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As we head through December, it’s natural for thoughts to turn to the New Year and what we hope it will bring. Rather than making New Year resolutions in January however, setting up your goals for 2023 now will provide a mental head start and allow you to hit the ground running come January 1st.

Aside from jotting your thoughts down on a piece of paper and then not looking at those goals again until half way through the year (which I think we’ve probably all been guilty of at some point), there are some tried and true techniques that when applied well, have a higher likelihood of success.

So, how do we ensure a successful 2023?

1. Reflect

Many companies have annual reviews in December, so even if you hadn’t planned on reflecting on the year that was for personal reasons, it’s a great idea to consider where you have or haven’t seen success prior to sitting down with your Manager. Being prepared for this meeting could just see you earn a bigger bonus or placed on the projects you were hoping for in the New Year.

Aside from the company review however, self-reflection is a great tool to help you plan your personal and career goals for the coming year. Consider:

  • What did I do well this year?
  • Where could I have done better?
  • Are there any areas of my life I want to improve?
  • Did I procrastinate on anything?
  • Did I realise my personal goals?
  • What is truly important to me?e

Understanding your past year will most definitely help you plan for 2023 so don’t be afraid to be really honest with yourself.

2. Celebrate

If you’re a fan of the Tony Robbins school of motivation then you’ll know that he advocates for celebration. He likes to say that “Success without fulfilment is the ultimate failure” so once you’ve looked at your 2018, take note of what you’ve achieved, be grateful to everyone that helped you get there and take a moment to really celebrate it.

Celebration is vital as even something as small as a mental pat on the back will give you motivation to hit your next set of goals.

3. Plan

Once you’ve taken time to look back at the past and celebrate it, it’s time to plan for the future. This isn’t as simple as just writing a bullet list of goals you want to achieve (though that’s a great place to start) but instead, dig as deep as you can into your goals.

For example:

Set your goals in layers. long, medium and short term. Have a clear image of where you want to be by the end of these times.

If your long term goal is to buy a property, your short term goals might involve how much money you want to have saved for a deposit in a month, 6 months and a year’s time.

Then break them down even further! What do you need to do weekly or even daily to achieve this?

4. Understand

It’s not enough to just set a goal and make a plan to achieve it. Whilst this will certainly help you see success, studies have consistently shown that people who emotionally connect with their goals have a higher likelihood of achieving them.

One of the best ways to do this is fully understanding your why. I.e. why is this goal important to you, why do you want to achieve it and why does this goal exist in the first place. If you can embrace the why, your goal will resonate more strongly with you.

5. Envision

Finally, once you have all the above in place, it’s time to take some “me time” and envision yourself achieving your goals. Consider:

  • What will I look like?
  • What will it feel like?
  • How will I celebrate it?

If you’ve never done it before you may feel a bit weird meditating on your future success and daydreaming about how incredible it will feel, but keeping that vision in your head will act as a massive motivator throughout the year and ensure you stay on track for successfully reaching your goals.