We call them New Year’s Resolutions. These are our plans we make at the beginning of a new year, so that we can see, in 12 months time, what’s been done from our list. From ‘I’ll stop smoking’ to ‘I’ll save 10% of what I make’, anything can go into our plan. Some consider them to be useless, others can’t live without them. While it’s always a good idea to make changes RIGHT AWAY and not wait for 12 months to do this, starting your year with a good plan can’t be wrong either.
Successful people don’t go aimlessly through life
Two years ago I was starting out as a freelance web designer and was looking for success inspiration anywhere I could. One such success model was a dentist I know, who runs several clinics in few European countries. He’s a workaholic who never accepts anything under ‘perfect’ whether it’s about his performances or his teams’. I don’t really dream of sleeping 4 hours a night like he does, but there’s something that really inspired me in the way he’s preparing himself for a new year.
When the year is starting out he’s making plans: financial, professional etc. Then, at the end of December, he’s looking at his plans and tries to see what worked out well, where he made mistakes, what he can improve in the next year.
I’ve lived year after year with no plans or resolutions for 30 years. It was OK. I was mediocre, if you ask me now.
Not being able to rely on anyone but myself forced me to really plan better. 2009 was a horrible year for me (at least that’s how I see it). I lost my job, had a cancer scare and also was forced to start as a freelancer with no money and nothing to help me succeed but my despair and talent for web design. When the year ended and I was on my way to become a successful freelancer (had 4-5 VERY hard months, but did earn a pretty buck), I decided to start 2010 with a better plan.
We traveled a lot in 2010 (6 months in NYC) and I did have some bad months too, but overall the year ended well. I was reaching my goals and it made me happy. In 2011 we traveled again a lot (7 months abroad: NYC again, now we’re in Spain), but my goals were again reached, even if they were pretty big. I knew what I had to do and I did it.
Having goals helps me see the next 12 months in a different light
I am not living aimlessly anymore. I have resolutions I try to achieve any day of the year, I have plans regarding money and my business. I always had issues with money and now I try to curb my spending and save more. Having these goals doesn’t allow me to be too ‘relaxed’ and this means I am achieving things.
Every 12 months I know what I had to do and what I’ve done. What went wrong, where and why I made mistakes. For 2011 I reached all my goals (save 10%, make x amount of money, re-organize my network etc.) and I’m prepared for this next year with bigger goals: earn more, save at least 15%, earn x amount in website advertising revenue etc.
So I’m starting 2012 today with a serious plan. I hope you’re doing the same and I wish you to have ALL YOUR DREAMS AND PLANS COME TRUE.
Happy New Year!