Can you remember a time when you set a few flimsy New Year’s resolutions and forgot about them a week later? I know I can.
This time of year can be such a powerful opportunity: a chance to learn from the past, be grateful for the present, and create your future. Don’t squander this time by allowing yourself to continue running on the same hamster wheel, achieving the same results, and feeling the same way.
This simple but effective 6.5 step process will leave you clear on what you’re leaving behind in the past year, what you’re carrying forward, and your goals for the New Year. Let’s dive in.
Step 1: Inventory of the Past – Highs, Lows, and Lessons
“Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it” – George Santayana
Schedule 1 – 2 hours for this whole 6.5 step process, and bring any journals or calendars that will help you remember the past year. Once you have your materials, start with three deep breaths to centre yourself.
As you become more present, imagine a time machine in front of you. Step into the machine and set the dial for January 1, 2021 (at the time of writing, one year in the past). As the machine lifts you up into the air, see yourself going backwards through time. The leaves are going back on trees, the weather is hot, the flowers spring and then hide, until you find yourself in the winter of 2021. What do you see? How are you feeling? What are some of the best moments from January – March? What are the lows? What are 1 – 3 lessons you can learn from this quarter?
Set a timer and give yourself 5 – 10 minutes to journal on these questions. Then repeat for April – June, July – September, and October – December, the 4 quarters of the year.
Step 2: Refinement
Once you have a solid overview of 2021, it’s time to get more granular. Answer the following three questions:
- How did life NOT turn out the way I expected last year? What did I learn about myself?
- What is one of the worst decision I made last year?
- What am I leaving behind this year? (ie. Negative self-talk, the belief that money and spirituality cannot co-exist, procrastination)
Step 3: Momentum
Now that you are aware of what you’re leaving behind, it’s time to focus on what you’re bringing into 2022. Answer the following three questions:
- What was the funniest moment of my year, one that still makes it hard not to burst out laughing when I think about it?
- What is one of the smartest decisions I made last year?
- What am I taking with me this year? (ie. Investing in myself, saying no to energy vampires, waking up early)
Step 4: The Big 12 – Inventory of the Present
While these categories don’t cover every aspect of your life, it probably comes close. Listen to your intuition for this step. Rate yourself out of 10 on each category (10 being that you crushed this area of your life).
2. Love Relationships
5. Career Success
10. Personal Growth
12. Financial Well Being
Once you’ve rated yourself, choose 3 – 4 categories that stand out to you, regardless of whether you rated yourself low or high. Write a few sentences as to why you rated yourself the way you did, and a few ideas that might improve that score (if necessary).
Step 5: Future Self Journaling
This is where the fun begins. Now that you have a solid grasp on 2021, it’s time to create your vision for 2022.
Close your eyes and re-centre yourself with three deep breaths. Visualize yourself getting back in the time machine but this time, set the date for Dec. 31, 2022, exactly one year from now. Imagine you step out of the time machine and into a coffee date with your best friend. They ask you how your year has been, and you begin to describe how amazing 2022 was, and how it was 10x better than you ever thought possible.
In that visualization, what do you tell that friend? Where did you travel to, how is your bank account looking, how are your relationships with friends, family, and companions? How do you feel day to day, what have you learned, who have you become?
Whatever comes to mind, write it out as if you’re writing it on Dec. 31, 2022. For example:
“Dear diary, it’s new year’s eve 2022 and I’m so grateful for this year. I have a beautiful Tesla in my car garage and my business did over $1 million in revenue this year. My body feels strong and I like the way it looks in the mirror. The vacation to Spain was insane, and I’m so grateful I was able to go with my best friend…”
This vision should make you feel incredibly excited. It should feel big and make you feel a little scared. Don’t let that stop you from writing it out. The biggest mistake you can make here is letting your analytical brain get in the way. In other words, focusing too much on the HOW instead of the WHAT.
“Well HOW am I going to afford a Tesla? My business only did $X, HOW am I going to get to $1 million? I can barely do 3 pushups, HOW am I going to get strong?”
While I can’t tell you how you’re exactly going to achieve those things, I can 100% guarantee that not setting the goal in the first place because you’re overthinking the how will ensure you don’t achieving the results you want.
Step 6: Create The Plan
Now that you have created an exciting vision for your future, it’s time to break it down into steps. Read over your vision and extract all the measurable outcomes you want to achieve by the end of 2022 ie. purchasing a Tesla, doing a million in revenue, travelling to Spain. Put these in your Q4 column. Underneath it, imagine and write what it would feel like to achieve those goals.
By end of Q4 – Purchase Tesla, $1 million in revenue, bench press 225 lb. I feel abundant, confident, strong, grateful.
Now work backwards. What building block goals do you need to achieve in Q3, Q2, and Q1 to achieve your end goals?
By end of Q3 – Have $40k set aside in “Tesla fund,” expand business to 3 cities, bench press 185 three sets x eight reps
By end of Q2 – Have $15k set aside in “Tesla fund,” finish SOPs to ensure smooth expansion, complete shoulder mobility workout 3x / week
By end of Q1 – Create financial plan, hire marketing coordinator to free up more time for thinking bigger, work with personal trainer 2x / week
It’s important to be mindful that this plan will likely not go 100% as planned. Growth is not linear, and you’ll have to be adaptable (like when a global pandemic happens). However, creating this plan will give you a framework for HOW you’re going to achieve those goals and give you more confidence in yourself.
Step 6.5: Re-Read the Plan
If you finish steps 1 – 6, give yourself a pat on the back, and then go on living your life as usual, you will have wasted 2 hours. Do yourself a favour and put these big goals and your plan to achieve them somewhere you’ll see them every day (whiteboard, journal beside bed, notes in your shower).
Start your day by reviewing the goals and let yourself feel all the emotions you imagined you’d feel if you achieved them. Feel the excitement and confidence pour through your body as you envision yourself riding around in a Tesla knowing your business did $1 million dollars. Feel the warmth and love as you envision yourself checking in on close friends and going on adventures with a loved one. Let this energy push you to take action towards your dreams.
So what do you think of this 6.5 step plan? What did you learn about yourself? Did any of your answers surprise you? Please comment or message me with any of your key takeaways or questions.
I know that after I did this exercise, I felt a wave of momentum, energy, and excitement for 2022. I plan on using that energy to crush 2022 from the very get go, and I hope you do the same.
Thanks for reading.
P.S. If you’d like more clarity on your WHAT or HOW, that’s exactly what Evolve Advising is in the business of doing. We can help you further realize what you truly care about, then help you create a plan to get there. Apply for a free advising session here.