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Life By Design Blog

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New Year New Goals: 5 ways to increase your chances of success

Have you set some goals for the new year? According to Business Insider, 80% of New Years Resolutions fail by the second week of February.

Why? What most people create is a wish list of goals that gets added on top of everything else they are already doing. While the intention is good, you can't simply add more to each week or month without running out of steam eventually. Some reflection and focus can really help get you over the line.

Here are 5 things you can do to lay the foundations for a great year:


1. Review Last Year

I know you want to get stuck straight into the excitement of a new year but taking time to reflect on how satisfied you were with the last year will help you avoid repeating mistakes and, more importantly, recreate your successes. Ask yourself these 4 questions:

  1. What were you proud of?
  2. What were you good at?
  3. What could have gone better?
  4. What did you feel most passionate about?


2. Learn your lessons and carry them forward

Imagine you could go back and meet yourself at the beginning of last year:

  • What advice would you at the end the year give your (slightly) younger self?
  • What can you take from this for the year ahead?


3. Consider the balance of your life

People set goals for things like fitness, business or finance but none of these exist in isolation, they all happen in the context of your life. Diverting your time and attention to new goals will inherently involve having less time and resources for existing activities.  You need to ask yourself:

What will I let go of?  

First of all in terms of your time, if you put effort into a new endeavour it means you have less available for other stuff. What will you stop doing?

Second, consider what mindsets and behaviours you will let go of. What's holding you back? Fear? Pride? Self-criticism? People pleasing? If you don't let go of these your good intentions may peter out when the going gets tough.

What are my priorities?

Think about all areas of your life using the life wheel (pictured). Rate yourself 1-10 on how happy you are with each area now (feel free to change the headings). Then consider which ones you want to focus on and prioritise on your top 3. They can't all be priorities, so decide which are the most important. Perhaps having a goal to run a marathon would be cool, but if your main priority is spending more time with family, will putting the time into marathon training get in the way?

What do I want my life to be like?

Most people set goals based on what feels feasible in their current situation, hoping that adding little goals each year will slowly get them the life they want. Try it the other way round. Decide what you would like your life to like if you could design it from scratch. Then set goals to get you there. Even if you can't live that life now you'll get a lot closer a lot quicker.

DD Life Wheel.png

4. Think ahead

Future casting: Cast your mind forward to the end of the year and imagine you are telling someone what an awesome year you've had. What are you describing? What sort of things are you telling them that makes you look back and think, 'Wow, that was a bloody good year'?

Scenario planning: What will stop you achieving what you want? Think through the most likely scenarios and consider how you might deal with them. The idea is that if you know in advance how you can deal with tricky situations and people you are less likely to be knocked off course when these challenges arise.


5. Find your crowd

Surround yourself with the right people. Identify:

  • Who cheers you on?
  • Who can help you?
  • Who has shown enthusiasm for your goals in the past?
  • Whose skills or achievements do you want to emulate?

You know hundreds of people, identify the positive influences and put your energy into those relationships. Avoid complainers, time vampires and Negative Nancys like the plague.


So that's how you can increase your success rate on the goals front this year 

What steps have you taken to make sure you crack your goals for the year?

Do you do anything different?

What have you tried that works?

Let me know your tops tips below in the comments section or on the Facebook page. 


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