Write Your Goals Down

As the new year begins, take a few minutes to think about your goals and what you want to accomplish in 2018. Dream big both personally and professionally. Maybe you want to lose weight, expand your team, launch new products, or close more sales.  Be specific do you want 5, 50 or 500 new projects.

Write your goals down. There is lots of research which indicate even the simple act of writing your goals will help you stay on track to accomplish them.

Visualize Success

Imagine today’s date is December 31, 2018. The year is over. You have achieved all of the goals you have set out for yourself, both personally and professionally.

With that picture firmly in your mind, write a letter to yourself.  Pretend you are looking back at all that has happened and write about what you did, what you accomplished and how you feel about where you are now.

Make a list the new skills you learned and the changes you made in to accomplish your goals. Think about the risks you took and how those risks panned out. If you are running a company with employees, think about how proud you are of their growth and accomplishments, too.

Be as descriptive as possible, don’t just make it a list of bullet points but a story you will want to read someday in the future.

When you are done seal the letter and give it to a friend and ask him/her to mail it to you at the end of the year. You can also just drop it in the bottom of a drawer, and open it up on the last day of the year. But there is something special about it arriving in the mail when you aren’t expecting it that makes it feel as if it is coming from someone entirely different.

I have done this a few times, and as the end of the year approaches, I look forward to receiving my letter and to see how closely I came to making my vision come true.  I find myself smiling as I read the descriptions, congratulating myself on the things I nailed.

Some years my own words come back to haunt me as I am reminded of things I wanted to accomplish, but let fall by the wayside. Reading my own words, enthusiastically describing something I felt was important just a year ago, often gives me the kick I need to put the task back on my to-do list. Other times, it gives me the confidence to simply let it go once and for all.

So as the new year begins, make a list of all you want to accomplish this year. Then take a few minutes today and write yourself a letter. You will be glad you did!

And to inspire you, here is Nat King Cole singing about writing himself a letter.