Your 2017 Quick Start Guide

Happy New Year!!! {insert fireworks}

Fireworks

Can you believe it? Week one of 2017 is gone already! Gone. Forever.

And the euphoria of the new year is beginning to wear off. In fact, some of those who bothered to set new year resolutions are gradually beginning to sing a new song…that’s how old the year is already! Lol…

But, the truth is, if you want to be able to look back on this year, and have it full of awesome achievements, and testimonies too, there are a couple of things you must do.

Here is a simple Quick Start Guide to help you start off in the right direction:

1. Reflect on your current location (2016 in view)

Where does everything that happened or didn’t happen in 2016 leave you? Career wise, Health/ Fitness wise, Family wise, Finance wise, Emotional wise, every other wise you can think of. If you haven’t taken the time to reflect on your 2016  and draw out all the lessons yet, it’s not too late. It’s in fact your best start if you want to create a better 2017.

2. Decide on your desired destination (Goals for 2017)

Yes, goals again!

Not setting goals practically leaves you directionless, subject to being tossed to and fro….

Imagine trying to use Google maps to get you ‘somewhere’, but you don’t really know ‘where’ you are, neither do you know ‘where’ you want to go. You know what? You’re going ‘nowhere’! Same with not setting goals and hoping to ‘arrive’ in 2017.

So, take a look at the different aspects of your life: Faith, Family, Health/ Physical Fitness, Finances, Career/ Business, and pick 2 or 3 impactful things you would like to see happen for you in 2017. Maybe even one. The simpler you keep things, the more likely you can stick with it and make it happen. If you set a list of high-sounding goals that you don’t really connect with or can’t get yourself to believe in, then we can already see the end from the beginning. Don’t fall for it! 

I’ve also seen this meme about my goals for 2017 being to accomplish the ones for 2016, because I planned them in 2015….bla bla bla. Don’t fall for that either! Set goals again regardless of what happened to your 2016 goals! Take advantage of the renewed hope and energy of the new year to re-focus, and try again.

Bonus point: Be clear on why you want these things to happen in 2017. Because, at some point, ‘life will happen’ , and distractions will abound, and you’re going to have to fight for your goals. At that point, this will be your anchor.

3. Develop a plan

As the saying goes, a goal without a deadline is only a wish. So, the next step is to put deadlines to the achievement of each goal, and break it further into periodic actions (daily, weekly, monthly?) required to arrive at your ultimate destination. You may need to do some research on what is required or get help, depending on how complex the goal is.

4. Decide when and how you will measure

If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it! Don’t wait till the end of 2017 to find out nothing happened. Yet again!

So, for example, you want to lose 15kg in 2017, and you want to have lost it by June 30, 2017 (a deadline). Then, it makes sense to have specific daily eating and exercise plans (periodic action plan), a weekly review of how often you stuck with your plan, as well as a monthly weigh in (when and how you will measure). Measuring if you have stuck to the plan week-in week-out, is called a ‘lead’ indicator, and it is essential in helping you see clearly if you’re headed in the right direction. If you didn’t stick with the plan, you shouldn’t be so surprised when your weigh-ins (‘lag’ indicators) show you haven’t lost any weight. Having both kinds of measurements (indicators), also helps you make adjustments before it’s too late.

5. Create an accountability system

Ah! This is one of the most important things you’ll have to do.

Find a way to stay accountable to your goals and dreams. One of the easiest ways is to have at least one person that you share your goals with and can review progress with. This person will be your accountability partner. Ideas include mentor, friends with similar goals, colleague, team, spouse….(fill in the gap). And if you’re cool like that, you can also schedule these review meetings with yourself. As long as it gets done.

6. Stay focused

Yes! No caption needed. Stay Focused!

Don’t get drawn in by every other nice idea about what you should be doing with your life or business; or  how you should be going about achieving your dreams. FOCUS is the name of the game. And it pays massive dividends.

Hope you find this guide useful, but more importantly hope you take action today!

Cheers to an amazing year ahead!

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2 comments

  1. Ayoade says:

    Yes, setting goals is like budgeting which some will call resolution. People often complain of not achieving most of the goals the same way they break their yearly resolutions one or two days after. You hit the real reason why.people find their goals unachievable and it is lack of focus the other name for indiscipline. Another thing that mitigates against achievement of goals is ‘crowded goals and inability to prioritise ‘. You have said it all ‘ it is better to have goals or goal than not having one” Thank you for a beautiful, carefully worded, encouraging tonic that could make 2017 work for many.

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