Today is January 1, 2018. The first day of a fresh new year! I know that for some people, goal-setting isn’t something that is done anymore, however, for us planning enthusiast-types and list-makers, I know that we LOVE it!
In this post, I want to share with you how I’m planning my 2018. I used this format for my 2017 goals and I liked it in general, but I made some tweaks to my system this year. My hope is to create a digital and analog system for tracking my aims, projects, and tasks using Google Docs, my digital task tracker (Todoist), and a bullet journaling system.
I call my planning document my North Star Aims. I prefer calling what I am working towards an “aim” because it puts me in the mindset that I am on a journey/adventure while going for my goals and I need to keep focused on what I am aiming at. Also, when on a journey, as one walks towards the prize, sometimes obstacles come up which requires course-correction and re-navigation, but all the while, keeping one’s eye on what is being aimed at.
So, here are the four parts of my North Star Aims document:
- Areas of Focus
- At the end of year…
Areas of Focus
Your areas of focus are either the categories or feelings that you want to focus your aims (or goals) around for the year.
For example, my areas of focus for 2018 are: Live Aware, Be Happy, and Try New Things.
Next, in order for you to remember what those areas of focus mean to you, create definitions that you can refer back to often to remind yourself what it means when you are fulfilling that particular area.
For example, here is what I wrote for the “Be Happy” area of focus:
Lead with my Heart always. Remember to follow the Hearthful Path and in each moment of choice to ask myself how I can bring more Heart to a situation. Smile, laugh, be joyful, peaceful, and channel Heartful Happiness.
I had recently re-read a book called “The Heartful Path” by Michael and Deborah Traub and I love the concept of being able to discern whether you are living and making choices using ego-energy or Heartful energy. In 2018 and beyond, I want to practice living more from Heartful energy.
Once you know what you want to focus/feel for the year and what those areas of focus mean to you, then create some aims (i.e. goals) that you want to work towards accomplishing. My recommendation would be to create no more than 10 aims because, as we know, when a goal starts getting broken down, it spawns into a number of projects and tasks so you want to make sure you set yourself up to win from the start.
At the end of the year…
Now that you have finished identifying your areas of focus, what they mean to you, and your year’s aims, the last thing you will do is create a statement that includes how you will know you’ve had a successful year even if you do not achieve a single aim on your list. Life is not always about achieving, attaining, and winning, so this last bit in the North Star Aims document helps you to know what success truly looks like for you.
Here’s an example from my document:
When I am at the end of 2018 and look back at the year, I will know it was a successful year if I know I did my best in everything that I did. I no longer sought validation and approval from those outside of myself, but rather I approached all things from a Heartful place and with an attitude of service. I lived mostly in the eternal Now, remembering who I truly am. I felt good, happy, and peaceful most of the time. I continued to love my loved ones and allowed myself to be loved by them as well. I have great, close, connected relationships and am happy with my day-to-day.
Okay. Now you give it a try! Make a copy of the North Star Aims document and then fill in your copy with what you want to accomplish this year. Here’s how to create a copy.
- Open this North Star Aim document.
- Go to File > Make a Copy
- Name the file whatever you’d like. For example, “My 2018 North Star Aims”
- Click OK
Have fun and let me know how it goes for you in the comments below!
Cheers and happy 2018 planning!