Part of planning for a new year must involve reflecting on the year that is ending. Remember how you feel today – take inventory of 2016 in all six focus factor areas and track your progress in each. How are you measurably tracking your focus factors? Here are some ideas for ways to to gauge progress:
- Food: Break your diet into macro-nutrient percentages (carbohydrates, protein, fat). Are you achieving your desired balance on average? You can also track what percentage of your meals are whole, unprocessed foods vs. processed (80/20, 60/40, etc…)
- Finance: Create a net-worth statement (balance sheet) every New Year’s day. This should add all of your assets (things you own) and subtract your liabilities (things you owe). Is your net worth increasing year-over-year? Are you on track to reach your long-term financial goals?
- Faith: Harder to measure, and different for everybody. Faith in different religions can be measured by goals around reading/participation/furthering of understanding or deepening our belief substantively. For non-religious folks, this element can be more generally aimed – what activities have you done in the past year that put you more in touch with yourself, nature, or a deeper sense of meaning?
- Fitness: Track progress depending on your past goals – are you lifting more than you were last year? Faster mile time? Better performance on benchmark workouts? Did you hit a weight-loss goal?
- Family: How do you define success in your relationships? Look back and determine if time spent together was primarily quantitative or qualitative. What would you do differently in your time management to enhance time spent together or bring more value to your everyday interaction with loved ones?
- Fun: Everyone needs a release. How many books did you read in 2016? How many trips, camping excursions, or spontaneous outings did you go on?
Once you have taken stock of your focus factor progress, it’s time to take the next step – set effective goals for 2017. In case you missed it, here are the “seven principles of effective goal setting”:
- The goals you set are based on things you can control.
- Your goals focus on action (what you will do or how you will behave).
- Your goals decompose into daily activities to help you stay on track.
- Your goals are stated in your own language.
- Your goal is measurable (in time, scale, degree, percentage, etc…)
- Your goal has a deadline.
- You goal is written down, on paper.
ENJOY THE PROCESS. Happy New Year!