Updated: Jan 9, 2021
The new year is upon us.
A new opportunity to sit down and get clear on who we are, what we want our lives to be about, and how to make it happen.
In this article, you will be guided step-by-step through a series of practices that will help you review the past year, plan your future, and take consistent action in the most important areas of your life.
You can follow along step-by-step, or pick and choose which practices would serve you most.
Step #1: Review Your Past Year
Before planning what’s to come, it’s important to reflect on what’s already happened.
There is much knowledge, much wisdom in that which has already taken place.
What’s more, it allows us to celebrate our victories and assess our shortcomings.
Today or tomorrow, block out 30-minutes to reflect and journal on the following questions:
What did I accomplish this year that I am proud of?
What were my most important goals? Was I successful? What did I learn? Whether successful or not, what can I do to move forward in these areas?
What were my favorite memories this year? Who did I share them with? What did we do? How can I create more incredible moments like these in the year to come?
What did I learn this year? What lessons did life give me? How can I use these lessons in the year to come?
What didn’t get done this year? Why didn’t it get done? What can I do to make sure it does moving forward?
Step #2: Create a Clear Plan
One can think of creating a plan like using Google Maps, or GPS.
These navigation systems are very powerful, but virtually useless if we don’t know where we want to go.
And the same is true of plans.
If we are unclear on where we want to end up, it’s very unlikely we’ll arrive there.
The next series of questions will help you get clear on:
What you wish to create in the next 10-years
Your top 3 goals for the current year
A map for how to make these goals happen
If you are interested in a guided version of this practice, use the video below.
Create Your 10-Year Plan
1) In the next 10 years, where do you want to be?
What do you want to have, do, achieve, or experience in the realms of:
Self-mastery? [mind, body, emotions, spirit]
Relationships? [self, friends and family, intimate partner(s)]
Purpose & Business? [work and business, money and finances, life purpose]
Note: the question is not: “Where do you think you could be?” or “What do you think is possible?” it’s: “Where do you WANT to be?” If everything worked out in your favor, where would you want to be in the next 10 years?
Set a timer for 5-minutes and write down everything that comes up for you.
2) In the next 10 years, what’s being asked of you? Where are you needed? What’s life want from you?
Again, set your time for 5-minutes and write down all that comes up.
3) Now that you know where you are headed, it’s time to make a plan to get there.
Take a moment to review your list of goals. As you do, place a 1, 3, 5, or 10 next to each item, indicating how many years you intuit it will take to see this goal through. Don’t overthink it—just jot down numbers as you move through the list.
4) Identify Your Top 3 One Year Goals
Next, review all of your one year goals.
Which are the most important?
Which will give you the confidence or skills to take on the rest of your list?
Place a star next to your Top 3 One Year goals.
Once you’ve identified your Top 3 One Year Goals, it’s time to prioritize them and break them down into action steps.
a) First, number your Top 3 One Year Goals with a 1, 2, or 3, indicating their level of importance.
b) Next, on a fresh sheet of paper, write out your number 1 goal at the top.
I will easily make massive progress on mastering my mind, body, spirit, and emotions by December 31st, 2021.
c) Below that, write out 5 reasons why that goal is important:
In order to live a long and healthy life
In order to connect more deeply with my true essence
In order to show up more fully as the kind of man I know I could be
In order to better provide for my friends, family, and loved ones
In order to live as an example of a good man in this world
d) Finally, write out everything you could do to make that goal happen:
Create a morning routine
Create an evening routine
Practice Shadow Work daily
Sign up at the gym
Hire a trainer
Hire a trainer
Create a workout routine
e) Once your list is complete, just as before, go back and place a star next to the top 3 most important action steps, then mark them with a “1, 2, or 3” indicating which step to take next.
By the end of this practice, your page should look something like this:
f) Repeat this process for your remaining top two goals for the year.
Step #3: Take Action
“If you talk about it, it's a dream, if you envision it, it's possible, but if you schedule it, it's real.” —Anthony Robbins
If you’ve completed the exercises above, you are leaps and bounds ahead of most already:
You know what has happened in the past, you know where you are heading, and you have a clear plan of action to get you there.
Yet all these efforts mean nothing if we don’t take action.
Often we think of action as actually doing the thing (which is a very good way to think of it), but a very simple and often overlooked way to take action is to schedule time to work on the next key steps you’ve identified.
Take a moment to open your calendar and do that now.
For added impact, block out 20-minutes each day for the next week or month to focus solely on your goals.
Just after or as part of your morning routine is a great place for this.
Step #4: USE Systems & Routines
Accomplishing a big goal is quite the feat, something definitely worth celebrating, but have you ever accomplished a major goal only to find yourself back at square a few short weeks or months later?
This is because as great as outcome based goals are, they generally aren’t set in a ways that change our habitual lifestyle patterns.
For that, we turn to systems and routines.
Systems and routines are consistent daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, (and so forth) practices we undertake regularly to grow in one or more areas of our life.
Morning and evening routines are probably the most popular example of this.
Someone with a morning routine wakes up daily to read, write, mediate, exercise—whatever they deem important each day.
Generally, these routines aren’t set with an end in mind, as there is rarely a time in our life where stopping them entirely would be of benefit.
But isn’t this true for many undertakings in our lives?
Meditation, for example.
Having a set time to quiet the mind and look within is a good move not just for a month or two, but the rest of our lives.
Dating is another good one.
When we’re single, dates are a great way to connect with potential partners, but even once we’re in a relationship, blocking out time each week to spend with our partner is paramount to building and maintaining a healthy relationship.
Knowing what’s coming in, what’s going out—this will always be important when it comes to managing our finances.
Here are a few more examples you may find useful:
Step #5: Ongoing Reflection & Review
Thinking back to our GPS analogy, plugging in your destination (your goals), gives you instruction on how to get there (your plan), but what happens when there’s an accident or roadblock ahead?
Well, in this case, we reroute (review).
But much like your GPS, it doesn’t make sense only to reroute once the accident occurs, but to constantly be checking for updates and changes that might affect your journey.
This is where systems for daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly reviews come into play.
Regular systems for review allow us to assess our progress, identify what’s working, note what isn’t working, and make timely changes (reroute) to stay on track.
But we do this before interruptions and mishaps take place, not after.
To do this, take a moment to block out time in your calendar for consistent reviews.
Here you will find a step-by-step practice guide you can use to review and plan each month as it comes.
You can use the practice outlined for weekly, quarterly, and yearly reviews as well.
For additional accountability and support, sign up for Tribe’s monthly men's group calls on Patreon here.
In conclusion, making this year your year is totally possible.
When we review where we’ve been, map out where we want to go, create a clear plan, take consistent action, and review our progress along the way, our chances of creating what we want in the world increase dramatically.
Use these skills and disciplines to support you in the coming weeks and months.
And lean on Tribe when further support is needed.
Wishing you well in 2021 and beyond.