It’s soon to be 2016, and like every year, you hope that it’s going to be the best year you’ve ever had.
Most of us go into the New Year with high hopes. We set New Year’s resolutions and goals and sometimes even make small “investments” (like gym memberships) to work toward achieving them.
Most resolution setters don’t make it past January, and by the time the first quarter of the year is over, we’ve forgotten about our resolutions all together. We’ve moved on, failed to reach our goals, and probably won’t set new ones until December rolls around.
You can prevent this for yourself by putting together a framework to make 2016 the best year yet.
1. Set a Schedule
One reason we tend to fail at our resolutions is because we set goals that aren’t in line with our lifestyles.
So we’ll resolve to lose ten pounds by March, and make a big effort to do so in January and February, but if we reach that goal, we tend to gain it all back by, say, June.
Instead of setting these goals to meet a deadline, setting a schedule is one of the best ways to make 2016 your best year.
What do I mean by a schedule?
Instead of saying “I’ll lose 10 pounds by March”, set a schedule to exercise three times a week, each week all year.
2. Build Cornerstone Habits
Cornerstone habits are habits that positively impact other things in your life, as well.
There have been many studies that prove that exercising helps you improve other areas of your life, too.
For instance, people who exercise in the morning report better eating habits during the rest of that day. They might be more productive or drink more water.
Test out a few habits in your life to see which benefit other behaviours, too.
3. Create Systems
If you just had a bit more time, you would be able to accomplish a lot more, right?
That’s where systems come in.
Think of all the mundane things you have to do on a day to day basis. Whether it’s housekeeping or administrative tasks, or even assigning and delegating chores, these things suck up a lot of time!
Creating systems around who will do these things, when they will be done, how, and with which tools will leave room for your mental energy to be spent on more important things – things that will make your year even better than 2015.
An example of a good system is for email management. Set a system to check your email only once a day, and before you open and respond to any of them, delete the junk mail. Then, create a system to only look at the email once before you respond and/or file – instead of revisiting it after you’ve read them all, which wastes time and energy.
4. Build a Better Routine
Routines are the lifeblood of success. It sounds unlikely that something as basic as a good routine can change your life a significant amount, but it’s not.
Routines habitualize important actions, relieving decision fatigue and ensuring that you start your day (or end your evening) in the best way possible.
Building a routine to get up earlier, work out or meditate (or both!) first thing in the morning, and do something productive or spend some time learning about something important to you gives you such a good start to the day.
Further reading on building an awesome morning routine can be done with the book The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.
Setting this framework in place for the New Year will take your year from good to great and set you up for success.