Happy New Year and hello 2021!
The new year is a perfect time to evaluate and reset our plans for the upcoming year. Some of us make new year’s resolutions and set goals. But new year’s resolutions have a terrible track record. Most fail for two reasons:
- We can’t predict the future! My resolution for 2020 to go on more vacations and make more time to socialize was an epic fail because of the pandemic. I went on far fewer vacations and barely went out at all!
- We don’t get clear on what the results will look like for us if we do achieve the objective – where we will be, how we will feel, what it will do for our future and the future of our family.
With a little bit of fortunate timing while doing the work to get clear on what we want while establishing tactics to get us there we can make amazing things happen. Try these 5 tactics to make 2021 the best year of your life and see what happens.
Tactic 1: Get Clear on what you want
Ask this clarifying question – It’s December 31st, 2021. It’s been the perfect year. What has happened in my life and what am I doing now? Go into as much detail as you can – you want to feel it, see it, taste and smell it, engage all of your senses.
Try this is a visioning technique from the Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading called “hot pen.” Sit down and write about whatever vision you want, just keep writing without stopping for whatever time period you have decided upon. Take 5 to 15 minutes, (5 minutes should be enough to fill up one small journal page). “When we keep writing, our true, unguarded thoughts and feelings will fast outpace the self-editing. Time and again, people who use the hot pen technique tell me that ideas, insights, dreams, and desires emerged during the writing that they had only barely—if at all—acknowledged to themselves”. So, this can be a great way to get some clarity on what you want to work on this year. With a clear vision comes focus, determination, and even a subconscious desire to engage in the work needed to pull you toward your pictured destination.
Tactic 2: Time block your “must-dos”
Now that you a vision for your perfect year, do what needs to be done. Use your calendar to create focused time blocks allowing you to inch toward your vision for 2021.
Here is a simple exercise: Take a daily calendar and block out time for work on the things that you MUST DO on a daily basis that will move you toward this vision that is becoming clear for you. So, if your vision is to be in great physical condition, at your perfect weight, feeling strong and limber, then a must do would be to make time each day to eat right and exercise, and get enough sleep. Make a date with yourself on the calendar to do these things.
Now you can track if you did it or not. If you find that your time block is not working, then decide if you are being realistic, or if you need to schedule it at a different time. Even if you are already using a calendar, NOW is a good time to revisit this after doing the visioning technique in item 1.
Tactic 3: Find a Coach or Mentor
There are many different kinds of coaches and people playing at a high level may have more than one coach – for different areas of their life. Professional coaches, relationship or marriage coaches, physical training coaches, and many others. Why are coaches effective and necessary?
- Perspective. A coach has a 10,000-foot view of your situation while you are slogging away on the ground. No matter where you’re at presently, an experienced coach will most likely have seen situations like yours and be able to help you bust through roadblocks.
- Accountability. Simply having someone there asking you how you did will help you stay on track. Stating an intention to take action is useless unless you take action. Knowing that you will be reporting back on progress can be quite motivation to cause you to do what you stated was important.
- Encouragement. Coaches help you identify and align activities with your values, create a focus, cut through the clutter, and clear tolerations. They encourage you along the way, don’t allow you to give up, and all of these factors increase your professional or personal sense of fulfillment and happiness.
Tactic 4: Resilience
Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of difficulty or after a severe stressor such as a loss in the family, relationship problems, serious health issues, or workplace and financial concerns.
As much as resilience involves “bouncing back” from these difficult experiences, it also involves profound personal growth. Becoming more resilient not only helps you get through difficult circumstances, but it also empowers you to grow and even improve your life along the way.
Resilience is something you can learn and develop like building a muscle. It takes time, practice, and attention. It’s about maintaining a healthy perspective, being hopeful.
Tactic 5: Practice Kindness
Kindness is a way to put others before ourselves and make the world a better place, but it also is good for our personal health and wellness. Studies show that living and acting in kindness makes you physically stronger, happier, and more connected. Who wouldn’t want those things? Kindness is, of course, meant for others, but we also can practice being kind to ourselves. Elizabeth Blackburn’s groundbreaking research demonstrated how our cells are “listening” to our thoughts.
We are generally all pretty good at verbally beating ourselves up, and rarely does that work. Negativity toward ourselves often creates a vicious cycle of even more negative self-talk. You wouldn’t talk to your neighbor the way you talk to yourself. This is what I call the “good neighbor policy,” which can be helpful. If you would not say it to your good neighbor, do not say it about yourself.
Kindness towards self and others has been shown to increase self-esteem, empathy, compassion, and improve moods. Being kind decreases blood pressure and cortisol, a stress hormone, which directly impacts stress levels. When we are kind to ourselves, manage our stress in healthy ways, and refuse to let our minds be ruled by negative thinking we are physically and mentally healthier!
When we are healthier we are able to be better spouses, friends, parents, and business people!
So, my new Year wish for you is that you are able to get clear on what you want, schedule focused time to work for it, get help from others, and practice kindness towards yourself and others in your pursuit.
Do you have any other tactics to make 2021 the best year ever? If so, leave us a note in the contact form below or give us a shoutout on our social media: facebook, instagram:@piperpartners, and linkedin
Psychologists tell us, in order to make serious goals possible, we need to be able to feel what our future will be like it’s the present.
I was watching a webinar with Dr. Benjamin Hardy, and that’s the question he was asking. Are you putting the important things before the urgent things? Are you creating the future you want, or are you “going with the flow” and letting life create your priorities for you?