10 Ways To Prepare For 2015
If I’ve missed anything out that you do, I’d love to hear about it in the comments box below
1. Reflect Back – Celebrate!
Before you start planning what you want to do/achieve next year, take some time out to reflect back on what you’ve achieved this year.
I think we often forget what’s gone well, and are focused on the things we haven’t achieved, or would like to achieve. As a result, the good stuff isn’t celebrated.
Your celebrations don’t have to be a big event or cost any money. I tend to make my celebrations proportionate to the task/goal achieved.
How do you like to celebrate?
2. Reflect Back – What have you learnt?
As part of reflecting back on your achievements, it’s useful to think about what you’ve learnt.
How seriously do you take the reflection process? Is it a case of asking yourself a few questions:
- What am I most proud of from this year?
- What did I achieve in the last 12 months?
- What can I do now that I couldn’t do 12 months ago?
- If I knew this time last year what I know now, what would I have done differently (if anything)?
Or is it a more thorough process? I include the Gibbs Model of Reflection in my 4-day Coaching Skills Training Course. It’s a useful 6-step process that helps you reflect more critically. I would recommend it for the more important things you’re reflecting on this year, rather than for everything.
Which reflection question do you like to ask yourself?
A new year isn’t just about focusing on new goals, new things to aim for. It’s about deciding what things you’ve done this year that you want to continue with. These can be things you want to consolidate, or things you just enjoy and want to maintain.
Under this category, I’ve previously included systems and business practices I’ve adopted, and useful coaching resources I wanted to continue using for the benefit of my coachees.
What will you be keeping from 2014?
4. Identify your ‘must haves’ for 2015
These are the things that absolutely must be in your life in 2015.
When I ask this question of coaching clients, a popular answer is along the lines of setting a minimum amount of time to spend with loved ones per week/month, or having a set number of minutes per week for themselves.
What are your must haves?
5. Clear the clutter
Before you start looking at what you want from 2015, you need to clear some space. Creating room for new practices, habits, or physical things in your life will often involve having a good old clear out! One of my smaller goals for January is to have a reorganised office. This means clearing some shelves, reorganising some files and doing some scanning in of documents, plus … throwing out things I have no more use for.
Perhaps more importantly – there’s clearing the mental clutter – to give yourself headroom for your new plans.
What clutter do you need to get rid of before you start on your new goals?
6. Decide what you want to achieve in 2015
- What do you want to be different/better?
- What new skills do you want to learn?
- What practices do you want to develop further?
- Which hobbies would you like to incorporate into your daily routine?
I’ve set myself a big goal for 2015, following my 50th birthday, which I celebrated over the Christmas period. And that’s to do 50 different things & record them in a blog (“50 At 50 Challenge”). The challenge is a way of celebrating my 50 years, and will be either things I’ve never done before, things I want to revisit (trips down memory lane), or simply quality things I would like to spend time on (e.g. watching and recording a sunset and sunrise; playing the piano more often; creating an adventurous dessert; getting back into my archery routine).
So what do you want for you in 2015?
7. Set yourself at least one dream or exciting goal for 2015
This is something that, when you look back on 2015, you’ll say “I’m really glad I did that.” Or “I’m proud to have achieved that.” Ensure it’s something that will really motivate you!
For me, it’ll be the 50 Things At 50 Challenge. If I achieve all the things on my list that I want to – I will be very happy!
What will be your dream goal for 2015?
8. Decide what you want to take forward from 2014 into 2015 to help you achieve your goals, and give you the quality of life you want
- Good habits
- Current skills
For me, 2 of the strengths I will be taking forward are my drive/determination, and my positive approach to life and what it throws up! What about you?
Re good habits … in my business I use a couple of spreadsheets that list my year’s business goals and related tasks per quarter. They’ve been really useful in the last 3-4 years in helping grow my business and keep me on track. I review the tasks achieved each quarter and adapt next quarter’s accordingly.
Current skills for me include my coaching, training & organisational skills (work), and empathy and patience (general).
What will you take forward?
Using your thoughts and responses from the above points, create a plan that you will use.
A general rule when making a plan is to do what works best for you. Set aside some time to do some focused planning, recording your thoughts in a format that works for you. I like to start with a brainstorming diagram to get the bigger picture, then I break it down into smaller chunks, with linked timescales.
If you’d like more on the planning and goal-setting process, here are some links to related blog posts …
- It’s all about good preparation
- What do you want for the year ahead
- A focus on the language of your goals
- Identifying your personal vision for the year ahead
How do you like to plan?
10. Decide how you’re going to show up at the start of 2015
So you know what you want, and you have your plan … how are you going to ensure you make the best start to the year?
How you ‘show up’ is important to making a successful start. A couple of ways you can do this are:
- Have the mindset that if something you hadn’t planned for comes along and gets in the way, you will review your goal and adapt where necessary, rather than abandon it. (I’ve had experience of this! 3 times over the last 8 years I’ve had to face a major health hurdle. I could have given up on my goals, but I re-grouped and adapted my plans … and it’s paid off.)
- Equip yourself with some positive phrases that will get you focused and help with your motivation (E.g. “I know the kinds of things that could get in the way of my goal success, and I will avoid these or confidently deal with them.”)
How will you show up on 1st January to face 2015?
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post.
I’m Debbie Inglis, executive coach, trainer & supervision coach, working across the UK and Internationally with leaders and their teams to maximise leadership performance, create more effective, confident, and motivated teams … in a way that brings out the best in them.