5 Simple Steps To Make This Year Your Best Year Yet
Have you been in a slump for the past few years or even decades? Learn how to make this year your best year yet!
A lot of us struggle with sticking to our goals, especially if they’re new ones. It’s so easy to lose sight then wonder where the year went. I used to struggle with this in the past. However, a couple of years back I refused to be the 93% of Canadians/Americans who fail their New Year’s resolutions. So, I ended up looking into this common issue. What I found is an amazingly simple 5 step solution that has helped me since.
This post is inspired by a course by Alexander Heyne. Alex has many amazing courses you should look into taking advantage of.
5 Steps To Making This Year Your Best Year Yet:
1. The Vision
2. Goals >> Daily Habits & Rituals
3. Turn Habits Into A Yearly Vision
4. Set Up Your “Nudges”
5. Review Them Daily
Not having a vision is like a boat without a rudder or a plane without a map. You move but get nowhere fast. You need to have the “someday” goals in mind to work towards making them happen. These goals can be achievements, personal growth, tangible objects, a dream relationship and so on. The range of these goals is endless. You could want to achieve them in the next 1, 5, or even 10 years from now.
There’s an old quote that goes like this: “People often overestimate what they can do in a year but underestimate what they can do in 10.”. YES! It’s hard work. Big change generally takes a few years. However, you could also do nothing. 5 years from now you could be looking back thinking of reading this article and regretting that you never took action.
“Work hard to have an easy life, or work easy to have a hard life”.
I like this quote, but it’s not perfect. Life does not reward hard work. If it did, construction workers would be the highest-paid people in the world. What life rewards are people who use their time wisely. People who focus on a few small things but with a huge return. It’s more about working smart than hard.
So, get started on your vision. Pull out a piece of paper or 2 and follow along with this article. Some vision examples could be, “Find my dream relationship, make $150 per day, retire before you get old”.
Goals >> Daily Habits & Rituals
Goals can sometimes seem scary. They’re often big and you don’t really know where to start. The real way you actually achieve your goals is not chasing them endlessly, but instead working on creating the best habits associated with them. Eventually, you won’t even look at your written down goals and you’ll only look and swear by your habits.
One example could be that of if you want to start an online business. Your habit could be to research different internet marketing models on the internet every day for 30 minutes. Just remember not to do too much research. It can become overwhelming with all the options out there which could cause you to never start in the first place.
Research broadly at first then focus on deep research on around 3 business models. After a couple of weeks at the very most, I’d recommend taking action. Don’t feel like you have to build a website right away (even though that is vital to any business online or offline). You could start by brainstorming specific tabs you’d have on your website, what kind of general layout you’d want to use (makes it easier in choosing a WordPress Theme), and what specific products or services you’re interested in selling within your niche. Again, remember to research competition and viability.
Another example could be you want to lose 20 pounds in the next year. Your habit could be starting to go to the gym for only 20 minutes per week. This is a good starting point which will help you avoid burnout. The last thing you want to do is going from not working out since you were in high school to try to work out 3 hours a day, 6 days a week. This is just setting yourself up for failure.
If you struggle with even that, just show up to the gym once a week. You don’t have to do anything, just walk in take a deep breath and be aware of your surroundings, then walk out. This is usually the biggest hurdle people can never seem to get over. Eventually, you’ll start lifting a few weights which will lead to more and more time spent at the gym.
Turn Habits Into A Yearly Vision
Here’s a free worksheet by Alexander Heyne to make your life easier.
Get out a sheet of paper if you haven’t already and divide it into 6 sections. Make one of these sections twice as big as the rest.
It’s recommended to set 3 big goals for the year. One in health, one in financial and one in fun/fulfillment. Health should always be the main priority as the other 2 won’t happen if your health isn’t good.
Section 1: 3 years goals (health, financial, fun/fulfilling)
Section 2 (The section that is twice as big as the other 5):
What does your exact vision of where you want to be this time next year look like? Creating a big vision is fine, actually, I recommend it. But, always know your personal limits. Yes, most of these limits should and can be conquered. However, something like chronic pain you can only do so much. There’s usually a workaround for everything though.
If you don’t know what’s achievable, look at what you’d consider your biggest accomplishments in the past 5 years. If there’s nothing that stands out to you in the past 5 years, you definitely need to get a move on. Either way, look at these big accomplishments and only set ones that are at least 3x bigger. That way, even if you don’t reach your goal you’ll still feel fulfilled.
Remember, growth only happens outside of your comfort zone. Maybe reading this article is even going out of your comfort zone. If so, great job! Just remember to take action to avoid becoming a self-help junkie (guilty).
Feel free to write down what your ideal day looks like too.
Section 3: What are your habits to achieve each goal.
This is one of the most important steps. You’ll likely require a lot of time sitting alone allowing you to have deep insight. List 1-3 habits for each goal. For example, I need to eat more calories. My personal habit is going grocery shopping more often as when I’m stocked with food I never have a problem with eating enough.
Then, what are some already established habits that you can attach them too? Leading back to the previous example, when I go to my place I can easily get off at Wal-Mart, go grocery shopping and either walk the 5 minutes to my place. Or, if it’s really cold or I have a lot of groceries (ideally trying to avoid that) I can catch the bus the rest of the way home. I do the same thing on the way back to my Fiance’s place. I simply take a different bus which allows me to get off at the grocery store that’s a 3-minute walk from her place. (2 bus routes are very close, but I usually take the one that goes right outside her door and not a 5-minute walk away).
Section 4: Quarterly Goals:
Set 1-2 quarterly goals you commit to achieving. It could be finishing a specific book, starting a business, finding a better job, or starting to cook more for your spouse. Don’t wait until New Years to make a change either. That’s probably a factor of why 93% of people fail their New Year’s resolutions because they wait. By then, their initial inspiration and motivation from when the idea first popped up are long gone. Either way, if it’s June, then your quarterly goals would be whatever 3, 6, 9, and 12 months are from then.
Section 5: Focus:
Write down 4 areas of focus you’re going to have for the next 365 days. For example, mine are: eating more, listening more, working on internet marketing, and giving myself adequate time and the proper environment to relax.
You do this so you won’t take in any information unless it brings you towards achieving one of these 4 focus points. You’d be surprised by how much 1 video can throw you off track.
You think it’s the best thing in the world because it’s NEW. That’s called shiny object syndrome and it should be avoided like the plague.
“When things get really hard, that’s when the big change happens”
Section 6: The Purpose:
Write down your top 5 reasons of how your life will change for the better. Then, write down your top 5 ways on how you’ll be different as a person in a positive sense.
LAST STEP: Once you’ve completed that piece of paper, keep it in your wallet or phone case. That way you have a copy of it on you at all times. Review it in the morning and before bed. When you’re looking and visualizing your goals all the time, you’re bound to achieve them. (I recommend scanning this document to have a digital copy in case your paper gets lost or ruined.)
Step up Your “Nudges”
Nudges are how you take a simple discipline and consistently ensure you do them in the long run. Nudges are the friendly reminders that keep you on track. Things like this are your yearly vision paper we just made, phone reminders, whiteboards. If you want to take things seriously, you can even have a weekly group chat of 3-5 people. In this chat (can be online), you talk about your goals, what you accomplished this week, what you struggled with, and what you’re going to do differently/the same next week.
Review Your Yearly Goals Daily
Review your nudges, your daily habits and your goals every day. All you should have to do to achieve your goals is to do these newly discovered disciplines every day. If you get off track, you’ll have your daily tiny nudges to help get you back to your vision.
If you find you’re starting to ignore your nudges, it’s time to review your vision and why you’re doing this in the first place. Your habits/goals are either too hard, not what you truly want, or a mixture of both.
Also, there are several apps out there that create notifications to pop off between a random time frame. That way your brain doesn’t think “Oh, it’s 2:59 pm, that notification is coming in one minute and I’m going to ignore it because I don’t like change).
I hope you’ll take action!
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