December 27, 2011

Time to Try Something New – Challenge Yourself in the New Year

Happy New Year! Are you ready for something new and exciting? Yes?!! Good – because you’re going to have to engineer it yourself. So the more ready you are, the more capable you’ll feel of directing your energies toward the amazing adventure the next year can be.

First, you’ll need a little time to plan – can you spare a couple of hours? Next, you’ll want a notebook or laptop or voice recorder to capture your thoughts and help you organize your ideas. Finally, you’ll need a place to do all this, such as a quiet spot in the library or a seat at your favorite coffee shop.

And now for the planning itself. If you’ve been doing this exercise for years, you don’t need instructions. Just jump in and get it done. But if this is new for you, guidelines might be handy. Here are some to consider.

1. Start with an unedited list of wishes for the new year. Don’t hold back; capture everything you’d like to do or try or make different in 2012. For example, if your employment situation isn’t working for you, put it on the list: “Improve work” or “Find new job.”

2. Once you’ve got everything down, start organizing. This is where a laptop can be helpful. If you can copy and paste items on your list into different sections of the page, you’ll soon see patterns. Perhaps some of the goals fall into self-improvement, and others are adventure and others are all about making more money. Don’t worry about getting things into the “right” categories; as long as they’re somewhat sorted you’ll be fine.

3. Triage somehow. Using any criteria that matters to you, try to identify some top picks. Perhaps you want to take some online career training as a way to improve your work situation. Or maybe you want to begin the pathway out of your job and start a home-based business. When all the dust clears, aim for five items that you absolutely want to happen in the new year.

4. Make a plan. What do you need to make your goals reality? Whether it’s advice, funding or time off from work, your next step is to…take the next step.

And that’s how it’s done. If you’ve ever wondered how some people manage to set and reach so many goals, now you know. Have a great new year!

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