It’s now that time of the year I’m always looking for. Over the past few years, I developed the habit of blocking out a few days to review the year that is ending and to create the year that is coming, including some powerful goal setting.
Different people inspired me to do this. Blogger and travel hacking master Chris Guillebeau has a great method. I have incorporated several of his ideas in my own process. Leo Babauta also has a process that gave me great ideas. Because I trained as a Strategic Interventionist at the Tony Robbins and Cloe Madaness Institution, I have made large use of Tony Robbins’ Rapid Planning Method as well.
Today, I’m sharing with you my own process, including my goal setting method. Please, feel free to use it for yourself or to use any of the one I just referred to. Use what ever makes sense to you. But I do highly recommend you design the outcomes you want to create for yourself in 2016. Don’t make resolutions. Scratch that. It doesn’t work. Rather, design results you want to produce and decide to commit no matter what. [By the way, I invite you to register to my free webinar where I will guide you through my process. Reserve your spot now here.]
Step #1: Review your 2015.
A few years ago, when I started out this process, I have identified several key areas in my life that need constant attention if I want to grow. A year ago, for each of these key areas, I have identified results that I wanted to produce and I also specified why I wanted to produce them. In fact, motivation is the gasoline that keeps your dream alive and makes your goal setting efficient.
Some of my key areas are: finance, career, relationship, family, friends, fun and good life, body and health, learning and self-growth.
I reviewed the results I wanted to produce and I made a list of all the outcomes I got during 2015. Here are just a few examples:
- I did a presentation with my friend and colleague Beth Fisher-Yoshida at an Off-Broadway Theatre.
- I made journaling an habit.
- I published my new book The Para-State with California University Press.
- I had a public conversation with top-mediator George Mitchell at Columbia University.
- I advised soccer star James Rodriguez and his foundation Colombia Somos Todos.
- I delivered leadership training to 70 top-level officials (including the minister and all the deputy ministers) of the Public Administration Ministry in the Republic of Santo Domingo.
- I visited twice my family in Italy.
- I launched my new blog and website.
I take a moment to celebrate all the results I got and then I look at what has been missing. Here again some examples:
- I did not lose the weight I wanted to lose.
- I strained my back and had to suspend my kickboxing training.
- I didn’t have a long vacation.
I am also thankful for not achieving these and others results. I focus on the lessons I have learned and how I can do better. For example, I understood that I strained my back from a desire to transform my body overnight! Well, I have discovered that that doesn’t work…. !!! I now have spoken to my trainer and we are going to use an incremental training starting with strengthening my core.
Step #2: Write down the lessons learned from your annual review
Looking at my areas of life, at what I have achieved and what I have missed, I consider what lessons I have learned in the past year. I write them down in my journal.
Here is a picture from my personal journal with my 2015 lessons.
Let me transcribe for you my list:
- Fulfillment, and not merely achieving, is the ultimate success.
- You always win when you give unconditional love.
- Enjoying the process assures better results than just working hard.
- Deep connections are created from a state of vulnerability.
- When you are not true to yourself, you take away love from yourself and from others.
- The body is the mediator between your internal and external world. Listen to it. Take care of it.
- Reality is an illusion. I’m the creator of the meanings I attach to my own experience.
- Life is both about holding on and letting go.
- When reactive we give up our personal power. Instead, breath and respond the way you want to respond.
- It’s not about how you show up. It’s about who shows up. Is it your authentic self?
Step #3: Review your values
This is a practice that I introduced this year and that I learned from attending one of Tony Robbins’ trainings. The process helped me to identify the values I want to inspire and motivate my actions and results. I also identified rules that will tell me I’m actually practicing those values. Here is an example.
Value #1: Love.
Rules. Anytime I am in a beautiful state of mind, or I feel centered and present to others, or I attentively listen or I do something for someone.
Value #2: Health and Vitality.
Rules. Anytime I exercise or I walk my dog, or I nurture myself with healthy food, or I take a vacation or a mini-sabbatical, or I take a physical, or I feel with great energy.
Step #4: Identify your 2016 results with effective goal setting
For each area of my life I have written down the ultimate vision I have. I spelled that ultimate vision out and I wrote it in a way that excites me to the point that I cannot but put my energy and intelligence into manifesting those visions in my life. I have the habit to read aloud over and over those ultimate visions I created for myself so that I make sure I embody them.
At this point of the year, I always review the ultimate vision that I wrote for each of my areas to make sure they continue to resonate with me. I make changes where needed, and I add to the visions if I want to.
For example, this is my ultimate vision in the area of friendship, which I called “Extraordinary and Life-Long Friendships”:
“My life is enriched with great and loyal friends. They are a precious gift in my life. To them I am a source of support and inspiration. I’m a buddy and I coach anyone who desires to change, grow, and give. I share my life with them, inviting them to have great moment at home, visiting them and inviting them on our trips and vacations. We share some weekends and outgoings together.”
After reviewing each vision, I design the results I want to create. This is actually an important distinction. I don’t write what I have to do. My goals are not a “to do” list, because having to do something would just suck energy out from myself. Rather, I ask my self these three fundamental questions:
- WHAT results do I want to create in this area of my life in 2016?
- WHY do I want to create these results? What’s my ultimate purpose?
- HOW am I going to get the desired results?
Responding to these questions, I identify and write down measurable and concrete results I want to achieve over the next year, in 6 months and in three months. I thus have a clear trajectory.
For example, some of my goals for 2016 are the following:
- Have a great vacation in March during Spring Break.
- Lose at least 10% of fat (go down to at least 15%).
- Write and sell the book proposal for my memoir.
- Get at least 10,000 subscribers to my newsletter.
Again, I have identified measurable short, medium and long term goals for each of my areas in alignment with my values and with my ultimate vision.
Do you like this process? Are you willing to make 2016 the best year of your life? What results do you want to have? If you are committed, you can follow the steps I outlined yourself, or, if you want to be more efficient, I invite you to sign up for my free online workshop where I will walk you through this process, with more details and insides. At the end of the workshop, you will have clear goals, a map and a method you can use on your own. Sign up here now if don’t want to this opportunity: availability is limited and on a first comes first basis.