Now that Christmas is behind us (I hope you had a wonderful one, by the way), it is time to start looking forward to the next year. This is a time when most of us take some time to reminisce about the year closing and set some goals for the one to come. I began a tradition a few years ago that has come to serve me well. It has given me perspective and assisted me in achieving my goals. I would love to pass this tradition on to you.
Sometime between Christmas and New Year’s, I schedule some time to be by myself. It may only take a few hours and it might require as much as a full day. During this time, I turn off all communication to the outside world. No phone. No Internet. No employees. Not even family. This is time for me alone.
I first take a look at the prior year and assess my progress on my various goals and ambitions. What worked? What didn’t? Why was I able to achieve 100% of some goals, less of others, and none of some? If I am honest with this information, I can use it to assist me in formulating my plan for the coming year.
I set goals in five categories of growth; physical, spiritual, social, financial, and mental. Once those goals are set (and WRITTEN DOWN), I move to the next stage. I like to write what I call an Annual Vision Story™. I date my document December 31 of the next year (so this week, I will write December 31, 2014 at the top of my paper). Each of my goals are then written in paragraph format as if they have already happened.
Let me illustrate. If one of my goals is to lose 20 pounds in 2014, I might say something like, “I am so happy to be 20 pounds lighter this year…” It is written in past tense as if it has already occurred. I make a similar statement with each of my goals. Almost every day of 2014, I will wake up and read this statement to myself. With just a few weeks, it starts to become ingrained in my mindset and begins to physically manifest itself in the way I eat, exercise, and life in general.
This small change has assisted me in achieving many more goals each year than I have otherwise been able to attain. Make sure to set realistic (but stretching) goals. Write them down. Be consistent about reviewing and working on them throughout the year. Make 2014 the best year ever in both your personal and business life.
Now, go create some value!
Dustin Harris is a multi-business owner, but he has found most of his success as a self-employed, residential real estate appraiser. He has been appraising for nearly two decades. He is the owner and President of Appraisal Precision and Consulting Group, Inc., and is a popular author, speaker and consultant. He owns and operates The Appraiser Coach where he personally advises and mentors other appraisers helping them to also run successful appraisal companies and increase their net worth. He and his wife reside in Idaho with their four children.