It is January 1st. I create a copy of my 2023 goals, rename it to 2024, and start to evaluate my plan. I evaluate each of the categories: Career, Relationships, House, Finances, Health, Travel, Books/Seminars and Firsts. The color of the font had already changed from black to green for the goals I had completed this past year.

Looking at the green achievements for a moment. I think about all I had accomplished. It had been a big year. I had finally published my book. My husband and I had installed the SafeRacks overhead garage storage this year. We had traveled to Colorado, Mexico, Tennessee, and San Antonio. I looked at the names of the people I had met and the books I had read. The money we had saved or invested and at my workout accomplishments make me smile. I laughed as I looked at my list of firsts, including FINALY using the bread maker we had received as a wedding gift three years ago. 

New Year’s Plan 

Now it was time. It was time to look at what was still written in black and decide whether to keep, change, or discard my unaccomplished goals from 2023. I evaluated the written words as well as the pictures I had copied and pasted into each category. Beginning with Career, I thought about what I would like for it to look like by the end of 2024. Then I thought about the type of people I wanted to meet and organizations I wanted to get involved in. I thought about my financial goals and how much my husband and I wanted to save, invest, and donate in 2024.

This process continues for the Health, Travel, Books/Seminars, and Firsts categories. I added pictures underneath the written goals where it seemed appropriate. How exciting! I could feel the energy of the words and pictures, relishing all the living I’d be doing over this next year. Once it was completed, I took a look at the last category: My Why. This, it seemed, had not changed. I still wanted to use my gifts and talents to empower women.

I was satisfied. 2024 was going to be a great year!

What I just shared is the annual goal-setting process I have followed for just over a decade. 

Setting Goals

I love setting goals. There is data to support the idea that writing down goals increases the likelihood of achieving them. In fact, there are many great quotes about goal-setting including, “Shoot for the moon, and if you miss, you’ll still land among the stars.” Since 2013, I have set, achieved, evaluated, and discarded goals, and I have the documentation to prove it. I think that this is one of the many missing steps in goal-setting: the ability to look back on what you have accomplished instead of only focusing on what you haven’t. 

Bill Gates says, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” Do you have a record of all you have accomplished in the last decade? How amazing you have been? How many people you have helped? 

I do.

Creating a Mindful and Purposeful Life

How are you being purposeful and mindful about the life you are creating? Are you proactive? Are you taking charge of your life or letting life happen to you?

I embrace the words of Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.” Do you have a plan? Not just dreams or wishes or goals, but a plan?

There is another saying that completely changed my life, “Instead of planning your next vacation, plan a life you don’t need to take a vacation from.” When I first heard that, it blew my mind. What do you mean, plan a life I don’t need a vacation from? Was that really possible? Was it possible to live a dream life, year-round, instead of just one or two weeks a year?

Yes! Absolutely yes!

But it takes planning. It takes a proactive approach. 

Charlie Tremendous Jones says, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” Are you being proactive in choosing the books you read and the people you meet? 

I am. I have been for 10 years now.

Find Your Process

There may be better processes than mine, but I have found mine to be quite effective. Regardless of your process, I encourage you to create a system for goal planning and achievement. As you do, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does my process allow me to document my goals for the next year?
  • Does it divide those goals into categories so I can create a well-rounded vision for my dream life?
  • Does it allow me to recognize, celebrate, and look back upon my past achievements?
  • Am I writing down and evaluating “My Why”? Do I know my purpose?
  • Do I have the ability to add pictures? Can I incorporate a vision board into my goals?
  • Does this excite me? Do I feel energized and enthusiastic as I plan my dream life?

If you plan for success, you will create success.

You can create your dream life.

Wishing you the best year yet!

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