As one year closes and another begins, new year’s magic has a way of rushing in and showing us the future through rose colored glasses. Maybe it’s the fireworks, the choir of strangers singing Auld Lang Syne, or perhaps the midnight kiss that helps us think big and make brave plans for our future.
For most people, the process looks like this:
- Commiserate on the prior year through shared experiences and unexpected challenges
- Celebrate the notion of a do-over for the coming year with champagne cheers-ing
- Get ambitious about opportunities and relationships to invest in over the next twelve months.
- Write goals and decide it will be better. Way better.
While we start out strong, our determination can wane as life starts to get in the way. Maybe you got sick and it knocked you off your feet, setting you back on your exercise goals. Or perhaps, you were building a side hustle in the early morning hours, but a big project at work has you both physically and mentally exhausted.
You suddenly look up to find the year is well on its way. You’re behind on your goals and feeling discouraged. In fact, you feel like you’ve already failed.
We’ve all been there, and can relate to the impulse to just give up. But if you don’t make up the gap this year, it sets you behind when it comes to your goals next year, and the year after that. Settling for ‘good enough’ today has a cumulative effect on your future and the cost is so much bigger than you can quantify in just six months.
Here at The ONE Thing we’ve found that the key to getting back on track is a simple RESET; a proven model we employ to redirect focus and fine tune our plan for the second half of the year.
The RESET framework works like this:
- Reflect on your past and decide your future
- Evaluate your priorities to pursue the right goals
- Simplify instead of overcomplicate
- Establish a plan to achieve better results in less time
- Time Block actions that fast track extraordinary results
REFLECTION: Get Clear on How You Got Here
What differentiates RESET from most people’s goal setting/achieving process is that it starts by looking back and reflecting on the past before jumping into the future. We find that in today’s fast-paced hustle, people rarely take the time to slow down and reflect because everything feels urgent, and nothing can wait…
That is, until crisis derails our hustle and we’re forced to reflect.
While reactive reflection can be useful, is this where extraordinary happens?
Developing a reflective practice is a power habit not only fast-tracks success when things are going great, but it also buffers you from losing ground during times of crisis because you’re already clear on where you are going and why it’s important to you.
It’s not a novel concept. In fact, quite the opposite – it’s industry standard for everything from finance, real estate, politics, and even psychology. Experts examine the past to forecast the future. We look at graphs and identify patterns to see what might happen and clearly understand the possibilities, while also developing strategies to overcome negative outcomes. Why not take that approach with the trajectory of our own lives?
Reflection is looking back on the past, without judgement, and taking an unbiased inventory of what has happened up to this point. Refrain from assigning good or bad. Just take notice and get a clear picture of how you got here. It is almost like going back in time to take a snapshot of the ingredients of a cake before you made it so you can unpack the parts, better understand the flavor and discover how to adjust it for a different outcome.
Times to Reflect:
- Monthly when you write your 411
- Mid-Year as you wrap up Q2 and prepare for the last six months of the year
- After achieving a big goal
- End of year as you prepare your goals for the coming year
EVALUATE: Pursue The Right Goals
Once you take the time to reflect on the past, the next step is to evaluate what happened. Take a critical look back and be honest about what worked and what didn’t.
Some questions to ask yourself:
- Are there people, activities, or environments that support me and my goals?
- What are they and how can I surround myself with those things?
- What are the distractions keeping me from my most important work?
- Does this goal still matter? Or have my priorities changed?
SIMPLIFY Instead of Over Complicate
Most people’s knee jerk reaction to realizing they’re behind on a goal is to do MORE. They say to themselves, “If I could just do more of this, or spend an additional hour on that and then I’ll be able to get ahead with a little overtime and quick sprinting!”
While this seems like a good idea to catch up, in reality it’s a great way to burn out and bail on your goals altogether. Rather, the next step of RESET is to Simplify instead of overcomplicate. What can you say no to in order to say yes to what really matters?
Everything does not matter equally. What can you eliminate or delegate, in order to invest more time to the right activities that support your goals? Resist the urge to complicate and act BIG. Act small by clearing a path to the two inch domino that will set sequential success in motion.
ESTABLISH A Plan
Highly successful people are clear on their priorities and they act in order of priority. They don’t live by a to-do list, but rather a success list! At The ONE Thing, we have a system for that called the 411. This simple template for weekly, monthly and annual planning, turns your ONE Thing intentions into actions.
It will help you break down your annual goal into measurable activities and outline a plan for the next quarter, the next month, and the next week and drill down the milestones you must meet to achieve your goals. Review and update your 411 on a weekly basis. Get started by clicking this link to download a 411 free template here!
Now that you have a plan for success, time block it in your calendar. It sounds simple, and it is. But it’s definitely not easy. To help you break it down further, here’s exactly what to time block over the next six months to achieve your annual goals:
- Time block your time off
- Time block your ONE Thing
- Time block planning time to review your priorities for the week
- Time block the activities to benchmark in order to achieve your goals
Finally, protect your time block. Life does not simplify itself the moment you simplify your focus. All the things that initially knocked you off track, still exist. The thing is, after a RESET you’re armed with information and a plan to be productive and make progress in the right direction.
You will NOT achieve extraordinary results if you surrender to mediocrity by June. Instead, why not channel some of that new year’s magic into the mid-year? You don’t need fireworks or rose colored glasses to recommit and establish a plan for your success. What you DO need is an environment that supports your goals and eliminates distractions. Time block your RESET so you can make up the gap on your goals while there’s still time. You can do this work on your own, or join us in Austin, Texas on June 23rd and 24th for The ONE Thing Mid-Year RESET Retreat.
This in person workshop is an opportunity to discover new insights, practice tools and implement the skills you will learn with a community of high achievers just like you!
If you can’t join us for the event, you’re invited to join us as we dive deeper into what each of these steps mean here on the blog. You’ll learn more about how to leverage the RESET framework as a tool to stay motivated and on track to finish your year strong.
Start by taking a pulse on where you stand with your goals:
- Are you on track?
- Crushing it?
- Or are you feeling behind, and maybe even a little hopeless?
Don’t give up, get clear on how far you’ve come and where you want to be. Get started on resetting your year by downloading the 411 here! Your ONE Thing deserves a RESET, and the first step is deciding it is worth it!