A couple of weeks ago, I was reading an article, and through it, it dawned on me that 2020 is not just the new year like most others. This one opens a brand-new decade of opportunities!
So, if you haven’t started planning your goals for 2020 just yet and thinking of it, I want to encourage you to do that by looking back at 2019 first.
First, take time to reflect on what worked great this year so you can repeat and do more of in the new year. Then look at what didn’t. And as my contribution to your 2020 planning, I prepared the below points that will help you avoid 5 traps, and this way NOT carry them over to the New Decade.
1. Things that don’t work
As you look at 2019 and reflect on what worked, you also should spend time to remember what didn’t. It’s not about beating yourself up for mistakes or judging whether your actions could have been better. It’s about learning and growing from all the experiences you’ve had.
We are human, we aren’t perfect, and especially when we do new things. It’s completely normal that when we learn anything, the results of our new actions aren’t going to be at an expert level from the start. What’s already impressive about you taking on something new is the courage that you have to start! Congrats as not everyone does. Now, use the same courage to look back, analyze, and improve so your results can be better next year. That’s how you become an expert in anything. There are no short cuts or magic spells, just trial and error, and the ability to learn from the experience.
2. Goals or projects only because you think you “should”
As you analyze and prioritize the plans and goals, be honest with yourself. See if any of them are on your list because you want to do them or because you think you “should” do them. Maybe they are on your list because you feel you need to please someone. Or maybe you just have a hard time saying ‘NO’ to others at the expense of putting your real priorities at the back burner.
Saying ‘NO’ to others isn’t easy. And lots of us struggle with it. If you’re one of them, then this Guide of 39 Ways to Saying NO Respectfully, will help you get started. Click here to download it now.
3. Non-important Things
Taking on too many initiatives and projects into your business right from the get-go is a perfect recipe for stretching yourself too thin and the overwhelm. You MUST prioritize and pick only what’s truly important. To help you with it, I suggest you write down all your projects and ask yourself: “Out of all the projects I have, which ones will have the most significant positive impact on my core goals in business and life?”
And please don’t pick more than 3 core goals for the year 😉. If you make everything important, then nothing really will be. And when you stretch yourself too thin, then you won’t be able to put quality effort, which will translate into mediocre results.
In case you need more help in this area, I have run a full training on prioritizing and strategic time management. You can find it in my fabulous FB group: Businesswomen with Passion 4 Life under announcements. It’s totally free, so it’s as easy as joining the group or if you prefer worksheets only, you can download the Ultimate Guide to Reduce Your Stress & Increase Results here. It contains the prioritization tool.
4. Associations that drain you
You’ve probably heard this quote by Jim Rohn: “that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.”
When it comes to any relationships, we are greatly influenced, whether we like it or not, by those we hang out most with. It affects our way of thinking, our self-esteem, and our decisions. Of course, you’re own person, but research has shown that we’re more affected by our environment than we think.
That’s why it’s essential to surround yourself intentionally with people. Don’t leave your associations to chance, especially with people that you’re spending the most time with. And it’s not about only picking others who will only say ‘yes’ and never challenge us. Different opinions allow us to see things from a different perspective and grow. However, having people around you that are respectful, supportive, and better than you in areas you want to grow, will speed up your journey to success.
Therefore, take this opportunity to reflect if there are any people in your life you need to disassociate with. And on the other hand, are there people you need to spend more time with or maybe even find first.
5. Feeling guilty or beating yourself up for past mistakes
If you’re doing this, you need to STOP NOW 😊. It’s not doing you any good and only brings you down. Consequently, it pulls you away from pursuing your goals.
As I mentioned in point 1, we all make mistakes as we are human. And mistakes are a natural part of any learning journey. Just think of a baby trying to learn to walk. What if had the ability to feel guilty every time it falls? It would stop trying after probably 3-5 falls and never learn to walk! Can you imagine how it would hinder human progress in anything? So, accept the failures, accept the mistakes, welcome them in your life as things that allow you to grow, learn, and become an expert. Then try and create better results every time you try something again.
Taking Time To Think (4 T’s) and look back regularly allows us to pause and learn from the past. When we do that, we can take what’s good about it, improve and leave the negative things behind. Every day is a white sheet of paper that we fill, every year is a brand-new book we write. And in a decade, we can write a whole new series of books. So why not making the adventure better each time? Each time you have a fresh start, and each time, you can make it count more.