How To Have An Amazing 2019 (Or Any Year For That Matter)
The birth of a new year is often the time for reflection and strategic planning. It is the time when we look back at the year we've had and start planning for the year to come with hopes and dreams of making it better.
A foundational block for success is preparation, and if you genuinely want to make the year ahead your best one yet, you must equip yourself with the right mindset, principles, and focus to succeed. This goes beyond just being successful but also feeling successful at the same time. Yes, there is a difference between the two.
The definition of success, as stated in the Oxford Dictionary, is the 'accomplishment of an aim or purpose'. Though success is often linked to the attainment of fame, wealth, or social status, being successful simply means to attain the goal you've set out to achieve. The more goals you achieve, the more successful you become.
While achieving your goals makes you successful by definition, it does not necessarily mean it will lead you to feel successful. The feeling of success is an emotional state of mind, and like any emotion, it requires the right triggers for the desired emotion to surface. What makes you happy may not make the person beside you happy and vice-versa. This same principle applies to the emotion of success. Unless your goals trigger the feeling of success from within, you may just find yourself in the spot many others find themselves in; They're seen to be successful, but don't feel successful. And this eventually leads to feeling unhappy or even depressed in some cases.
So what can you do to ensure you have an amazing year ahead, where you're both being and feeling successful?
1. Be crystal clear over what you want to achieve
Get into the habit of setting goals. After all, how can you get to where you want to be if you have no idea as to where you're going, right? However, the mistake most people make when it comes to goal setting is not investing the time to discover the underlying drivers and motives behind each goal.
Ask yourselves these three questions for each goal that you set.
i. "Why did I set the goal?" - This question helps you realise the motivation behind the goal. Examine if your goal is to move away from pain or to move towards pleasure; if your goal is self-initiated or derived from others; and if your goal is self-sustainable or requires the help of others. Having this clarity will allow you to keep the motivation going during times of challenge and hardship.
ii. "Is this a goal that I want to achieve or think I have to achieve?" - One of the reasons why people who successfully achieve their goals don't feel successful is because they're achieving the goals that they think they had to achieve instead of the ones they really want to achieve. These usually are goals that are set based on either self or external expectations.
Here are some typical statements that lead to 'expectation based' goals:
"I've been in this role for 5 years, and therefore I should get a promotion."
"You must scale up your business if you want to succeed."
"Why don't you have children? You've been married for a while now."
"All my friends are investing in cryptocurrencies. I think I should too."
"I was from an elite school, and therefore my children should go to elite schools too."
Remember, the best goals are ones that you really want to achieve for yourself and are tied to positive reasons such as growth and fulfilment. Goals that are based on expectations often only lead to disappointment.
iii. “Does my goal have clear, tangible markers for completion?” - How will you know if you’ve accomplished your goal? Are there clear indications for completion set in place? Will you be able to tell how close or far away you are from achieving it? Does the thought of attaining your goal excite you?
Treat the journey of achieving your goal like running a marathon. Every marathon runner knows the importance of knowing the distance of the run beforehand, the impact the mile markers carry for motivation, and the joy of seeing the finish line in sight.
2. Plan for growth
Life is made up of many different areas; Career, relationships, health, finances, time, and emotions. Ask yourself, which of these areas feel stagnant and could use an injection of measurable of growth?
What most people don't realise is that stagnancy is a source for unhappiness. Someone who earns a million dollars in revenue will likely be delighted for the first few years. But if this person continues to only earn the same amount year in year out, the lack of revenue growth will trigger unhappiness. Relationships are another example. Most relationships start off on a high note but slowly fade into the territory where a lot of things get taken for granted. It is this lack of growth that kills most relationships.
Therefore, ensure you plan for growth in your life. Small measurable growth that improves your quality of life is all it takes to sustain the feeling of joy and fulfilment.
3. Focus your thoughts on kindness, compassion, and gratitude, instead of expectations, envy, and resentment
Want to know the formula to create a truly miserable life? It's simple - merely make it a habit to focus on expectations, envy, and resentment, instead of kindness, compassion, and gratitude. What we focus on will determine our reality, so let's decide on creating a beautiful life by choosing to focus on all that is good around us. Be kind to others and lend someone in need a helping hand. Be thankful for what we have while we are striving for growth. And be the beacon of hope and excellence for others to model.
Here is to an awesome 2019 ahead and wishing you all the joy and success in the world.
This article was first published in the 2019 Edition of the ‘Motivating your Mind - Inspiring your Spirit’ ebook by Strategic Resources International. Download your free copy of the full ebook here and get access to 105 articles from 90 global writers and industry experts.