Sunday June 23rd 2024

Happy New You


You will almost certainly be familiar with the saying; ‘The definition of insanity is to continue to do the same thing and expect a different result’, or put another way, ‘If you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always got’.

So if you want the next twelve months to be different, and better presumably, than the last twelve months then something has to change.  That something is probably you!

More specifically it’s your behaviour that needs to change.  And there’s never a better time to take stock of where you are and where you want to be than at the start of a new year.

Traditionally people talk about New Year resolutions such as quitting smoking or losing weight.

Forget New Year resolutions.  You may want to quit the cigarettes or lose a stone or more, but what I’m talking about here is much more far reaching.  I’m talking about changing your life, permanently and for the better.

So let’s talk about setting and achieving goals.  And I know what I’m talking about because for more years than I care to remember this annual exercise has positively impacted my life far more than any other single activity I’ve ever engaged in. It will do the same for you…….guaranteed.

You may have read other articles on goal setting and thought that they sound rubbish. That’s because, in my opinion, some of them are!  Many have been written by people who’ve achieved very little other than to regurgitate things they’ve read being espoused by other people who’ve achieved very little!

You don’t need to stick pictures of cars or houses on your wall or fridge door….you don’t need to write down goals as if you’ve already achieved them ( because you haven’t)….you don’t need to read them out loud to yourself every morning or before you go to bed at night.  Trust me, I’ve never done any of those things, and I suspect that most high achievers haven’t either.

But I’m going to tell you precisely what I have been doing prior to the start of every year and what will make a huge difference to your life, if you do the same.

All you need is a pad of paper and a pen.

However before you start writing anything,  it’s time to take an honest look at every aspect of  your life  as it is today and decide what it is that you really want to change.

Are you happy in your job or would you like to get a better or different one?  What about the relationship you have with your spouse or partner?  Is it good? Could it be better? Or are you looking for a partner?

What about your financial situation?   Do you even know exactly what your financial situation is?

Later in this series we’ll spend some time discussing money and how to address ways of fixing your finances in a positive way.  But you need to take a deep breath now if this is an issue for you and stop burying your head in the sand. Work out today what your current financial situation really is…down to the last penny.

What other things in your life do you want to confront?  Do you smoke?  Are you overweight? Are you drinking too much?  Do you need to exercise more?  Answer yes to some or all of these questions and you may decide that now is the time to take action.

Now let’s look at more positive things other than those that need improving -things you want to do, some places you want to visit, skills you may want to learn, activities you may want to take up.

Think very clearly about where you have been, where you are now and where you eventually want to be.

Before you feel overwhelmed and consider that you may be facing obstacles too difficult to overcome let me assure you that you’re going to be given all the specific tools you’ll need to make the next twelve months far more exciting and productive than anything you’ve experienced to date.

If you don’t have any major challenges in your life and everything is going well, that’s great. Doing what I’m about to suggest simply means that things are going to get even better!

You already know a lot of what you should be doing…..but you’ve not been doing it.

Procrastination, indecision and failure to overcome inertia are the major causes of poor performance and lack of achievement.

As of now you are going to stop putting things off.  No longer are you going to kid yourself that you’re just waiting for the ‘right time’, because it’s never the right time….or it’s always the right time!

So here is what you need to do.

With that new pad of paper write down everything you want to do, want to make happen and want to become next year.  Begin with what you consider to be the most important.  But write everything. Write lots of things.  Personal and family should come first. Business goals should come second on a separate sheet. Although business goals are very important, always remember that you work to live not live to work, so get your priorities right.

I’ve already owned up to the fact in the first part of this series that I didn’t do everything I had intended to during this last year. Now I’m going to tell you why. It’s because for the last two years I failed to do what I’m now urging you to do!  I stopped working full time three years ago and my only real priority was to spend a great deal of time travelling…which my wife and I most certainly have been doing, and it has been fantastic.  But I could have achieved more during the time I spent in the UK if I hadn’t stopped doing what I’m asking you to do!

Now that I’ve got that off my chest and owned up, I assure you that I’m going to set my goals for 2011 in the way I always used to.

Goal setting ‘gurus’ of the kind I referred to will tell you that goals should be SMART

That acronym stands for Specific, Realistic, Achievable, Measurable and Time based.  Although to some degree that’s true please simply ignore it. I’ll give you a couple of examples as to why.

Every year between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve I take a snapshot of my net worth ( I’ll talk more about this in a later article) and then set a goal to increase it in the next twelve months. But it’s impossible to put a specific number to it if you have a variety of different assets the value of which you may have very little control over. 

Nobody knows for sure where the stock market will be next month let alone next year! The same applies to property and many other investments. So if you have investments that can be volatile all you can do is to keep a close watch and stay as well informed as possible in order to make some adjustments to your strategy from time to time.

Also if you were to set a goal to spend more time with your children you are hardly going to get a stop watch to keep track are you?

So forget SMART.  What your goals have to be are desirable and believable.  That’s all.  If you believe it, you can achieve it.  And if you really want something badly enough you’ll do whatever it takes.

So get writing.

Once you have completed your list of personal and business goals put them somewhere safe out of the reach of prying eyes but somewhere that you can easily access.

You don’t have to read them every day. But in the first couple of months take a look at them every four or five days and then once a week.  Cross off things as you accomplish them. Also cross off anything that you no longer really want to do because sometimes your priorities can change.

But be true to yourself because what in essence you have done by engaging in this exercise is to make some solemn promises to yourself.

Very shortly I’ll continue this series with everything you’ll need to make your goals become reality.

“I’ve written a book to help people achieve health, wealth and happiness. If you’re serious about your success in 2011, I strongly advise you to read it. Here’s the link to my website where you can buy it online:


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