As we approach a new year I think it’s  a natural tendency to give some thought to what we want to accomplish over the course of this year. That’s why I thought this would be the perfect post to kick off the new year. Before we get started, let’s do a few things.

I want you to abandon the term new year’s resolutions because resolutions suck. We’ve made new year’s resolutions and not followed through on them for so long that we’re conditioned to associate not following through with the term. So instead when you make this list I want you to call it your How I’m going to make this the best year of my Life list. Besides I think that’s a hell of a lot more exciting than resolutions.  Now that you’ve got that down, let’s rock and roll.  Before we finished the year, we took a long drawn out look back at last year. While I think it was a good year, I’m determined to make this year much better. There were areas of my life I wasn’t satisfied with and this new year is an opportunity to address those areas.

Invest In Yourself

One of the best things you can do to start this year is invest in yourself. Whether it’s going through some sort of personal development program or signing up for a coaching program of some sort, I recommend you make some sort of investment in yourself to kick off the year. If you do it this month, you’ll have over 11 months to really incorporate everything you’ve learned into your life. I’m attending the Landmark Forum next weekend and that’s going to be my investment in myself for this year. If you are limited financially, even something as simple as a book you haven’t read can serve as an investment in yourself.

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The 2 Key Elements of Every Goal

I like to break up goals into two parts: The Goal (strategic) and the How To and To Do’s(tactical). If we’re only strategic it’s kind of like jumping out of a plane without a parachute. It’s exciting but it’s not going to do much good. You might be tempted to make a massive list of goals. I want to recommend that you don’t do that. When you make a massive list, it’s going to be really hard to hit momentum on any one of your goals because your effort is going to be scattered across too many goals to make any noteworthy progress. Therefore I recommend you pick between 3-5 goals that are the most important to you. This will actually increase the likelihood of achieving your goal much faster than you had planned to.If you want to break them up into categories, I’d recommend career, finance, health, and relationships.  Then you can add new goals to your list since this is not the only time this year you’ll be working on your goals.

The Only Things You need to Focus On

The other day I was listening to an interview with Alexis Martin Neely. If you don’t subscribe to her blog, I really recommend it. She’s one of the smartest people you’ll ever come across in the blogosphere. In the interview she said something about goals that really stood out to me and also put my mind at rest about getting to my end result. She said that all you need to worry about when moving towards a goal is what you need to do today and what you need to do tomorrow.  Most of us get so caught up in the glitz and glamour of the end result that we don’t do the small things that will eventually get us there. So, as you’re reviewing these goals, ask yourself everyday:

  1. What can I do today?
  2. What can I plan to do tomorrow?
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Then write it down and do it. Remember, that it happens one brick at a time.

Additional Tips in 140 Characters or Less:

Stop giving a damn about what other people are doing. Just follow your own path and have fun doing it (@jadecraven)

A good tip to help make new year resolutions stick is to know thyself & stop being delusional. It’s delusion that gets in the way! (@financialsamura)

here’s one… it’s a quote by ralph waldo emerson: “Always do what you fear.” (@ryangoesabroad)

Do what you fear the most. Accomplish that and everything else will be cake. (@1yearsabbatical)

Build a practice around your passions!(@prolificliving)

Make the choice to do something that makes you happy every single day. It doesn’t make you a bad or selfish person. (@missbritt)

Live your life the way YOU want to, NOT according to how people expect you to live your life. (@superbadIM)

“embrace discomfort. In fact, seek it out.” (@vicdorfman)

Treat this new year as the last one of your life. What would you do if you didn’t have time to make excuses or put things off. (@ayngelina)

My Goals

  • Become a top Notch Speaker (career): This is a high priority for me this year and fortunately I’m scheduled to speak at my first conference in March. However, plan to join toastmasters and look for any opportunity I can to speak prior to the conference. That way I’ll be very polished by the time I get to the conference.
  • Have a more Active social Life: I’m not anti-social (far from it), but as I’ve grown older and many of my friends are getting married, having kids, and our lives are  changing. I’m setting a goal to meet more new people over the course of this year and expand my network of friends. How is this going to happen? Again, I don’t have a clue. But the start is going to be my every 3rd saturday project where I invite all of my friends to a local bar or restaurant every 3rd saturday of the month. I’m not satisfied with seeing my friends on just birthdays, so hopefully this will be a catalyst to a better social life.
  • Take a surf Trip (Travel/Personal): Whether or not my sabbatical happens I’m going to take a surf trip this year. I spent most of last year getting back on my feet and limited my expenditure on practically everything. This year I plan to set aside a bit of time and money for travel. Costa Rica is looking like a promising destination at the moment.

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