Happy New Year!
It’s a new beginning of inspiring energy. “New Year, New Me” is how we begin every January.
Even if we inevitably fall back on some old habits, we create new ambitions – and they have the power to dramatically change our lives for the better.
As a kid, every birthday I had felt monumental. On my second birthday, I told my mom, “I’m two now, so I don’t need this,” and I gave her my pacifier. When I was three, it was the Superman cape I gave up. And every year since then, on my birthday, I make a big decision to change my life in one way or another, and I do it.
This year, I gave up my Peloton bike in exchange for an actual mountain bike and hit the California trails.
Have a nice life, Pandemic!
New Year’s is like the world’s birthday – it’s our opportunity to make a different and better world for ourselves, our teams, and our families.
What are going to be your contributions – start working out, consume less, spend more time creating and less time binging? Now’s the perfect time for change. What will yours be?
But before you nose-dive into grandiose ambitions for this next year, I created a fast and simple 10-step plan to make the whole process of renewal more manageable. It’s a great place to start if you want to see actual results, change worlds, and maybe even move a few mountains.
(As a global note, you can start by WRITING EVERYTHING DOWN. Writing is a great way to manifest your destiny into actual reality. Because if you don’t write it down, it’s probably just a pipe dream.)
What You Write is What You Invite
1. Start by taking inventory of your life — the good, the bad, and the ugly. And be honest. First step: make a list of your accomplishments. Celebrate what you did well last year. Don’t be shy – your hard work manifested great things and should be celebrated. You deserve a champagne toast. Yay for you!
2. Next, make a list of the things that didn’t go so well. Life’s messy; success rarely flies like a crow. Where did you let yourself or others down? What could have gone better? How did bad habits block your dreams? Be honest – it’s all part of a healthy growth process.
3. Take five minutes and write down everything you wish to happen this year. I mean this literally. Set a stopwatch like it’s a race. Treat it as a speed writing exercise and jot down as many things as you can in five minutes – anything you want to manifest this year. Go for quantity, not necessarily perfection. The idea is to give your dreams wings.
4. Now take 15 minutes to read and reread your list. Circle your top five things you definitely want to create this year. Take a little time to ensure these five ambitions are specific and achievable. You have to believe your dreams are concrete and accomplishable. You’ll hold yourself accountable later – so be realistic while still harnessing the raw ambitions of your dreams.
5. Give each of the five items a specific metric and time frame. These are aspirations you expect to accomplish by a specific date – not some pie-in-the-sky dreams. For example, "I will make $100,000 by September 1, 2023." Be specific and make it measurable. Your dreams need just a touch of realism to be actualized.
6. Write all five goals in an “I already did it" format. In other words, instead of the example above, write “By September 1, 2023, I had already made $100,000 for this year.”
Write your five concise goals on a small piece of paper and put it into your wallet, in an easily accessible place on your phone, someplace you can keep it handy and close to your heart. Every day, you will read these goals out loud, three times a day, like a mantra for success.
(This is a strategy borrowed from Napolean Hill’s 1937 classic, “Think and Grow Rich,” which was inspired by a conversation the author had with Andrew Carnegie.)
7. Next, you need to explore the “why” behind your goals and dreams. Write each of your five New Year’s goals on a separate piece of paper and list the reasons why you need to achieve each goal.
Be very specific and allow yourself to get emotional. These goals are deeply personal – and you’re going to fight for them. Make the reason behind each goal compelling, meaningful, and necessary. Each goal is personal and comprises your identity. Who will you be when you’ve achieved your ambitions? What will you become, and how is each goal your gift to the world?
(This step is based on Tony Robbins Rapid Planning Method to actualize dreams and ambitions.)
8. Then for each of the five goals, make a list of things you can do right away to begin achieving that goal. Each action needs to be simple and doable. For example, if you have a workout goal, your to-do list could be: buy running shoes, join a gym, get a gym bag and pack it, get a health app on your phone, hit the equipment.
List all ACTIONS you can take today, tomorrow, this week, to progress toward your goal. Circle five doable actions to take and make sure you accomplish at least one every day. It can be small. Every journey is accomplished in simple steps, one after another.
Because when you get down to it, true happiness comes from two simple actions:
- Identify what you want.
- Take steps toward your dreams.
9. Tell a few close friends and your family about your goals. Let them know your plans so they can support and encourage you and most importantly hold you accountable. Laying everything on the line and sharing it with the people you love can be a great strategy for goal manifestation.
10. Every day, make sure to do two things:
- Read your goals out loud to yourself in statements phrased as if the goals are already accomplished.
- Whether big or small, make at least one action toward your goals. It’s critical you accomplish at least one step forward each and every day.
Naturally, there will be struggles, successes, and failures, as there are in anything worth doing. But step by step, one foot in front of another, one hill after the other, you’ll get to where you need to be to actualize your dreams. You’ve got this. It’s not just the champagne talking. This is your year to become everything you want to be.