Each year a dear girlfriend and I pick "a word of focus" for the next year. The word can describe the qualities we want to experience, qualities in us, in people or what we want to engage in. It is our hidden intention.
More and more organisations want their employees to know their purpose to align it with the organisational goals. They simply want for their employees to understand why they do the job they do and to ensure they are motived in it. Some of you will come to appreciate the power of knowing one’s purpose for the benefits of wellbeing at work, productivity and more.
Reflecting on the year that has been and dedicating time to think about what’s the focus for us in the year to come is an important process, not only to consciously choose new resolutions, but to see how much of what we had consciously committed to the year earlier, can actually be achieved. A lot! And that gives us the belief, hope and motivation to continue going.
New year's resolutions often don’t work, as the change that is required for them to be achieved is too big at the time, and what’s required is to change more than just one habit, for example loosing weight is not just a matter of changing eating habits, but changing daily routines and saying ‘no’ to so much more than just food and drink. It can mean. saying ‘no’ to some social engagements too.
In order to commit to new resolutions:
- We need to be sure that it is ours, and not someone else’s intention for us.
- The set goal needs to fit in the bigger picture of our life – our purpose.
- And whatever it is we set for ourselves must be the priority at that time. Not being able to quit a bad habit does not mean we don’t want to do it, it just means it is not the priority at this point, as something else is more important to be addressed. We often are not able to achieve goals until we become the person who can and so, often, once another challenge is conquered, quitting the bad habit comes more naturally to us.
Here is the three-step process I follow each year:
Step 1: Reflect on the year that has been:
- Write down everything you have achieved, done, conquered, whom you have served, relationships you have built and everything else that is important to you.
- Write down everything you wish you have achieved and did not get to do and decide whether to continue working towards it and perhaps change the approach, or otherwise, recognise that it is not as important at this point in time. Remember that your life is already reflecting what’s the most important to you as that is what you focus on. So if you are not achieving something, perhaps it is not yours, and someone else’s wish for you?
Step 2: Pick a word, which you want to focus on next year – what do you need more of next year? Don’t think too much and listen to your intuition and let it guide you. Is it, for example more harmonious relationships, simplicity, calm or more engagement with others, being part of community that you want? The word or phrase will guide you in the next step.
Step 3:Write down your long and short-term goals
Fold a sheet of paper in half and then in half again forming four quadrants. In each quadrant, write down what you wish to achieve:
Q1 - what do you want to achieve in one month (e.g. by end of January 2015)?
Q2 – what do you want to achieve in 3 months (by the end of March 2015)?
Q3 - what do you want to achieve in one year (by the end of 2015)?
Q4 - what do you want to achieve in 3 years (by the end of 2017)?.
Hold on to your plan and refer to it every few months, and especially at the end of each cycle.
Happy planning for the year to come!