How To Plan For A Year Of Growth

By DB Hurley · PUBLISHED January 06, 2015 · UPDATED January 06, 2015
The new year has arrived and with it comes new opportunity! Leaving the last year behind gives us the chance to reflect on our choices, measure our gains, cut our losses and begin anew! Maybe you had a great year full of positive change and you would like to see more of it. Perhaps like many, however, you want this year to be different, better, even stronger than the last. If you have hope for a better year, keep it, nurture it, and plan it to the last detail before the spirit of renewal and all of its momentum slips away!

Step One: Know Yourself

You have resolved to grow this year, but knowing what you want is only half the battle. Change comes from within and your mind is the battlefield. When you know what it is that you need to change, you must set goals and orient yourself to a place of success. Once you have your mind in alignment with your goals, the outcome depends on careful planning, in your organization, and commitment. So let's prepare ourselves for this year’s success, shall we?

Success Begins Within

Albert Einstein once said, “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

Many of history's greatest minds have expressed this fact with great insight and articulation. The greater truth that one can find is in the power of perception, one’s personal construction and reaction to the world around them. Your own personal motivation to initiate internal change, along with careful planning for success, gives the courage and tenacity required to make lasting change.
You are not your business, but your business is part of you and if it is to change, it must begin in you. Read, create, discuss, and resolve to change your attitude. First identify your mental barriers to daily success. Whether it comes in the form of distractions, feeling easily defeated, living with imbalance and stress, or simply not feeling motivated, all of these things will hinder you from envisioning your success. Without mental clarity it is difficult to know exactly where you want to be or how to get there. It is never easy to initiate perceptual changes because the mind seeks consistency and the world is full of surprises that bring failure and difficulty to our lives. The question is not whether it is difficult, but how strongly do you want to make a change, how far are you willing to go to make your dreams into reality? If you have identified your inhibitors, envisioned your success and committed yourself to the effort, then you are ready to begin the next step towards growth; setting your goals.

Set Goals

It is not terribly difficult to imagine yourself in a better place than where you are, but imagination alone does little to ensure your arrival to that unique place of success. If you have tried to make things better and it simply will not stick, then you must do it differently. Performing the same tasks time and time again, but expecting a different result is insanity. In your life, you must make conscious decisions and take proper steps to think differently, perform differently, and choose differently then you have done previously. Did that choice led to your desired results previously? If not, choose differently, choose wisely, and be courageous! If that choice is no better, you have not failed, but gained an answer to the question and additional experience. You are one step closer to success when you cross an attempted strategy off of your list.
Setting goals can be scary and may feel daunting sometimes. Where do I start, and what happens when I screw up? Remember, screwing things up is inevitable, if you don’t, life will help, but your progress does not have to stop at your mistake. Cross it off the list and ask your original question. What is the problem, and what options do I have to solve it? Quite possibly, you will find a better choice than the first time and your “wrong" decision will give you a better perspective.
When setting goals for overcoming mental barriers, start small with simple changes. If you’ve made a list of barriers, identify the one you think is most attainable and tackle it head-on, but with your own personal recipe for success.

3 Things For Successful Decision-Making

Write down these three things to help you plan for successful decision-making

  1. What was the problem or need that warranted the decision?
  2. What options do you have to solve or fix the problem?
  3. What will you choose, the next time you are faced with this or a similar problem?
When the problem reappears, you will have thought about your experience, considered your options and have a plan for successfully overcoming the mental obstacles that once stood in your way. You will find strength in your new ability and your success will give you courage to face every challenge with wisdom and purpose.

Organize your goals and use your plan

While working on mental barriers it is good to keep long-term goals in mind and maintain the perspective of your overall orientation. Remember the future you imagined, the perfect place where you know you need to be? Describe it, write about it, sing about it if that helps! What does it feel like? Where do you think you will be? Simply describing your future self helps to visualize who you will be and direct your choices toward the realization of your vision. The most important questions for creating your long term goals are “what will each day look like and what habits will the more successful version of yourself possess”? Identify three to five habits that you think your future self will need, and start practicing. Each day, you must live like the person you want to become, or you are destined to relive the same day, the same past, and the same mistakes.
If you agree that 2015 has the potential to be a better year, then join me in actively making it the truth. Do not be afraid to try new things, learn from your mistakes, create a plan to deal with problems more effectively, ask for help when you need it, seek out creative solutions to keep yourself inspired, start small, and overcome barriers with all of the skills you already possess.
Here’s to you and to your year of growth!