Happy New Year!

Every year I take time off during the holidays to decompress and look forward to the year ahead. It's something my children have looked forward to for years and it's just what I need after the final push towards the end of the year.

It's always a good time to renew relationships, continue family traditions and decide where I need to focus my energy in the new year. So, I wake up early in the morning before the rest of the family and spend some quiet time reflecting on what I want to be when I grow up.

Goal Setting

I guess some might characterize this as setting New Year's Resolutions, but it's much more than that for me. I'm a workaholic by nature, so it's important for me as a businesswoman to make a conscious effort at setting aside time for family, personal and professional development. Here's what I do to make sure I don't miss the priceless things in life.

Write Them Down. I write down 1-3 family, physical, spiritual, financial, relationship, and educational goals. There's no magic number or category. It just depends on what areas need the most attention and what I believe to be achievable. Once written, I keep a list of these goals in my purse, on my desktop and in my task list.

Make Specific Goals. If my goal is to complete a professional development course, I register and pay for the course during my goal setting time. It's difficult to back out of a commitment once there's been a financial investment. Instead of saying I'm going to take better care of myself, I commit to scheduling an appoint with a physician by a specific date.

Set Realistic Deadlines. I use my calendar to come up with realistic time lines and commit to actual start and end dates. I rearrange my schedule where necessary and add the appointments directly into my calendar. I'm less likely to miss my daughter's basketball game if I have it on my schedule.

Inspect What You Expect. As often as possible, and preferably once a day, I review my goals. It's like creating top of mind awareness for my goals! It might sound like a lot of work, but since I have them written down in several convenient places that makes review time pretty easy.

Share. If I tell someone else what I'm planning on accomplishing, I'm much more likely to succeed. A fellow female entrepreneur and I have committed to holding one another accountable by checking in and checking up on our progress on a regular basis. We've already started encouraging one another to stay the course.

Best wishes for a prosperous New Year!