The best time to plan for the year ahead is always right now. How do you intends to make next year a great year? And if the year is over, why are you waiting?
Maybe you are like me, and towards the end of each year, you reflect back and then set some goals for the next year. I was preparing myself for that annual activity, and decided that I wanted to take a different approach this year. I am sharing this so that maybe I can provide you with some new ideas, or an incentive to refresh your annual planning process.
(Not that you need to wait until the calendar says it’s okay to start planning. You can start now!)
One day last week, I was thinking about the goals I had achieved in the previous year, and where I fell short of my targets. I also wondered if this year would really have been better if I achieved all my goals. That may sound crazy, but I was thinking that even if I achieved my goals, would I be the person I wanted to be?
The question that stuck in my head was, “How can I become a better person?” It is a much different question than, “What goals do I want to achieve in the future?” My focus shifted from accomplishing a specific thing, to development. How can I grow my character? How can I improve my life? How can I become who I want to be?
Since that day of reflection, my attitude towards a plan has been very stimulating. I keep asking myself: What does it really mean to be a better person?
With those thoughts in mind, I have started compiling areas to explore for my plan. Here is the list I have so far.
- My attitude and how it affects everything I do
- My faith
- My relationships and investing in them
- My generosity both money and time
- My values and how I live them
- My continued growth
- My mental, physical, and spiritual health
- My self-esteem
- Making and handling commitments to others and myself
- My approach to priorities
I think through this approach I will be able to develop a plan for the future that is very rewarding, and probably more valuable than simply setting goals. I am excited about this approach and where it may lead me.
Some questions for you to think about:
- What else would you add to this list?
- What is your plan for an end of year review?
- What do you want to achieve next year, and beyond?
This isn’t the first time we’ve discussed goal setting here on The Methodology Blog. It’s not even the first time we’ve talked about planning for the year ahead. But no matter what day it is, this is a point that may be new to many people: you should be thinking less about what you want to do and more about who you want to be.
Accomplishments are clearly an important part of our personal and professional lives. But our character is the one aspect of us that will have a greater impact than anything else we do. As you head into the days, weeks, months, and years ahead, remember to work on becoming the person you want to be. Remember to focus on transformation, not just activity. Remember to think about how the you and the world will be different, not just what else is on your list.
No matter what path you take in life, you’ll be glad you thought about becoming a better version of yourself.
See you there.