To control and manage time, humans invented a calendar and broke it down into periods. One of those periods was a year. 8,766 hours. Sounds like a lot of time, and yet always not enough.
Quantity is not always quality. That’s why it is a fantastic habit to analyze, summarize, and arrive at conclusions at the end of a period (a year in our case).
Human psyche requires a hard stop—we are always looking for a finite action. We analyze events and move on. And the best, most effective way to move on is to plan.
If you are intentional about your life, 8,766 hours are more than enough time to completely change your life.
Here are effective ways to analyze your year:
Give importance to this goal-setting task.
Find comfortable space away from distractions.
Write everything down – the brain thinks differently when we do.
Prepare for an amazing adventure – your life is so interesting with so many twists and turns, better than any Hollywood blockbuster.
Pick 7 areas (for example, career, money, friends, family, wellness, mountaineering, hobbies) etc, and think what you have accomplished in each area this year. Think of yourself as an A-list actor in that Hollywood movie. Your life is unique, you were both an actor and a director and a producer in that movie. What did you create? What happened? Do you like what you have created?
Break it down by month—it’s easier to track progress. Your successes? What are you grateful for? What did you learn? Any failed attempts? Are you planning to try again next year? What do you have to let go of?
Give your movie a title and describe your year in one sentence.
Be grateful for everything you have experienced this year. Let go of the mistakes. It was what it was. It’s not the events that matter but the feelings we have about them, the stories we choose to tell ourselves. We shouldn’t let the past drag us back. It’s like setting the sail and forgetting to lift the anchor!
If you go through this process periodically, you’ll learn a lot about yourself. You’ll see how you have changed over the years and you’ll appreciate the new person you have become because your growth will be so apparent to you.
We analyze events and move on. Statistically, only 5% of people plan their future on paper. Big mistake! Living a life without a goal is like getting into a taxi cab and instructing the driver, ‘Don’t take me to the airport.’ No clear direction – no result.
So, effective goal-setting:
Write everything down (already explained that part, see above).
Take the same 7 areas and write down your wishes in each area. Paying off your mortgage or wishing for the kids to get into college are not your goals! Be brave in setting your goal. If you already know you can easily reach your goal, most likely this goal is not big enough,
Approximate months when you plan to achieve those goals.
Can you set more concrete dates? When you start thinking from a position of results, you start seeing solutions all around you.
If you have a life partner, share your list to check if you are on the same page! After all, you’ll be spending the next 8,766 hours with that person.
Now, congratulate yourself for setting up this plan. Good job! You just allowed yourself to grow into a new reality.
The only thing you need for goal-setting is intention. The remaining – action – is easy.
Planning for your future is an art. It is a great pleasure to live your life from a position of a creator, director of your own movie, when life is not happening to you but when you make things happen.
Dream, be bold, plan, act, stay focused, summit, enjoy the view from the summit.