Welcome to another exciting year – 2014! I hope your holidays were wonderful and relaxing! Now down to business, right? Are you prepared? Before we become preoccupied with the business of regular life, this article attempts to help you maximize your year and make sure that positive changes can happen for you this year if you want them to. Here are a few ideas to help you approach your new year!
Ask yourself thought-provoking questions. Questions can help direct thinking. Asking thought provoking questions helps determine what you want out of the New Year. On New Year’s Day I sat down in a quiet space for several hours and wrote out a list of 126 questions to get myself focused on the New Year. This proved to be a great exercise to help prepare me for 2014. Here are just a few of the questions I ask:
- What are my dreams?
- What has God called me to this year?
- What do I need to learn?
- Where have I been wasting my time in the past?
- What is my vision for the New Year?
- What is my definition of success?
- Who do I feel called to bless?
- Where do I need to be challenged?
- What single change could I make right now to have the biggest positive impact?
- What needs to change in my finances?
Some of these questions can obviously be applied beyond 2014, but I didn’t let that keep me from writing those questions too. See my last blog post for a more complete list of my questions. After I wrote out all my questions I went back through and answered each of them. I did not agonize on putting down the perfect answer, but simply allowed myself to answer what came to mind. I think you will find this to be a life-giving exercise, and one where you will find out what is truly most important to you. I highly recommend taking the time to sit down and ask yourself questions regarding your new year!
Set some pivotal goals. Goal setting is often resisted due to past disappointment or uncertainty about the future. I would argue that the goal itself is more important than the actual outcome attained. Simply having a target can make all the difference. There are probably a few simple changes you could make right now that could make a huge positive difference in your life.
Here are a few of the goals I have set for myself for the new year that I think will make a critical difference:
1. To get up at 5AM each day, Monday–Friday
2. To consistently serve in the same church ministry at least once per month.
Unlike previous goals I have set for myself, these goals are realistic. I gave myself deadlines for each, and I made a plan to accomplish these. For example, I have to go to bed by 11PM each night if I want to get up at 5AM each day. So choose one or two goals that could really make a positive impact on your life, decide what habits you would need to change to accomplish it, and write it all down on paper. Experts have noted that you are 10x more likely to accomplish a goal if you write it down. If you get off track half way through the year, instead of beating yourself up, give yourself grace and gently start again. Have fun and get excited about achieving your goals even if you have not reached them yet! Emotional connection to the accomplishment of a goal is very important.
Plan your day on paper the night before. This one simple habit has changed my life. I make a list of the things I need to do the next day the night before, and then prioritize the list starting with “A1” as the most important task. I have decided that only two things on my daily list are “absolute musts”, and so I don’t feel guilty if I don’t get everything done on my daily plan, which is normally the case! You can learn more about how I plan my day by reading some of my past blogs. Even if you don’t accomplish your daily plan, just the fact that you have a plan will make you far more productive, and a plan doesn’t have to be all work-related. I also like to plan fun events so that I make sure those happen as well.
What else is new at Jeppesen Financial for 2014?
- We have new office space! Come visit 1055 E Colorado 5th floor in Pasadena, and I’d be happy to buy you lunch if you’d like to set a time to stop by!
- ObamaCare applicants have completed the first wave! If you still have not enrolled I can help you by putting you in touch with my business partners at Fortier Insurance who handle my late enrollments for individual coverage.
- New improved budgeting tools are available! As I have talked to many of you, I realized creating simplified Excel budgeting tools would be helpful. This could greatly help you have better control of your finances. See my budgeting video where I walk you through the budget worksheet.
- Well that’s it for now! 2013 was a very busy year for me and I am excited for this New Year! I want to wish you a prosperous year with many breakthroughs! I look forward to serving you!