How to Set Yourself Up for Success in 2018
I’m a big believer in setting yourself and others up to succeed. Success generally does not happen by accident. You have to prepare for it. Just like you wouldn’t venture into the kitchen to whip up your favorite dish without first securing the right ingredients you shouldn’t ventured into 2018 without proper preparation. In this blog post I’m giving you some pointers on how to prepare for 2018 to set yourself up for success (even though we are still in 2017).
Think about 2018 while it’s still 2017?
Yep. Just like Christmas decorations are out right now. People always complain about how stores start selling holiday decorations when we still have weeks to go. Well, because people are buying them now. Duh. Furthermore, they want to have a successful holiday sales season so they don’t wait until the last minute. Some companies even begin to prepare for the holidays years in advance! So even though you don’t see Halloween candy or Christmas decorations hit the shelves until October and November work was happening behind the scenes way before then.
If you want people to see you slaying some serious goals in 2018 work should be happening behind the scenes right now. It’s the difference between 2018 being a year where you achieve big things and 2018 being a year where you make progress towards achieving big things. Starting now will help you secure big wins in 2018 rather than those wins rolling into 2019 and 2020.
Related: How to Achieve Your Goals and Dreams
Free Up Space
I always do a good cleaning and decluttering in December. I get rid of things I don’t need. I donate or throw things away. I like to go into the new year with a clean, clear house. You can set yourself up for success in the new year by getting rid of things that don’t serve you. Clear up some space in your mind, house, body, etc.
A good friend of mind broke up with her boyfriend earlier this year. But they still text, call and hang out with each other. This isn’t good for either one of them. How can they have the relationship they truly desire if they still keep their ex around? It will be very difficult. If you’re hanging on to someone (romantic or platonic) that threatens what you want to create in 2018 you have to let them go. Now is the time to delete phone numbers and email addresses. If you need to don’t be adverse to changing your phone number. Whatever it takes to free up that space in your life and your heart.
You may also need to unfollow or unfriend some people on Facebook and other social channels. I recently went through and unfollowed some people. There’s no hard feelings or beef. I just don’t want to be exposed to what they post. It doesn’t have the best impact on my mindset. We can still be friends. I just don’t want to hear from them (at least for the moment). Starting unfollowing and unfriending now so that your headspace is in a good place in 2018.Starting unfollowing now so that your headspace is in a good place in 2018. Click To Tweet
And this doesn’t just mean negative people or people who post offensive content. This could be the person who is where you want to be and all their success stories discourage you or make you think you’re not good enough. It can be the new mother who makes you wonder if God forgot about you. Anything that makes you feel or think things that hinder your dreams, confidence, or faith may need to be paused at least until you’re ready to exposed to it without letting it deter you in anyway.Get rid of anything that hinders your dreams, confidence, or faith. Click To Tweet
Cleaning out your phone book or email list is a great way to declutter and free up some space. If you scroll through your phone book and you have no idea who the person is delete them. You don’t need 500 contacts if you only know 50 well enough to call. A good friend of mine, business coach Renee Lamb spent hours last December clearing out old email. She went into 2017 with a clean inbox with only the necessary emails.
Declutter your space, your thoughts, your inbox and anything else standing in the way of you and your goals.
Every new season of your life requires a new version of you. If you want to achieve something you haven’t achieved before it will require your growth. Set yourself up to be successful in 2018 by concentrating on your growth these next several weeks. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. You have no idea what opportunities will present themselves to you next year and when. Spending time growing and preparing now may make you lucky earlier than you think.
Sometimes we think we will start breaking bad habits in January as a part of our New Years’ Resolutions. Yet, sometimes breaking some habits is the precursor to achieving bigger goals. Let’s say you have a goal to save a certain amount of money next year. You can start working on breaking the habit of spending $5 on coffee every day right now. Or if you have a cocktail with dinner every night you can start reducing it from 7 nights a week to 5 nights a week. You’re not necessarily working to save money or lose weight right now, but breaking these habits can make the process a bit smoother when you do start working on the goal.
Now’s a good time to learn something new especially if you have some down time. Resist the temptation to “chillax” (chill / relax) these next couple of months and put your free time to use. What can you learn that will position you to achieve success in 2018? Can you read a book on a certain subject? Can you take a course? Before the end of the year make sure that you learn something you can leverage in 2018.
You may need to build yourself or healthy habits up in 2017 so you can achieve your goals faster in 2018. For example, if a lack of confidence is preventing you from pursing a job opportunity building your confidence now will be advantageous to you going into next year. Similar to the idea of breaking bad habits you should work on building healthy habits now. The school of thought is that it takes anywhere from 21 to 60 days to build a habit. You still have time to build strong habits that will serve you next year. It could be habits around drinking 8 glasses of water everyday or exercising three times a week. Work on establishing solid habits before the year ends and you will be in a good position to succeed in 2018.
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell
Related: 101 Quotes About Success
Put in Place
You can make 2018 a success by putting some things in place now. For example, if you have a savings goal you can go open a savings account now if you don’t have one. That way on January 1 you have somewhere to put your money. There’s no excuses. No, “I’ll wait until I get the savings account open to start.” You are already ready.
You might want to put in place a budget for 2018 right now. This doesn’t mean you have to follow it. But you can start thinking about what the right budget is for you and your financial goals. You can start identifying places where you over spend or places where you can trim some expenses. If you put your budget in place now you can start adhering to it January 1. You don’t have to spend time doing the prep work in January and then the real budget doesn’t kick in until February or March.
If you want to change jobs next year you can start working on your resume now. You can start asking for letters of recommendations or referrals. A lot of your contacts will likely have some down time and will have no problem fitting you into their seasonally open schedules.
Accountability partners are partners who will hold you accountable. They agree to not let you off the hook and you agree not to let them off the hook. Research shows that the probability of you completing a task increases significantly when you have a scheduled appointment with an accountability partner or coach. But all accountability partners are not created the same. You need someone who is committed, focused and reliable or else the partnership does you no good.
Now is a good time to identify people who can help and support you in achieving your goals for 2018. You can start to put these partnerships in place now so that the kinks are worked out and everyone is ready to go come January.Accountability partners agree to not let you off the hook and vice versa. Click To Tweet
If you’ve been following the blog the last few weeks you may have seen me mention that I’m on a mission to increase my web traffic. I started October 1st so I could give myself three solid months of effort and strategy. I want 2018 to be a breakthrough year for From Caterpillars to Butterflies so I started strategizing now. That gives me the opportunity to test and learn some things now so that in January I’m not getting ready. I’m ready. I will be armed with some new knowledge around what does and doesn’t work.
The other thing it does is it ideally gives me a solid foundation to build upon. If I generated increased traffic to my site this year (which I am so far) then I can leverage that momentum and the new audience to grow the way I want to. By starting now I’ve essentially given myself a three month head start on my 2018 goals.I'm giving myself a head start on my 2018 goals by starting now. Click To Tweet
You can set yourself up for success in 2018 by strategizing now. You can implement some things simply for learnings sake. One of the things that makes growth hard in the beginning is a lack of data. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or grow a business when you have data to analyze it’s easier to calculate your way to success. When you have no data you have no idea what you could or should be doing to move the needle. You don’t know if you should be eating 1600 calories or 1400 calories. You don’t know if you need to spend $500 on advertising or $800. This is where we lean on other people’s knowledge. But rarely are we able to replicate their results exactly. Having your own data for yourself is way more powerful than borrowing someone else’s in the long run.
By strategizing or implementing some of your ideas now you give yourself the gift of data. You have information that you can derive meaningful, actionable insights from. In January, you are then armed with those insights. And because you know what you’re doing right now is a test you won’t get emotional about what is or isn’t working. You weren’t counting on it to “work” per se. You are counting on it to give you information that you can use to make 2018 successful.
Spend some time reviewing where you are. What are some of the highlights and lowlights of the year? What are your biggest accomplishments and what didn’t turn out quite the way you wanted? What did you learn from your successes and “failures”? What did you learn about yourself? What goals did you let fall by the wayside? Why? Are you ready to pick those goals back up in 2018? If so, what mechanisms will you put into place to make sure you don’t fall off again?
I’m very introspective and I believe it is such a powerful tool to have in your growth arsenal. Don’t go into 2018 without assessing and reviewing 2017. Similar to the point above this is a way to strategize. What will you do different in 2018? What will you continue to do because it worked well?
An annual review is also a good time to celebrate. Regardless of what you’ve achieved some good things. Celebrating yourself can build your confidence and reinforce your good attributes.
Related: Don’t Forget to Celebrate Yourself
If you’re a praying person now’s the time to start seeking God and His will for your life and your 2018. Spend some time with God. Get quiet. Listen for His voice and His direction. For me, being honest, I don’t always want to pray for God’s Will because I don’t know that He will respond in a timely fashion. Sometimes I have decisions to make that have deadlines. (I know. I know. God is working on me.) If I start seeking God’s will over a situation or a time period in advance I don’t have to feel so rushed to decide and move before God says move.
Now I’m not saying that God will reveal anything to you in any certain time-frame. I’m saying if you’re like me and sometimes you think, “I’m not going to talk to God about this because I have to make a decision soon and he might not answer by then,” praying now will alleviate that fear. Take all your hopes and dreams for 2018 to God now. You’ve got time to hear from Him. (You always do because God is an on time God. You just might not think you do.) You also have time to change plans if they don’t align with God’s plans.
The basic premise here is that you don’t start getting ready when you’re ready. You start getting ready before you’re ready so that you’re truly ready when you say you’re ready. The new year is always a good time to reassess where you are and where you want to be. I’m not one of those people that despise New Year Resolutions. I think that it’s a healthy practice for people who want to live their best life and reach their fullest potential.
I had recently joined a company and there was this mad rush to put out a spring campaign. Everybody was frantic and everything was a fire drill. They needed everything like yesterday. I’m like guys, “Spring comes the same time every year. Why wasn’t this planned out?”
Well friends, a new year comes at the same time every year. Don’t wait to plan and prepare for it once it comes. While you may cross the bridge when you get there, if you know it’s coming you should be prepared for it. As far as we all know 2018 is coming. Get prepared now. Set yourself up for a successful year.
Let me know how you prepare or will prepare for the new year in the comments!
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