May 08, 2017
Change is a hard thing for us sometimes; but if we want to have better results in 2016 than we did in 2015, something has to change. If you've made changes in 2015 that are going to pay off somehow in 2016, then congratulations! Work hard to keep that momentum and increase the positive effects you're expecting. But if you went through a tough year, and you don't want another one like it, you need a new strategy.
2015 was a year of many significant changes in my life. At the time of some of these changes, I thought they were changes I didn't want happening. Some, though, were of my own choosing and with a positive purpose in mind. But as I look back now, wrapping up this year, I am appreciative and grateful for each and every change that happened in my life in 2015 because each one of them has brought me to a better place, rather than a lesser one. Intentionally pursuing positive changes, as well as turning others into opportunities for positive outcome, results in a great year.
Organizations develop strategic plans for future progress and success; why wouldn't we do this for ourselves as well? Sit yourself down with focused time between now and the end of 2015 and give yourself the gift of strategy for 2016. Figure out what happened in 2015 that you can now see was positive, and write down why it was positive. Do you want to move forward with the direction that change is taking your life? How will you do it? Outline longer-term goals (5 years) and then break each one of those down into short-term goals (1 year and maybe even monthly for 2016). And those things that didn't go your way... figure out why they didn't, and strategically plan toward improvement.
A strategy is a plan of action. You may have plans, but in order for those to truly be strategic, you have to also include the action aspect. You deserve to have a good year, and you deserve for things to only improve for you. If you didn't feel valued or appreciated by someone (or many) in 2015, make sure that changes in 2016. If you didn't accomplish things you intended to in 2015, make sure that doesn't happen in 2016 and that you accomplish your goals. This time next year, you want to look back and say, "This was a much better year!" And then you'll want to strategically plan for the next one.
Let's talk about value. If a thing has value, we consider it something to be esteemed, precious, appreciated, and having worth. You have value. If you have not felt esteemed, precious, appreciated, or having had worth, it's time to change that for 2016. List the things you did in 2015 that you feel were of worth, whether anyone else thought they were or not. Then compare by checking off which ones you think someone else saw has having had value. If you did, but no one else did, assess why. And then strategically plan to change that. Help others to see your value and to treat you with esteem, appreciation, and worth. Increase your value by setting goals to add to your abilities, offerings and worth; but also make sure that, if you're expecting others to see your value, that you strategically help them get there.
If you find that you have someone/something in your life that isn't seeing that you have value, maybe you shouldn't continue having them in your life. This can mean a relationship, a job, or a situation that is potentially pulling you down, causing self-doubt, sabotaging your progress, or defeating your momentum and hope. Make positive changes. Look for a trend of growth and increase in your value.
Grab a notebook just for this, and get started writing. Here's your brief how-to for developing a personal strategic plan:
1. Brainstorm all the possible goals you might want to set for yourself, and write them all down. Write things you want to improve over last year, positives you want to continue, and new goals you want to start in 2016. Rank them by their level of importance or priority to your life.
2. Look at all the goals you wrote, and then categorize them by similarities - you'll start to see patterns and overlaps. Pull those out, group them, and start your narrowed list of goals.
3. Create your list, narrowed and brief, making sure all goals meet the criteria of being: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timeline-based.
4. Then take time with each goal, outlining for each what steps, smaller goals, you'll need to accomplish in order to achieve the bigger goal.
5. If needed, break those down one step further into smaller goals - this will help you see your progress and feel a sense of success with each one you achieve. Remember to be specific about how and when you will have succeeded with each goal.
6. And then, start writing - in journal form - about what you hope all of these goals will do to change your life, for the better, in 2016. At this time next year, what is it that you're hoping you will be able to say about 2016 and how it went for you?
Now get busy. Your best year ever is waiting for you!