I love this time of year.  I like the feeling that I can turn the page on last year and start afresh with a brand new page.  I can put the failures and disappointments of last year behind me and look ahead at the roadmap for the new year. At this time I give myself freedom to dream new dreams, chart new territories, take on new and impossible challenges.

I would like to share some of the ways in which one can become smarter at doing what you set out to do, not only at the start of a new year, but all the time.

Dream big dreams

The first thing is to work what it is you what to do, or what you want to change. Although some people say you should set realistic goals, I personally feel it’s essential to set goals that really excite you.  REALISTIC could be boring and uninspiring; whereas IMPOSSIBLE might light a fire in your belly!  Dream big dreams that will stretch and challenge you.  Then when you get even part of a huge dream you will have achieved more than if you stuck with staid and unimaginative goals.

If you don’t aim at anything, you probably won’t hit anything.  Once you have decided what you are aiming for, imagine what it will look like once you are doing it, or have achieved it.  For example, if you want to live a healthier life (one of the most common New Year goals), decide what that will look like in December 2017. Visualise what your  kind of food you will be eating in a year’s time, see yourself running 4 miles every day and cycling 30 miles on weekends, imagine what your firm and lean body will look like.

Chart your roadmapshutterstock_156707981

You are in this for the long run, so start with the end in mind. Plot out your own roadmap of you to get there, just as you would do when you plan a trip or a holiday. If you would like to be debt free, for example, work out what the journey will look like to get to that destination.

Stir up excitement and anticipation for the journey, keeping the end goal in mind. Set yourself some milestones along the way and put them into your diary or your mobile phone. Then check out your progress and make small adjustments to help you to get to that end point. Reaching each milestone will get you fired up for the next part of the journey.

Hang in there

shutterstock_158463278Don’t let the weather stop you.  If you were taking this imaginary holiday road trip, and you had booked accommodation along the way and planned some fun things to do when you get there, would you be put off by the weather?  Would you just stop driving and park the car on the side of the road when it started raining? Would you turn back and cancel your much anticipated holiday?

Of course not!  Your motivation to reach each milestone in your journey would keep you on track.  It’s the same with your personal journey, make a deep commitment not to let your internal weather affect your trip. Just see these obstacles for what they are … mere temporary challenges to be overcome with courage and determination.

There is no such thing as failure

Be gentle on yourself and be OK with achieving only some of your goals, or part way to your end point.  Remember, there is no such thing as failure, only learning and becoming better as you go.  Try not to let disappointment block you from keeping going. Just keep making small adjustments to recalibrate your path to your goal.  It’s interesting to know that the first space mission to the moon required adjustments to the fight path every 10 minutes to keep it on track to arrive within the 1 mile long landing zone. Even then it nearly missed it.

Now dream that big dream … and go and get it!