How To Prepare For 2024
The end of one year and the beginning of the next is a special and unique time. It's an opportunity to relax, enjoy, and prepare ourselves for a great year ahead.
Although it’s not the only time of the year we should be reflecting and planning, it’s also often the time when most people have the time to plan.
Going into this time of year with some thought and preparation can help make the most of this time and maximise your results in the coming year.
The power of a shift in perspective
Having a break and changing our daily routine allows us to see things from a different perspective. You might have noticed that you experience a surge of creative ideas and inspiration when you go on holiday.
When we step away from the day-to-day routine, even if it’s just during travel, we naturally tap into these more creative parts of our minds, making long-term planning much more effective.
During the holidays, there are things we can do consciously to make the best use of this time to prepare and plan for the following year.
I have two major things that are on my mind during this time. It's not the only time I have these thoughts and planning sessions, but this is when I allow myself to go deeper.
Key strategies for your end-of-year reflection
Often, we go through the year, and we get really, really busy. We get to the end of the year and ask, what haven't I achieved yet? What didn't I do? How am I going to do better?
It's like we're on a treadmill where we just go round and round, round and round. We’re always trying to run faster and do more.
One of the things I found is that it is a really good idea to bring completion to one period of time before moving on to the next. This helps me have a clear foundation to build the following year. I don't want to build next year based on the perceived failures or lack of what I haven’t done this year. I want to be objective and have clarity to move forward on what will help me achieve my most important goals.
Success comes from embracing gratitude and thankfulness.
The mind tends to focus most often on what we don't have. What we haven't done. What we haven't achieved.
We need to flip this conversation.
Start by looking back at the year and make a list of what has been achieved. What have you done? What have you achieved? What positive things have happened? What are you thankful for?
I do this because I want to honour myself and all the other people and even things that came into play that helped along that journey.
Thankfulness or gratitude is a very powerful state of mind for a number of different reasons. I've always said that success comes from a place of thankfulness and contentment, much more than from a place of lack, drive and an endless treadmill.
Yet what I've seen is that discontentment is often the motivating factor for people.
The most powerful way to take action is when you start from a place of honouring what you've done. And appreciating what you've done, what other people have contributed, and what the world has contributed.
Here’s a way to do that:
- Write down all the things - the successes, the accomplishments, the growth and the good things.
Some example questions might look like:
- What great ideas did you have and/or implement this past year?
- What obstacles/ tough times did you get through
- What growth did you experience (in your business, career, or other areas)
- What wins did you have (large or small)?
- What accomplishments did you have (big or small)?
- What great qualities did you show at any time (eg persistence, dedication etc.)?
- What goals did you achieve?
- What new things did you learn?
- My idea to grow the business has started really well
- I got the help I needed from a friend
- I got a promotion
- I got acknowledged for my dedication
- I started exercising
- I institute a savings plan
- I invested in myself and my growth
- I showed determination in getting through a difficult problem at home
- I handled a situation really well as a parent
- I made more of an effort with my relationship
- I achieved an important financial goal
- I took a trip I have wanted to take for a long time
- I made a difference for _________________
Acknowledge all the experiences and the people who have contributed.
- Some great people showed up to help me with marketing
- The book on financial management I read made a big difference
- My friend was really there when I needed someone
- My partner supported me through doing something I really wanted to do
- An unexpected opportunity arose so that I could achieve my dream
- I made some new friends
- I got the encouragement I needed just at the right time
- The perfect house showed up
This gives me a really good understanding of “hey, there's a lot that's happened in this past year”, and even if there are challenges that are involved, I want to look at how they served me.
Take time to reevaluate your goals and aspirations
I'm not one to look at challenges or want to look at challenges as something bad.
I want to look at them as how they helped along the way in achieving what we want to achieve.
As a natural part of this process, I gain an understanding of what I haven't done yet and where I want to go from here.
So the second thing I do is take an opportunity to reevaluate.
I ask myself the following questions:
- What do you want to achieve the most?
- What do I have?
- With all the things that I could do with this amazing life, what do I want to dedicate myself to or achieve most often? For me, it's in similar areas, year after year, because that's what's important to me. But sometimes, things do change.
- What's inspiring me for the next year? What are the things that are most going to inspire me?
- What do I love the most? I've found that if I connect with what I love, I will most effectively achieve that.
So I reevaluate that, and I go through all aspects of business and life.
I go through all the different areas of life and ask myself what my priorities are for the next year.
A few examples of what could most important this coming year:
- To grow a particular aspect of my business
- To foster more open communication in my relationship
- To increase my income to _________
- To establish an exercise programme to achieve my fitness goals
- To learn more about myself
- To resolve the mental challenge I have been having
- To travel more
- To discover what I most want to do with my life
- To be a more hands-on parent
- To achieve a different life balance
Please note that this exercise is not a “wish-list”. Most New Year resolutions have come and gone within the first 1-3 weeks, because they are not set in the areas of true importance. This exercise is about taking the time to evaluate what is truly most important to you - so that you begin the year with clarity and have a high probability of achieving your most important desires and goals.
It is a time to review at the highest level of what you are dedicated to, and to see if you are fully on the right track, or if it is time to add, subtract or change something.
- As I write all those down (my version of the above), I also start to look at the strategies I need to put in place: what I can do to move towards my goals?
- What needs tweaking or changing in the way I am doing things?
Join the Journey Towards Clarity and Success
This time of year is special and important. It's an opportunity to relax, do something different, and prepare for the year ahead. Take time to reflect on the past year, express gratitude, and set inspiring priorities for the new year.
Don't rush back into the daily grind; instead, use this time to connect with the creative aspects of your mind and establish a clear plan for the year.
I invite you to join the Expand community, where I offer a course on clarity and step-by-step guidance to implement these strategies.
You can also work one-on-one with me to dive deeper into their specific goals and plans.
So you can achieve greater success and fulfilment in the coming year.