“Life has no remote control. Get up and change it yourself!”
Change doesn’t just happen. It happens when we make a conscious decision to change. 2020 caught us all by surprise. At the beginning of the year, I sat down and wrote out my plans for the year not knowing that in March the whole world would shut down due to COVID-19. No one could have predicted that we would witness or even experience so much suffering and pain. It was and has been traumatic to watch but here we are now ready to embark upon a new year. Do you face this new year with doubt and indecision, or do you find a way to move forward with the hope that 2021 will be your BEST year ever?
If your plan is to live your life more fulfilled, even in the midst of a pandemic, then here are five ways to approach 2021 so that it is your BEST year.
1. Be Grateful!
Before setting your vision and goals for 2021, take some time to be thankful and grateful for all the good things that have happened to you in 2020. While there was much sadness and many challenges (including COVID-19 and one of the most negative and debilitating elections in our lifetime), I’ve been able to reflect on the remarkable things that happened. My son got engaged to a wonderful young lady who I adore; my husband retired from a successful career as an educator (the mayor of the City of Phoenix actually named December 5th as Jerome K. Garrison, Sr. day in his honor), my oldest daughter had our third grandchild; my business released a bestselling book… I could go on and on about gratitude.
Take some time today to list all the things you are grateful for coming out of 2020. You will find that there is plenty to celebrate and as you ponder on those things, think about how amazing 2021 will be for you.
2. Set a Winning Vision for 2021
It all starts with your vision. What do you want your life to look like in 2021? Answering this question is the key to being successful personally and professionally in 2021. My strategy for creating a winning vision is to create a vision statement that defines what you want to have happen.
Your long-term vision should be about what you want in your life three to five years from now. Once you have determined your long-term vision, think about what you want for your life in 2021. If you are having trouble coming up with a clear vision, here’s a strategy I learned that has helped me. Write a letter to your best friend. Not literally, but figuratively. Pretend it’s five years from today and you are writing a letter to your friend to tell her what is going on in your life on this day (five years from now). Use your imagination and think BIG.
Once you have written your letter, your vision should be pretty clear. Now go set the goals and strategies to achieve it!
3. Set 2021 Goals and Reach Them
Goals act as a roadmap to where you are going in your personal life and your business (if applicable). One of my favorite quotes when it comes to goalsetting is:
“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal! A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan! A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true!”
It’s true. Goalsetting is about taking your vision and creating a written plan of action for how you are going to achieve your goals. Remember, goals have five parts or in other words, they are SMART!
Specific – state what you want in definite terms
Measurable – what does the goal look like when you complete it (I earn $100,000 in my business)
Achievable – able to be accomplished within the established time period
Relevant – related to what you are doing or what you want to achieve
Timeline – has a definite end date (I earn $100,000 in 12 months)
Create BIG goals and then break them down into little goals. For example, if your goal for your business in 2021 is to earn $100,000, you should divide that amount by 12. That gives you the monthly amount you need to make to achieve your goal. You can further break down your goal into a weekly goal by taking the monthly amount and dividing it by 4. You then have the weekly amount you would need to make to achieve your $100,000. I like to break my financial goals into daily goals by dividing my week by 5 (I generally only work five days a week). I then know what I need to earn daily to be at six figures by the end of the year.
Once you have your goal defined, now create the plan on how you are going to achieve it. What products do you need to create or enhance to achieve $100,000? How many people do you have to have purchased that product on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to achieve the goal? Finally, how will you reach the people who need your product or service (create a marketing plan)?
This strategy works no matter what your goal (writing a book, going on a trip, buying a house, etc.). Set your goals and create your strategy as you approach 2021.
4. Affirm Your Success
Successful people declare their success. They declare it by using affirmations that create a positive mindset and atmosphere for success. As a kid, do you remember how you used to create your Christmas list and then spend most of December dreaming about the things you wanted? Every day you’d instinctively visualize how you will feel when you wake up on Christmas morning to that shiny red bicycle you’ve been wanting. You had no idea if it would actually be under the tree, but you dreamed of how cool you’ll be riding down the street with your new bicycle.
Affirmations create that same feeling. Anticipation and creating the atmosphere where the things you are dreaming about have already happened. You feel it. Taste it. It’s real before it even happens. When you write positive, present-tense affirmations, your subconscious thinking begins to believe it has happened. I write my affirmations down and then repeat them daily, affirming that they have already happened. I happily earn $100,000 a year. You notice I didn’t affirm that “I will” earn. I affirmed that “I earn!”. Write your affirmations based on the goals you created for yourself as if they have already happened. Write them down and repeat them daily. You will find that your 2021 will be your BEST year ever!
5. Have Fun
As you approach 2021, even with COVID-19 and so many uncertainties, find a way to have fun and enjoy your life. Even in a pandemic, you can find ways to safely enjoy the people in your life! The other day, my family (all across the country) got on Zoom together and played a game. We had so much fun and even though we were all in our own homes, we gathered snacks and spent more than an hour online laughing and acting as silly as we could. It was fun! This past year, I have attended birthdays, baby showers, retirement parties, and anniversaries online. They were fun and they added a wonderful contrast to the constant negativity that surrounds us in today’s world.
Find a way to have a fun activity at least once monthly. My organization, the 50Something Women’s Network, has a weekly Virtual Coffee where we gather and have an agenda-free time to discuss all sorts of topics. I have come to look forward to this coffee every week. In fact, when we have to cancel, I feel a little lost because I miss hanging out with my girls!
Create your fun and make 2021… Your BEST year yet!!!
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