The days between Christmas and the new year are some of my FAVORITE days of the year.
I’ve spend a lot of time thinking about what I want 2019 to look like, what I want to accomplish, and how I want to change and evolve.
There’s something exciting about the whole world choosing a day to give themselves a fresh start, and an opportunity to change. A few days to focus on your dreams, who you want to become, and what it would take to make those dreams a reality.
In today’s post I’m going to give you a look into how I set my personal and professional goals for my year.
THIS IS THE PROCESS I USE TO MAKE MY DREAMS COME TRUE!
Feel free to steal some of my ideas, share some of your own, and let me know in the comments what your plans are to level up next year!
Review the Previous Year
I always like to start my planning session by reviewing the previous year, both personally and professionally… and celebrating my wins. I think it’s important to pat oneself on the back from time to time.
Here are some of the highlights I’m really proud of that went down in the last year. I’d love to hear about yours in the comments. (Please brag it up!) I’ll start by recapping everything that’s happened professionally this year that you might be interested in:
I launched the Legendary Love Challenge… we give you a 100% refund if you complete the course. And I’m proud to say we have refunded thousands of dollars to a huge group of couples and individuals who have completed the challenge.
We have built a new 7-day challenge every month for the last 5 months to help couples inject more fun and playfulness into their relationship, set clear boundaries, turn conflict into connection, cultivate more desire, and in just a few days we’ll launch a challenge to help them identify and live their core values.
I did a whole season of podcasts about sex with Certified Sex Therapist, Kristin Hodson. We addressed everything from how to talk to your partner about sex to lube to what to do if your sex drive disappears after you have a baby. This was such a fun project to facilitate.
Became a Trained Gottman Leader, and led my first 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work workshop with The Gottman Institute’s Certified Master Trainer, Laura Heck.
Now for the personal stuff:
My wife and I had our most intense conflict so far in our marriage… and we resolved it in about 30 minutes. It was really cool to see all the training and work come into play and make it possible for us to talk about what happened, apologize, make up, and move forward stronger than ever.
The stuff I teach is POWERFUL if you live it! (And I do whatever I can to practice what I preach. I’m in the battle with you.
We moved out of my parent’s basement. We lived there for about 8 months this year to save money while spent time turning this relationship hobby into a business. Having the full support and encouragement from my wife has been one of the most humbling and life-changing experiences of my life. I’m so grateful for her.
I’ve been more consistent with my workout routine this year than any other year in my adult life. My best friend Jon and I wake up every morning around 5:00 so we can hit the gym hard, and start off the day right.
I found a business partner. His name is Kenton. And he is freaking awesome. You’ll get to know more about him, and see more of him this year… we have some BIG stuff planned. But what I appreciate most about him is that he makes it possible for me to do 3x the work I would be able to do on my own.
Ok, now that we’ve recapped the year and celebrated some of the big wins, let’s talk about how I go about planning my next 12 months.
Chose A Theme
One of my favorite things to do every year is to choose a theme. This last year’s theme was, “Focus.” It was all about saying “Yes” to the most important stuff, and saying “No” to everything else.
The theme I’ve chosen for this year is “The Hero’s Journey.”
I’m a huge believer that every person has the choice to become the hero of their own story.
The moment they make that choice, everything changes. They feel empowered to be the author of their own fate. They find purpose in their struggles, and courage to slay their dragons.
And most importantly, they experience transformation and return home a stronger, more courageous, and more competent person.
The Hero’s journey is going to be the focus of a lot of my study this year. I want to really get to know what the phases of the journey are, how to identify what stage someone is in, and how to help them along the path.
I’m really hoping that it makes me a better storyteller too…
I’d love to hear if you have a theme for your year as well. Feel free to shoot me an email, or leave a comment below.
The 4 F’s
The next step is to take some time to think about what I want to accomplish over the next year. I find it most helpful to set specific goals in 4 areas of life: Family, Faith, Finances, and Fitness. (I learned about these from Setema Gali.)
Here are some examples of things I’d like to accomplish in each area of life:
Be more intentional with how we spend our time together.
Create and memorize a family mission statement that represents our values.
Work towards giving my partner the benefit of the doubt more often.
Practice mindful meditation/prayer regularly
Start a mentorship program
Refine my automated savings
Update our retirement plan
Make a long-term investment (in property?)
Restrict sugar intake (Keto 90% of the year)
Get down to 185 lbs with healthy body fat percentage
Regular workout schedule
So, these are all great things to strive for… but if you know anything about setting goals, you know that these are NOT good goals.
A really good goal is a SMART Goal. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. We’ll get SMART with our goals in this next section.
The 90-Day Sprint
One of the things that has completely transformed my ability to get awesome results in life is getting real about how long it takes to truly get something meaningful done.
A month just isn’t enough time to really knock out a big project, or embed a meaningful habit into my life. A year is too long. A project that takes a year is too big to manage, and focusing on one habit for an entire year will almost surely end in burnout.
I’ve found that breaking down the year into in 90-day sprints works best.
So, I take a look at my annual accomplishments that I listed above, and then I break them down into smaller, simpler, trackable goals - or actions - that I can take regularly and build into a 90-day timeframe.
For example, in my Family quadrant, I mentioned that I want to be more intentional with how we spend time together. Here are some actions I’m committed to take during the 1st Quarter of 2019 in order to hit my annual accomplishments:
Have a structured, Weekly Huddle with my wife every Sunday evening where we talk about plans for the upcoming week, what went well the previous week, what we can do better, how we’re managing our money, and how we want to spend our time.
Move our phone chargers to the other side of the room so that our phones aren’t on the nightstands every night.
Take the initiative and plan and formally ask my wife out on a date night every week, and follow through on the plan I set.
All of these goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound (SMART), and will have a direct impact on my overarching goal of being more intentional of how we spend our time together.
I will go through each of the Annual Accomplishments on my list and break them down into the necessary required actions I need to take to get the outcomes I want. Then I build those actions into my calendar.
You started out your planning by mapping our the outcomes and accomplishments you want to experience this year. Then you broke them down into the specific actions you need to take to get the results you want.
Now it’s time to take the most important step.
YOU NEED TO TRACK YOUR PROGRESS!
This is where most people fall short. They set great goals. They have amazing intentions. But they don’t have a system of accountability built into their lives.
I recommend downloading a habit tracker app on your phone. Use it to set reminders to take regular action towards your goals. Then use it to track your progress.
Now one thing you need to know before you dive into the new year is that you will probably fail. Most people aren’t perfect with their goals. They aren’t 100% consistent all the time.
There will be days when you get sick. There will be days when you travel and it throws you off your rhythm. There will be days when completely random acts of God throw your life into chaos.
In those moments, you need to practice the art of getting recommitted without beating yourself up for the failure.
At the end of the day you either have results or excuses.
The difference between those who get results and those who get excuses is that those people who merely end up with excuses tell themselves the story that a failure means the outcome they desire is impossible.
They tell themselves stories like...
“I might as well give up.”
“It’s just too hard.”
“I’m not cut out for this.”
The people who get results are those people who are fiercely determined to persevere ESPECIALLY when they fall short. When they don’t hit their goal, they laugh and say, “I can do better tomorrow… and I WILL do better tomorrow.”
Then they do it.
If you want next year to be the BEST year ever. If you want your relationship to blossom and thrive like never before. If you want more passion and less conflict… if you want more meaningful time together, or an awesome vacation… if you want to build trust, and forgive past hurts… you can do it!
If you want to start a business, pick up a new hobby, level up your parenting, or make new friends… you can do it!
All you need to do is get clear on what it will take, then get fiercely committed to consistently doing the little things that make the difference.
I hope your 2019 is amazing.
If you want help making your relationship the best it’s ever been, give me your email below and sign up for the Legendary Love Challenge. I’ll set you up with EVERYTHING you need to help you create the most epic love imaginable this year. Just give me your email address and I’ll send you info:
Here’s what Allison said about the challenge just last week:
"I've loved this week and feel empowered to take my marriage from mediocre to epic. I've learned that the difference lies in me! I think I've always known that and known that I can't change my spouse but because I have this need to control I expect him to change because I am. If I am, you should cycle. I am left feeling discouraged and let down. This course has broken barriers for me in that I now feel like I can change myself and it's ok. I'm not giving something up or sacrificing. I am growing! I am out of my comfort zone and changing and I am seeing my spouse with new eyes and have significant new respect and love for him."