12.30.13 Step into 2014Most people like the idea of a new year. A new year brings a new start, a new beginning etc.

But few enjoy planning for it…because well it can be overwhelming. There are 52 weeks, 365 days and 8,760 hours to plan for.

Having wrestled with planning myself I get it. This can be daunting! Ourselves, friends and experts often add to the issue with complex planning tools. Add to that mix other unknowns such as: you may not have a vision, you may not know what you want to do, you may not know how to make a change or start something new etc.

What I’ve learned is that planning is just a tool, to think of your dreams as a destination and that you MUST plan for success.  This year is just a part of your journey…you just need to take one step…at…a…time…

Maybe this year is the year you define your dreams, maybe it’s the year you execute them, or maybe it’s a year of exploration into yourself to rediscover who you are. Your dreams are as unique as you are. It’s YOUR journey…no two journeys are exactly alike…your individuality matters.

Ok so wherever you are in your journey you are about to embark on the trip of a life time. Humor me for a moment – look in the mirror and say to yourself “Planning is easy and fun!”. OK got it? Now work through these 7 tips below. How does your new year feel now?

1. Whoa not so fast: Before you try to jump into 2014 reflect on 2013. What was good? What was bad? What did you learn? What would you change?

2. Define Your Destination: Write down one reason why you are looking forward to 2014? Only one. This will give you focus.

3. Take a Step: What is a single step that will take you in the direction of the destination you defined in #2?

4. Set Your GPS: Set a few top level goals related to your destination. These are just additional steps to get you to where you want to go (see How to Set S.M.A.R.T.E.R Goals so You Can Get Results for help with this).

5. Check Where You’re Headed: Once you have taken the first few steps check to make sure you’re headed in the direction of your destination. Have you deviated too much and gotten off track? Intentional deviations and changes are all good, plans can change, but unintentional deviations are often caused my distractions, shiny objects and procrastination (click here for help overcoming procrastination).

6. Don’t travel alone : Life is so much better with travel companions. Share your excitement for 2014 with your close friends; tell them what your destination is. Hire a coach or ask a good friend to be an accountability partner. This is helpful for motivation and provides a reality check for when you get off course.

7. Remember Its Your Journey: Life doesn’t happen to you. You construct it and reconstruct it after the storms. You’re in control of YOU. So if you are really looking forward to 2014 because of your destination – there is no reason why you can’t take steps towards it. That my friend is up to you.

Copyright 2013, Mary R Miller