As we close 2018, we look ahead to the new year. You may be looking at places for improvement in business, health, relationships or simply self-development. Here are some strategies you can use to help create meaningful lasting goals.

Year in Review - Give yourself some space to look at the past year. What were the wins? Misses? Did you make progress? Did you take on too much? My suggestion is not to do this exercise in your head but to put pen to paper. This process is even more meaningful when you can look at it and learn from it. You may see that you keep setting the same goals only to forget about them. You might realize that you have taken on too much or that you are so focused on business that you have neglected your relationships or your own health.

Wheel of Life - Zig Ziglar came up with an activity called The Wheel of Life where you measure various areas of your life like work, health, fun, friends, environment, finance, and relationships. You can come up with whatever categories are most important to you. On a scale from 1 to 10, how would you rate each of these areas? After you have scored them all, which areas do you most want to see improvement in the coming year? Remember, most of us take on too much. So truly hone-in on what will have the biggest ROE (Return on Energy) and what will make the biggest difference in your life?

90-Day Goals - Most people make a New Year’s goal. The problem is one year is simply too long of a time. We tend to procrastinate. Life changes and gets us distracted from that goal. Instead, focus on one quarter at a time. Less is more. Choose goals that are important to you and that will propel you in the direction you want to go. 1) Write it down. 2) Make it specific. 3) Set a deadline. 4) Make them action-oriented. An example is, “I will complete a draft of my new book by X date.”

Reverse Engineer Your Goals - Setting the goal is the easy part. What is your plan to achieve the goal? You now have your end result; a specific goal with a deadline. Sit down and brainstorm. What are all of the things that would need to happen to achieve this goal? In the example above, you would need to come up with an idea for your new book. You would need to come up with the chapters. You may need to do research. But what if you don’t know what steps you need to take to achieve your goal? Use Google; do some research; someone, somewhere can show you how. Find someone who has achieved your goal. See if they will help. Once you have your list, prioritize the order, create dates and put them on your calendar.

A hope for you in 2019 is that you take action. It’s not about being perfect, rather it’s about moving forward on the things that matter to you. It’s about making progress and being better than you were yesterday. Live as you inspire your clients to live: with purpose, in health and with joy.