It’s that time of year – time to review the past year and plan for the next. You’ve probably hit some or most of your goals this year. You may have fallen short on others. That’s OK! But now you have some decisions to make. Here are 5 items that you should add to your Wish List for 2016:
Pay close attention to what wasn’t completed. Ask yourself why you fell short. Was it a lack of effort? Did you simply run out of time? Were the goals unrealistic to begin with? Or perhaps the task simply wasn’t important enough to attract your full attention. The most important thing you can do to increase the likelihood of reaching your goals for 2016 is to eliminate any activity that does not move the needle forward. If you didn’t accomplish something in 2015, that in and of itself, does not mean you should simply transfer it to your 2016 To-Do list. Focus on moving that needle. Cut out anything that won’t.
Make time for personal and professional development. Read more. Schedule 45 minutes each day to scan blogs, read business books, review useful social media posts, engage the authors and other readers by commenting on stories and articles. This is an appointment that you CANNOT miss or reschedule. Stay faithful to it. If that means starting your day a little earlier or ending a little later, so be it. Put it on your calendar. Just do it.
Commit to being EXCELLENT. It’s safe to say that there are a lot of professionals who want to be excellent at what they do. Who wouldn’t? But if history has taught us anything, it’s that a select few actually become excellent. Why is this? There are a few things that excellent professionals have/do that others don’t. And that’s not to say that those who don’t lack the ability to acquire the same skills or are unable do the same things. On the contrary! They can. You can. You just have to commit.
Keep a small notebook with you at all times. This is something I started doing myself this past year. Go out and spend the dollar or so it will cost you to get a notebook that will fit in your pocket. Pull that notebook out whenever you see something you like, hear a good idea, think of something innovative, or just to keep track of your activities. Sure, you could just pull out your cell phone and do all of that. But if you’re like me, you might rely too heavily on all things electronic and mobile and things can get lost pretty easily. When I have to actually pull out the old-fashioned notebook every day to take a look at it, I am forced to remember the things that I thought were important enough to jot down. By the way, the outline for this blog post you’re reading right now is from an entry in that notebook dated September 20, 2015. I’m not sure if I would have remembered it or even seen it again if I had just sent myself an e-mail.
Do something charitable. Get involved with a cause that is near and dear to you. Maybe it’s volunteering for a couple hours each month at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. Perhaps it’s serving on an event committee at your place of worship. Or maybe it’s as simple as setting up an auto-deduction to your favorite charity. We often get distracted by the hustle and bustle and forget to take time to do things that will not only help others but will also strengthen our own character and well-being. Being charitable accomplishes both.
What are your thoughts? Comment below and let’s get a discussion going!
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