As this year comes to an end and we eagerly anticipate a fresh start in 2014, many people find themselves reflecting. We get this magical clean slate at the end of every year where we are so optimistic about all that we can accomplish over the next 365 days 

We make concrete decisions about who we want to be, what changes we want to make, what habits we want to quit, the goals we want to achieve etc … We set the bar so high for where we want to be by this time next year.

I think it’s silly to wait until New Years Eve to make changes in your life. I believe we all have the ability to decide to stop whatever behaviours aren’t serving us personally or professionally at anytime … However, it is still nice to have that line in the sand (or snow) where we get to decide what we want our life to look like heading into the new year.

Goal setting is so important as you move forward in life and business. One of my favourite quotes on this topic is:

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”

As you head into a new year don’t underestimate yourself. You’d be surprised what you can accomplish in 52 weeks.

Take a good look at the last 12 months of your life and really ask yourself … “Did I actually accomplish what I set out to accomplish?” … If you did, that’s amazing! Congratulations! You really should be proud of yourself because for most people the answer will be no. If you are like most people you probably had a massive list of things that you set out to change and achieve in 2013 … And maybe you accomplished one or two of those things, that’s okay too.  Most people drastically overestimate what they can accomplish in a year … But then underestimate what they can accomplish in a life time.

Take those goals from last year, dust them off, and decide what is still important to you and still relevant, a lot can change in 12 months. Then decide where you want to be at the end of next year both personally and professionally. From there there you can work backwards and figure out what little steps you need to take in between to accomplish your end goal. I  have always believed that it is easier to begin with the end in mind because it really puts the journey in perspective.

Another thing you may want to try is breaking your goals into four quarters. Businesses operate on a quarterly basis for a reason. For most goals there are several baby steps that need to be completed before achieving the end result. Taking things and breaking them down into smaller steps can also make them seem less intimidating and easier to achieve.

Regardless of how you finished 2013 you have one week to reflect and then do a complete 180 for 2014 if you aren’t heading in the direction you had originally planned. There is nothing wrong with where you are in life if that is where you want to be … but “insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”. If you aren’t where you want to be you need to do something about it! And NOW is the perfect time.