questions you are much more likely to come up with a plan that will motivate and inspire you to push yourself to improve, grow and be challenged. When you have these part included in your life you will feel a lot happier, fulfilled and complete.
You can download a FREE PDF worksheet with these questions from my download centre and if you want to learn how to set and achieve your goals I have reduced my Ultimate Goal Planning course to $49.99. This course will take you through the process of discovering your goals and turning them into achievable daily actions. October is a fantastic time to take this course.
You can also watch a video I did on this using a template in Evernote.
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