6 Steps to a fulfilling year

Millions of people create goals or resolutions at the beginning of every year - vowing to be healthier, spend quality time with family and friends or become more spiritual. While this is a pretty impressive number, less than 10 percent actually achieve their goals. And by summertime most resolutions are but a fleeting memory.

Each November, I set aside a few days to reflect and plan ahead. I review the past season, dream and set goals for the future. I’ve seen personal success and have missed the mark over the years.

More time is spent planning events than setting the course for the future. Our lives matter; attaining better health, getting out of debt or enjoying meaningful relationships is possible. Taking strategic steps toward our objectives is integral to experiencing success.

Here are a few thoughts to help you achieve the life you want to live in 2016:

Look back. As you close the door on 2015, gauge how you spent your time and with whom you spent it. Make an honest assessment on how you lived. What are you thankful for? What were you known for last year? What were some of your major challenges and accomplishments?  What would you like to change?

Get a word. Identify a word, phrase or theme you would like to use to describe this year. Think about why it is significant. Keep it simple and be specific.

Write it down. Take some time to write about your word, phrase or theme. What does it mean to you? How will it benefit your life, relationships, career, resources and spiritual experience? This is not the time to be vague. Be realistic and clear with your objectives in order to measure them with ease.

Live with intention. You’ve evaluated the past and given attention to the New Year. You’ve taken the time to put in on paper, or your computer. Now it’s time to live it out. Begin each day in prayer, pay attention to your calendar and create actionable items that align with your goals. And, end every day by assessing your accomplishments.

Course correct. Making regular adjustments is a necessary step in the process. Set aside time throughout the year to review your purpose. This will keep you focused and on track. Allow yourself the freedom to fine-tune your plans. Be patient and don't give up. If you happen to drift from where you want to be, regroup and continue work our your plan.

Form a team. There is no such thing as a one-man show. We were designed to live in community. Share your word, phrase or theme along with its significance with a few people who will encourage and challenge you. Mentors and peers are essential. They provide support and add value to our lives. It's your responsibility to inform your team on your progress. Don't be apprehensive about building your team.

Living the life we desire is more than possible, it’s probable when we live with intention and bring others along with us. 

Here’s to a prosperous, engaging and successful 2016.

"May He grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans." Psalm 20:4 (TLB)