From the relationship center

Make 2023 your best year yet

Posted 1/4/23

Happy New Year! Did you make a New Year’s resolution? Do you have a process for planning your new year?

A few years ago, I developed this strategic process to plan for the year ahead and I …

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From the relationship center

Make 2023 your best year yet


Happy New Year! Did you make a New Year’s resolution? Do you have a process for planning your new year?

A few years ago, I developed this strategic process to plan for the year ahead and I wanted to share it with you here:

Relax—In order to optimize your thinking processes, it’s helpful to be relaxed. I recommend some mindful meditation to begin your planning session. Anchor yourself in the here and now. Ground yourself and focus on your planning process.

If you’ve already made a New Year’s resolution, consider being a bit more strategic with your annual planning this year by following this process.

Reflect—Before beginning to set goals, it’s helpful to review where you are now and the progress you’ve made thus far.

If you begin to beat yourself up for not making the progress you think you should have, put the brakes on and be kind to yourself.

If you have identified something you want to do, that means you have at least been thinking about it, perhaps researching it, and talking to others about it. All of this is progress.

Give yourself credit for anything you’ve done, including reading this article.

I find it helpful to look at where I started and how far I’ve come, rather than looking ahead to all that has yet to be accomplished.

It is also important to remember this anonymous quote: “People tend to overestimate what can be done in one year and to underestimate what can be done in five or 10 years.”

Rejuvenate—Rejuvenating is about doing something that rebuilds your energy. If you are serious about making changes in your life, it will be much easier to do when you are feeling energetic and optimistic rather than feeling exhausted and beaten down by life. Make time each day to do something you love that replenishes your energy. It could be as simple as one minute of box breathing, a quick break to work on the puzzle you have out or a couple minutes of putting on your favorite dance music to move your body. Be sure to put yourself on your To Do list each day, if only for a couple of minutes. When you can afford more time, take advantage of it and do something for yourself that’s even more meaningful. Get a massage, read a book or take a walk.

Renovate—Renovating is about deciding what changes you want to make, what goals you want to accomplish, and the steps you will take to get there. It is also helpful to write down the “why” of what you intend to do. If you want to lose weight, and your why is so you can buy cuter clothes, that may not be a reason that will motivate you when you are losing the energy to stay your course. But if you want to lose weight so you will be healthy enough to play with your grandchildren, that will more likely be the reason you will stay on track.

You need to find the core motivating reason for you. It might help to recognize what need or needs your goal will meet. The basic human needs are safety, connection, significance, freedom and joy. Which one is most likely to be accomplished with the goal you set?

Evaluate how important that need is to you. If it’s high on your list of what you need in 2023, then you are on the right track, but if it’s something you don’t care much about, then you might want to dig a little deeper.

If you don’t have a reason, you likely will abandon your goal before the calendar gets flipped to February. Writing down your reason why will help motivate you when your energy is fading, or when you just don’t feel like making progress.

Remind—This is the step that is often forgotten. Build a system to remind you of your commitments.

This can be done by calendaring the steps you’ve committed to, by engaging a reliable accountability partner, by hiring a coach, or by joining or forming a mastermind group.

During this final step, it’s important to remind yourself of the heartfelt reason you have for accomplishing your goals. Accountability can make the difference between being successful or not accomplishing your goals.

I have also learned that engaging left brain, as well as some right-brain activities, is helpful for me in successfully accomplishing my goals. I don’t find great success using one to the exclusion of the other. Play with these activities yourself to see what works best for you.

Some left-brain activities include

  • Time mapping
  • Setting long-term goals and working backward to determine what needs to happen each year, month, week and day to be successful
  • Pinpointing the areas of your life you want to set goals for
  • Considering the strengths that will help you accomplish your goals, as well as the barriers you need to overcome to be successful.

Some right-brain activities include

  • Affirmations (Positive statements you tell yourself)
  • Afformations (Positive questions you ask yourself)
  • Visualization (Envision what you want to achieve)
  • Meditation
  • Creating a positive attitude with high energy.

If you are serious about

accomplishing your goals this year, surround yourself with other successful people, especially those who have already accomplished what you are trying to do. If you don’t know anyone personally, do it virtually by watching videos by successful people on YouTube, or reading their books and articles.

Additionally, I like to choose a word or phrase to summarize my year. In 2021, it was “Nothing happens to me; everything happens for me,” which served me very well. In 2022, my word was “Limitless,” which helped me get my mind right about what is possible. In 2023, my phrase is “strategic preparation.” This is to help me remember to plan ahead strategically to accomplish my goals, instead of just doing what is next without much forethought.

Do you have your word for 2023?

I wish you great success in accomplishing your goals this year. May your 2023 be filled with love, success, peace and joy.

New Year, New Year's resolutions


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