Take Time for Yourself

By: Steven L. Schou, CFP®, AWMA®, Vice President Business Development & Wealth Advisor

Even though this time of year is about giving, you must also take. Take time out for yourself during this holiday season to reflect on this past year and think about what you want to accomplish in 2019.  In order to set yourself up for success, you must first reflect on 2018 so that you walk into the New Year with the right insights and perspective.  Here are four questions to get you started:

  1. If you had to describe your past year in three words, what would it be?
  2. When did you feel inspired, alive or excited this year and why?
  3. What lessons have you learned this year?
  4. What are your biggest accomplishments for the year?

Now take the perspective you learned through your reflection and think about what you want to accomplish in the New Year.  As you write your goals down, try to understand precisely why you want to accomplish the dream or goal.  Because human nature defers until another day, this step is so important because if you don’t own it, you won’t do it.

If at this point you are thinking this sounds good, but you don’t have the time to do this with everything that is on your plate, you’re like the majority of people.  Unfortunately, that is why 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February.

To make this a little easier, let’s start with the foundation of setting S-M-A-R-T goals.  This acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timely.  This might sound like a lot of work, but did you know that you’re 40% more likely to commit to your goals if you put them on paper?  Writing down your goals may seem to be an absolute waste of time with today’s technology, but doing so requires your brain to translate a complex wish into an actionable plan, and it works.

So go ahead, write down your goals for different areas of your life, not just your career.  Make them juicy, vivid, and burning.  When you’re all done, ask yourself:  If I were only able to achieve three goals this entire year, what would they be?

Finally, once you have your goals written and prioritized, take immediate action even if it is a baby step.  Once you take that first step, it becomes easier to continue and gain momentum toward your goal.  Change happens as a result of a lot of little steps, so don’t feel the need to start with a huge, intimidating step.  Once you start taking action, be sure to celebrate wins and review your goals each month to help track your progress.  Remember, to create a new habit, it takes roughly 30 continuous days of your new habit before it becomes automated.

Challenge yourself to make 2019 even better than 2018; life is too short not to maximize every year!


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