What if this were the last year of your life – if you knew that on December 31st 2018 your life would end …
- What would you want to look back on?
- What would you do differently?
- What would you want to accomplish in the next 12 months?
- Who would you want to spend time with?
- How do you want to feel?
I believe that S.M.A.R.T. Goals are really important, but sometimes they feel a bit clinical. So I think the ‘Live As Though This Was The Last Year of Your Life’ idea adds a whole new sense of urgency to the goal-setting process, although some people find it very confronting.
There are a lot of posts about ‘legacy work’ and the idea of thinking ahead to what you want people to say at your funeral which I think help put this life into perspective, but they can also be hard to get your head around, so I came up with this idea of setting 12 month goals, using the:
- S.M.A.R.T. Framework;
- Where You Are Today as a Starting Point; and
- 31st of December as an End Point.
This has nothing to do with fighting illness, or anticipating death, and everything to do with creating an ambitiously realistic plan for next year.
If you start today, you have more than a month to get your goals down on paper before the end of this year, so you can have them staring you in the face on January 1st and every day that follows.
Start by thinking about the various aspects of your life:
For each area of your life think of the single outcome you most desire – something that can be achieved in just 12 months if you focus on it.
Now write it as a S.M.A.R.T. Goal –
- Specific – clearly stated in precise terms
- Measurable – you can tell if you have achieved it or not
- Achievable – it is possible
- Realistic – not only is it possible, it is possible for you given your circumstances
- Timely – there is a date attached to it – 31st December 2018
New Year is the time when I like to look at the totality of my life for the year to come and set a single goal in each area. Once I have the big picture I’ll look at milestones and actions for each.
Just because you are setting a 12 month goal doesn’t mean that your goal will be small – it just means that it won’t involve going from 0 to a Nobel Prize in one year. On the other hand, 365 days to overnight success is quite achievable … if you work hard and focus on taking appropriate actions.
What’s the Point?
The point is that if you aim at nothing you’ll hit it … every single time!
If you want your life to count … if you don’t want to come to the end of your days and say, ‘Is this all there was and all I did?’ then you need to set some goals. It doesn’t matter whether your 12 month goal is to get married, make a million dollars, build a log cabin, or stop the whaling industry: if you only had these 12 months to live, what would you do to bring your goal closer to realisation?
Once you’ve set your goals in each of these areas you need to actively visualise them and plant them in your timeline. I talked about this in “Taking S.M.A.R.T. Goals One Step Further” and in my Confident Closing Workshops we demonstrate how to plant these goals in your timeline so that your unconscious mind guides you very powerfully in the direction you have chosen. If you haven’t heard of this before you can sign up for our next Confident Closing Workshop which will be held in January.
This is a truly powerful process because it takes the burden off your will. You are still responsible for your daily actions, but your unconscious mind helps you get there once you have told it where it is going.
Why not make 2018 the year you make deliberate progress in your chosen direction by living as though it were the last year of your life?
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