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Dec 13, 2022
5 Essential Steps for Setting New Year’s Goals

Believe it or not, we are already at the end of this year. For most of us, this was a different year as compared to the past couple of years. And if you’re thinking that the year passed by very fast, I like to think it means you had a great year.  This is one of my favorite times of the year when all of us are busy closing the year, spending quality time with family, and reflecting on the things for which we will remember this year. This is also the time of the year when some of us start planning for the coming year, start buying new stationery and yearly planners, and setting goals for the new year.


Today, I stumbled upon a great video on YouTube by my guru Robin Sharma about how to make the new year the best year yet. Remarkably, the video is 11 years old, but I think the key points remain true today.

1. Celebration

According to Sharma, this is the most important step in goal setting. Before you embark on a new year and set audacious goals, you need to look back and take note (ideally in a diary or notebook) of the good things that happened in your journey of life. Note the things that made you happy, things that happened for which you will remember 2022. Remember to log every big win, small win, and even things that were not that great but made you learn something new. Remember that you want to look back at your diary and remember each little win. This will also set you in the right mode when you start your shiny new diary with wins and celebrations. A win is a win after all.

2. Education & Reflection

Life is teaching us with every passing day, and this past year is no exception. The next step is to reflect on what you learned in the past year. What are some lessons you have learned (do not categorize them as good/bad)? Remember your biggest win and reflect on your mindset when you had that win. What was going on in your mind when you were performing at your best? Do the same for the things that did not go as per your plan (so you know what to avoid doing). You can categorize your learnings into Business Lessons, Life Lessons, or anything else (spiritual, etc.). These can be any lessons you want to record in your planner.

3. Clarification

After celebration and reflection, the next step is to seek clarity on what you want from the coming year. Which direction do you want to take your life? What things do you want to achieve by the end of next year? If your reflections suggest that you are not on the right path, what are the corrective actions you would want to take? I read a couple of weeks ago, “If you are moving fast in the wrong direction, you will reach the wrong place faster.” So, use this as an opportunity to correct the course of your life’s boat. Develop a crystal-clear idea of what your life should look like by end of next year.

4. Graduation

After you have clarity on what you want to achieve, the most important thing is to have a clear action plan to achieve those. I said in a previous article, “A goal without action is just a wish list. If you want something but do not have a plan for acting on it, you will end up writing the same goal again next year. Have a goal and support it with an Action plan. Have quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals. Go as tiny as possible. Do not set your goals on results, set them on the action. For example, if you want to read 20 books next year, set your goal to read a minimum of one paragraph or one page every day. Keep logging your actions on a calendar or in a diary. Any action is progress no matter how tiny it is.

Go very big on setting goals but go very small on taking action.

5. Visualization

The last step is to visualize. Imagine how your life will look like if everything you wished would come true. Take some pictures from magazines or newspapers and put them in your diary. Every time you look at them, your brain will send signals and motivate you to take action.


Below is a diagram that you can use when you start designing your next year in the new diary. 



I hope this helps you in making the most out of your new year. I’m wishing all of you a very successful year ahead.