The New Year is a great time to look back at life and learn from our past to improve our future. Every year during the first week of January, I take a couple of hours off to plan my year and set goals and things I would like to accomplish and do during the year. I must confess when I look back at the end of the year, many times my year has gone completely different from what I planned, but at least I managed to do some of the things that I had planned. There’s a famous saying that goes, “Aim for the sky, at least you’ll reach the tree top. Aim for nothing and you’ll surely hit it!”
Here are 3 steps to help you start:
List down the different areas of your life that you are involved in. Arrange it in the priority you think it deserves. Now look back at your previous year, have you given your top 3 things your greatest amount of time, energy and mind space or have the things lower down on your list got it? For me, my priority list is: God, my husband, my kids, work, friends, hobbies. But many times my work gets way more of my mindspace than my kids, and I constantly have to remind myself of my priorities.
Based on your list of priorities, set goals that you want to achieve for each of those areas. You can make them as specific or as general as your want. When making goals for your children, remember to not just think about physical or intellectual goals such as ‘Joel to learn swimming’ or ‘Anaiya to be able to learn her tables well’ but think of character goals, which only you as a parent can help them with. Eg. ‘Help Anaiya to be less rude and more polite to people’, or ‘Help Joel to develop a strong conscience with regards to telling the truth.’
Once your goals have been set, start preparing specific things you will do in order to help you achieve what you have planned. For example, if you have planned to spend more time with your children, decide when you will do it and note it down in your diary. For example, every evening from 4:00 – 5:30 pm, I’ll take the kids down and play with them, or Saturday evenings will be family game time, etc.
Regularly look through your goals and keep reminding yourself of what you have planned to do. Normally, after I do my goal setting, my husband and I do a coffee together and I share with him what I’ve decided and he shares with me what his goals are, and then together we make some more goals or tweak our own goals. This then helps us get on the same page and is a great way to be accountable to someone else with regards to your goals.