Let’s face it. For most of us, 2016 has been a tough year and one many of us would like to soon forget. The economy has sputtered for some industries. We have experienced a constant barrage of terrorist threats and events globally. The US presidential election was one of most divisive and bitter battles in the history of the nation. We lost many of our beloved theater, movie and music greats. Plus, there were the daily struggles that we all deal with…money, health, and family. It’s easy to get lost in despair and dread as we head into an uncertain new year.
As I’m looking to 2017, it is clear to me that none of the world’s ills are in my control. I know that I must get myself grounded and focused on what I can control for myself, my family and my business. Here are several steps I’ve taken this week to center my thoughts on the impact I can make.
Take stock of accomplishments over the past 12 months.
There is no doubt that 2016 was a tough year. But, all was not lost. I overcame several obstacles and achieved goals I had been working toward for years. Write your successes down and analyze what worked. Figure out how you overcame obstacles and pat yourself on the back. Tell everyone you know how good it feels to achieve goals you’ve worked so hard to complete.
Create a list of things that failed.
Let’s face it. Writing a list of the things that failed is not as enjoyable as writing your successes. Your list of failures can provide value if you are honest with yourself about where you went wrong. I have a simple process for managing mistakes.
Identify failures + Learn from them + LET THEM GO = Progress
That’s right. Learn from your mistakes and let those vile beasts go. I’ve seen more than a few people destroyed as a result of berating themselves because of mistakes. Just let it go and move on.
Decide what your focus will be for 2017.
I’m not talking about New Year’s resolutions. How many people actually are successful with these annual resolutions? According to Statistic Brain, only 8% of people who make them actually succeed in accomplishing them. Instead, I’m referring to understanding how you want to approach the new year. In 2017 I will focus on minimalism. I want to clear out the clutter that is robbing me of energy and time both physically and professionally. What about you? Maybe you are going to focus on being more organized or taking better care of yourself. Regardless of what it is, decide how you want to approach the new year and commit to staying focused.
Write down goals for 2017 and begin tracking your monthly progress.
Developing goals and committing to achieve them is important. As I mentioned before, taking a minimalist approach to everything in my life is my focus for the year. My personal goals include downsizing my belongings, resolving issues that cause me stress, and continuing to improve my health. For each of these three key areas I’ve created actionable, measurable and achievable goals. I will keep myself accountable by checking in monthly on my progress. If I’m failing in achieving any of my goals, I will work to understand why, learn from it and keep moving forward.
As the year winds down, it’s important to take stock of the good and the bad. Bask in the glow of all the good and take credit where credit is due. Understand the bad, learn from it and let it go. 2017 holds many unknowns but we have the power to control what we do with each of the 365 days ahead. Set yourself up for success by creating a plan.