Set & Reach Your Goals in the New Year

How did you do on your goals this year? Are you where you thought you would be
when you set your goals last December? If not, it is probably time to change the
way you set your goals. If you did reach all your goals, Congratulations!! You are in the top 1%!!!

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Each year during the last two weeks of December I spend time reflecting on the
year. By doing this it helps me remember all of the great things that happened
and fills my heart with gratitude. It also shows me where there were struggles and
where I missed the mark both personally and professionally.

Many people set new year's resolutions or goals for the new year, but not everyone sets themselves up for success to stay committed to a resolution or a goal.

I am going to share some tips to help you set yourself up for success in the new
year. This is great for anyone that is looking to have a successful year and reach
their goals.

First-Do a year in review. This is a great way to look at your past year and take
note of what happened, what you did, where you went, what you are grateful for,
where you feel like you won and where you feel like you lost.

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I do a 3 part year in review that helps me see my world through three different
lenses. The first two steps, I shared in a blog post last January. I will share here
again and add the third layer.

Step 1 - I start with the photos in January and scroll through all of the pictures that I have taken throughout the year and notate any meaningful things I come across. I get a piece of paper and make column headings of trips, accomplishments, education, struggles, and family gatherings. I then write down things related to each column. It usually takes me about 90 minutes to go through all of the photos. (I like to take photos) After I am done I read over each list and reflect on each item. This gives me great insight into the past year and helps me decide what I want more or less of in the coming year. I make notes of these things and then move on to step 2.

Step 2 - a Google Calendar Review. Again, I start in January and review events,
gatherings, training, meetings, and vacations. I have improved this step over the
years by color-coding each of these items in my calendar for ease in the review
process. After listening to a Rachel Hollis podcast, I decided to add a JOY calendar to my life. This is where I put things that bring me joy. I color it my favorite color so it is easy and pleasant to see in my sea of calendars. As I am going through the audit of the year I track how much joy I had in the year. This is an eye-opener for sure. I am sure we will all agree that we need more JOY time in our lives. My suggestion is to start adding one each week. This could be as simple as a cup of coffee with a friend or as extravagant as a vacation. It doesn’t matter how fancy, what matters is that you add JOY into your life regularly.

Step 3 - After I have reviewed and reflected on both my photos and my calendars, I make a list of things that I want to do more of and a list of things I want to avoid. This list helps me get clear with where my priorities need to be for the upcoming year.

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Once I have the list created, I spend time planning and strategizing where my improvements will be and how I will safeguard my time against the things I need to do less of or avoid. This step is really important for the success of the review. If you don’t spend time making a plan of how you will add more time for what you think is important and devise a plan for how you will avoid things that no longer serve you, you will find yourself right back in the same position next year.

Next- Set Your Goals

Once you have done your year in review, made your list, and planned the strategy, it is time to set your goals. I have found the most success setting three banner goals for the year. Three big things that really matter in the year to come.

When you have your three goals, it is time to sit down and get specific. Think
about what the end result will look like. I always use the SMART goal framework of
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely when setting goals.

Once I have the goals established, I set intermediary goals. This helps me stay on
track and breaks the big goals into bite sized pieces. For example, if I want to read
40 books in a year, I set intermediate goals to read 4 books a month, and then
make sure by June I have read 20 books. I add these intermediary goals to my
calendar with reminders to help keep me on track.

Now that you have your goals and intermediary goals, it is time to set up
accountability. This can be setting up the calendar like I just mentioned to help
you stay on track, or it could be using an accountability partner that you report to
on a regular basis with your progress on your goals. This has been one of the most beneficial things I have done in my life is enlisting a few accountability partners to help keep me on track.

Finally, you need to set a routine. If you have a routine, you do not need discipline
or will power to help you achieve your goals. By setting up a routine that you do
without fail to help you reach your goals, you are setting yourself up for success. It
does take awhile to get into the groove of the routine, so give yourself about three
weeks and then you will be on your way to reaching your goals and having the
best year of your life.

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Pam Simpson is the founder, president, and driving force behind Forte Arts Center, which was established in Morris, Illinois in 1993. In addition to building her business from a small, one room studio to a large, multi-location organization that offers dance, tumbling and cheer programs as well as private music lessons, Pam is a leading force in the realm of small business ownership in the dance and tumbling industries as she travels all over the country speaking to and educating for large organizations such as Rhee Gold Company, Dance Teacher Summit, and More Than Just Great Dancing. When not working on her businesses, Pam enjoys spending time with her family and visiting her daughter, who is a performer at Walt Disney World.

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