The holiday season is my favorite time of the year. I love to cook, spend time with family and friends, watch holiday shows and listen to holiday music. I even love the mall at Christmas time. All of it gets me in the spirit of the season and helps me focus on what’s important in life. It allows me to reflect on the past year, take stock and take a glimpse into the future of what the next year could bring. This blog is going to be a little window into the process I go through every year. I hope it helps you appreciate the good that happened in 2018 and helps you make 2019 your best year yet.
Step 1: What Am I Grateful for?
I am always grateful for the love of my family and friends, but there were a few extras that I am especially thankful for.
- My Coach – With any merger, it was a year of transition and learning. This process was made easier with the guidance of my coach and consultant, Angie Herbers. The resources and knowledge that she brought to the table opened my eyes to new ways of doing things. I highly recommend her, but in general I think everyone should have a coach/mentor that you can go to for guidance.
- My Team – As working individuals, we spend the majority of our time at work. It’s helpful to enjoy the people you work with. My team has been wonderful. Every day they come in motivated to help our clients and get the job done. They have handled all the change with enthusiasm and grace. I couldn’t be happier and prouder.
- Health of my friends – Too many friends and clients had to deal with terrible illnesses and surgeries. I’m so thankful that they are still with us and we can celebrate the holidays together.
What things are you thankful for from 2018? Write them down.
Step 2: What Did I Learn?
After starting out on the positive, I like to think about the major takeaways from the year and how I can use them to be a better, more productive me in 2019. I will probably write about each of these in separate blog posts throughout the year.
- Process is my friend – Sticking to and continually refining my processes both at work and at home
- Be a better listener
- Don’t assume that someone understands what you are talking about.
- Slow down to move faster.
What did you learn in 2018? Write them down.
Step 3: What Are My Big Three Words to Define 2019?
This is something new that I got from Steve Sanduski’s podcast and have incorporated it into my year-end/new-year process. The concept is to pick three words that will define your actions and mindset for the new near. I will keep these words in view both in my office and at home as a constant reminder. My words for 2019 are Health, Growth, and Educate.
What are your three words? Write them down.
Step 4: What Are My Two or Three Wildly Important Goals for 2019?
In years past, I would have at least 15 goals per year divided up into business, personal, and professional categories. As a result, I had little focus and every year I felt dissatisfied with my results. For the last several years, based on the book "Four Disciplines of Execution," I’ve narrowed those goals down to two or three that will have the greatest impact on my year. The goals have to be specific and measurable in nature. They also related highly to my Three Big Words. Here is one of my goals for 2019
- To reduce my body fat percentage to 12%
What are your most important goals for 2019? Write them down.
Step 5: What Are the Activities and Actions Needed to Achieve Step 4?
Now that you have those wildly important goals, how do you achieve them? What are the steps and daily activities that you must do to accomplish those goals? To use my body-fat percentage goal as an example, here are the questions I would have to answer.
- How many times per week do I need to work out?
- What type of workouts do I need? When do I need to work out?
- What type of foods should I eat? What is the macronutrient breakdown? How often will I eat?
- How many days per week am I allowed to cheat?
What are the questions you need to answer? Write them down.
Once those questions are answered, put together your monthly, weekly and daily game plan for success.
- I need to move every day. I need to walk for 20 minutes every day.
- I need to lift heavy weights two times per week and doe a sprint/ballistics workout two times per week.
- I will eat a 30-10-60 ratio of protein, carbs, and fats daily.
- I will eat within an eight-hour window every day.
- I will have a cheat day every other Sunday.
What are the daily, weekly and monthly activities you need to complete to achieve your goals? Write them down.
Step 6: Monitor and Track the Activity (Step 5), Not the Goal Itself
Now that I have my action plan, I need to track it to hold myself accountable. The goal is a lagging indicator but my activity is a leading indicator. If I don’t do the leading activity, I will never get to the lagging goal. So, the last step is to track your activity. I use technology (MyFitnessPal and Way of Life apps), a workout log and a simple checklist. Did I walk daily? Did I work out four times this week? By focusing on the steps to a successful goal completion, it helps me stay focused throughout the year. This is especially important when life can get in the way. When I focus on the goal and not the activity, I tend to put the work off until tomorrow, which decreases the likelihood I will achieve my desired goal.
How will you track your activity? What methods will you use? Write it down and set them up. So, that is a little insight into how I wrap up the year and how I look forward to the next. It’s never too late to get started.