3 simple things you can do to make this year better than the last one

3 simple things you can do to make this year better!

2013…so what did you think when you looked back on it? Were you excited to see it go? Did you have a lot of good intentions to do projects that never quite got completed?

Right now you may find yourself recovering from the holidays still unsure about what you’d like to get done in 2014. It’s not too late to decide where you’re headed and how you’re going to get there.

Let me take you through the 3 stages of closing out 2013 I used last month that you can easily rely on now to set up the rest of your year.

Stage 1—Reflect

It was a good year. No, it was a great year. I got engaged to an amazing woman, doubled my business, and published two books. I’ve been taking time to be grateful for the wonderful people who have come into my life and the possibilities that those new relationships hold.

I also made sure to carry into 2014 the lessons I’ve learned as much as possible while leaving behind whatever guilt, failure, or negativity may have crept in. As the Chinese farmer says, it is what it is—now, what good can we bring from it?

Stage 2—Organize

The end of December was a time to go through a de-clutter session. I already had relatively little junk, but I wanted to do one more round of cleaning to minimize what’s taking up space. The question I had to answer was: Are the things that are taking up space moving me toward my goals?

Now all that remains are materials I use in trainings, writing books, recording CDs and DVDs, and only the most special items that hold important memories. Everything else is gone.

I decluttered my email by unsubscribing from the many newsletters I was being bombarded by every day and not really having time to read. And I’m continuing the process of cleaning out and organizing my computer files. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

What can you get rid of to make space for focusing on your goals?

Stage 3—Plan

Remember the S.M.A.R.T. goals I’ve talked about in earlier blogs? I went through the exercise with my 2014 goals: What Specific goals can I put in place for 2014? Are they Measurable, Attainable, and Relevant? Do I have deadlines in place—are the goals Time-bound?

I put in place a plan and a process for writing books in 2014, some on my own and some in collaboration with others. Working with others and having specific deadlines help keep me motivated and moving forward.

My fiancé, Jennifer, and I did an assessment of every aspect of our lives, including finances, health and exercise, nutrition, television, travel, and business. We created S.M.A.R.T. goals for every aspect with processes, systems, and deadlines to ensure we get everything we want.

This all may sound a bit obsessive-compulsive, and a few years ago I probably would have agreed with you. But after years of observing and studying the difference between people who get what they want and people who don’t, this level of planning—with serious S.M.A.R.T. goals in place—is the number one way successful people succeed.

Jennifer and I want to be among those who succeed. How about you? I promise you, it’s not too late to get started.

Think about the actions you can take now to ensure you meet your goals this year. That list may start with making your goals for the year.

What are you going to achieve in 2014?

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About Joe Serio

Dr. Joe Serio is a keynote speaker, trainer, and author who helps the people in your organization navigate resistance to change so they can move forward successfully.

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