We made it to the start of a new year and that is a blessing! There are many who did not have that privilege. Every moment of every year is a gift and I never take it for granted. With that being said, a new year is an opportunity for new beginnings – new goals. However, before setting new goals for the year ahead, it is always a good idea to assess the goals from the previous year. How did you do? We know that life does not move in a linear direction. Instead, it has peaks and valleys. The peaks give us something to celebrate and bring us joy, while the valleys teach us faith, strength and resilience. So, embrace the peaks and the valleys and know that you are learning and growing with each one.
A new year retrospective is an opportunity to ask yourself some questions. How did you measure up against your goals for last year? What did you learn about yourself in the process? What do you need to do differently in the coming year? With those questions in mind, you can begin your goal setting for the year ahead. What would you like to accomplish this year? What are the steps you need to take to make that happen? I had a teacher in elementary school who used to tell us “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. So, personally, at the start of every year, I sit down and make a list of my goals for the year. In a previous post, I detailed the steps you can take in the goal setting process. Please take some time to read it if you need some help.
Here are a few of the categories that I like to consider when planning for the year ahead:
- Personal – What do you want to achieve for yourself? It could be learning something new, reading a specific book, traveling to a new place, achieving a specific fitness goal. Maybe you plan to spend more time taking care of your mental health or your spiritual health. The possibilities are endless. However, the key is to identify them and write them down with a realistic plan to achieve them.
- Financial – What are your plans for your money? Do you have a specific savings goal? Maybe you would like to earn more or maybe you would like to make a large purchase, like a home, a car or pay for tuition? Maybe you want to pay off some debts. This category is all about how you plan to handle your money.
- Professional – What are the goals you have for your career? Do you want to learn a new skill? Maybe you would like to change jobs or start your own business. What is your desire for your professional life? Maybe you want to do more networking or maybe you want to mentor someone new in your field.
- Relational – Are there relationships in your life that need mending or severing? Maybe you have a plan to take action in this regard in the new year. These are goals that you can write down and plan actionable steps to achieve.
- External – Finally, all the other categories mentioned so far have been internally focused. They are goals that directly impact you and are intended to improve yourself or your life. How about setting goals that are externally focused – set some goals for this new year that will bless others in some way? How can you give of your time or resources to benefit others? Maybe you can tutor children who need extra help? Perhaps you can volunteer at a food bank? Maybe you can donate to a charity that is doing work that you believe in? Opportunities to serve abound. Look around and get creative. You will make a huge difference.
I hope you will take the time to set your goals for the new year ahead and pray that you will achieve them all. Be safe. Be well.
Happy New Year!