I perform my Annual Performance Review every 12/26 through 01/02. I typically take from 12/21/-01/03 off every year and spend the first part with family, the latter half with my bride and we plan our best year ever, every year!
We Reflect, Stay Positive, Be Grateful, Exercise, Seek Minimalism, Set Goals That Excite Us, Design Pathway To Accomplishment, Prioritize the "Big Rocks" of Time Blocks, Unplug, Review Best Practices from high achievers we admire and wish to model. Here’s what goes into the planning for each New Year:
- Review this past year’s calendar; turn experience into insight-what did I do, not do? What should I do more of, less of or begin doing?
- Keep an Accomplishments List: what were your victories, lessons learned and magic moments? This helps determine new goals and direction for the New Year while recharging on your accomplishments of this past year.
- Just like a business plan, we have a life plan. This week is the time to review, reflect and revise where your life is going in the New Year.
- Reflect on this past year, but do not get stuck there; it’s time to move on and keep the momentum moving forward. It’s time to forgive yourself and others, whether quietly or actually, but take out the trash before you welcome in the New Year.
- Keep a Gratitude List in your journal, write down all you are grateful for this past year and reflect on all the blessings in your life. Don’t ever compare yourself to others, which only serve to invite a thief into your heart who steals your joy. Your one precious life is full of blessings, acknowledge them. Because of our psychology, we can’t be stressed and grateful at the same time.
- Ray Edwards has a great quote to consider: “What do I want to be most grateful for one year from now?”
- Just go for a walk. If you can’t get to the gym, go for a daily walk, where you can reflect on your accomplishments, blessings and goals. Keeping your body active helps keep your mind sharp.
- What needs to go? What can you cut out of your life that’s a drag, not a lift? Not just “possessions”, I’m speaking of unproductive/unfulfilled activities, projects, commitments (you should have said “no” to). The under performing parts of your life can be eliminated or shelved if you have trouble letting go. But, the more weeds you pull from your garden, the better the flowers can take over and bloom.
- Goals set your life’s course, they pull you through challenges, they open up opportunities that were waiting for you to get off your butt, they never were going to approach you; you had to go meet them. Your WHY? Is what connects you to each goal and accomplishing them; be sure to know why you want “this” and connect that why? To each goal you set, or it’s like building an airplane but not installing an engine; they never take off.
- Dave Ramsey has a great quote: “How can I organize my work and my life to do the things that makes me smile?”
- Trick to setting goals: Tell your New Year Story. Write down a short story of how your best year ever, this coming year, will look like, will feel like when you accomplish these goals (these steps) that must be acted on in order to have this Best Year Ever. You can even add photos to enhance your story’s realism; they should represent what this year will look like to you.
- Jack Canfield says in his Success Principles, “Chunk it down.” He’s referring to goals that are bigger than a few steps. Some goals take weeks, months, even years to bring to fruition. We eat the proverbial elephant one bite at a time, so we’re not overwhelmed with “wow, that’s a big elephant!” and never start.
- Most goals in fact are a title to their own book. The author then needs to create a plan (the index) and the step by step (chapters) procedure that, when completed in sequence, will accomplish the goal (the book).
- Chris Brogan says: “Your best years come from best efforts performed daily.” The goal is keep in front of you, that’s the mission, but your daily actions are the steps needed to accomplish the mission.
If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan.
And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” – Jim Rohn
- Schedule your year this week. Schedule your goals! Block out all the vacations, birthdays, anniversaries family events, kid’s sports, annual trainings, monthly meetings, your workouts, etc. Block all these out this week, before the time bandits of your work weeks, school schedules and life’s distractions & interrupters clog your calendar with regrets.
- 1. The big rocks go in your jar first (big promises - family, goals, time off) 2. Then the medium rocks next (responsibilities with consequences and obligations-work, school, committees, etc.) 3. Now add the small rocks (responsibilities without much consequence-things that can get done today or tomorrow) 4. This leaves less room for the gravel & sand (the unexpected interruptions, distractions and delays that are called life). 5. There’s still room in there for water, very little room though (water represents the non-essentials like the Internet, TV., video games; the things that are fun distractions, yet add no value to your life and take away from your goals).
- Here’s a great trick from Gary Keller: “What is the one thing I can do, such that by doing it, everything else will become easier or unnecessary?”
- Shut off anything that distracts you during this week of planning, if possible, you are on vacation this week. If not, then setup up Power 90 blocks of “Do Not Disturb” time. No calls, no emails, no Internet, knocks on the door, no beeps or alerts…just you and 90 minutes of focused time to work on your New Year. Why 90 minutes? It’s an average meeting length; can you be in a meeting today…with yourself same as with a sales rep or client? YES! This affords you a good chunk of time in your day, but not too much time, where it’s acceptable to leave you alone. You can call people back, email, and meet with them in 90 minutes. You can insert one or more of these Power 90’s in your day/week this week and plan your year, even if you are not on vacation.
I hope these tips have given you help you connect to what matters most to you and yours this coming New Year! I share what I do; I’d love to hear from you on what you do the same, different or something new! Here’s to you having your best year ever!
The training I receive from Brian Buffini of Buffini & Company , Richard Branson, Jack Canfield, Andy Andrews, John Maxwell, Jim Rohn and Zig Ziglar, Michael E. Gerber among many others inspired this post, as I learned this from them!