In almost everything we do in life, how we start something dictates how we end. Most important, it is an early indicator of the results we achieve. If we don’t start well, it can be hard to gain traction or create momentum. This is especially important as we’re looking to kickoff our goals for the new year. Starting strong is how we set ourselves up for success.
So what does starting strong look like? The concept sounds great, but what do we need to DO to start strong? Here are a few practical tips that can help us all get off to a strong start in the new year:
- Set clear goals. Determine what you want to achieve in the new year, and create specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely (SMART) goals to help you get there. I cover this in detail in my 2023 Goal Setting exercise that I shared a few weeks ago.
- Make a plan. Once you’ve defined your goals, take some time to think about the steps you need to take to achieve them. Create a plan that outlines what you need to do each day, week, and month to stay on track. Chris Cathers and I talked about operationalizing your goals in our Episode 43 of the Grit Meets Growth podcast. Creating plans and systems around your goals creates steps to achieving them.
- Get organized. Take some time to declutter and organize your space. A cluttered space can be overwhelming and make it difficult to focus on your goals. The simple act of eliminating chaos in your life, starting with your space, allows us to think more clearly about where we’re going, what we’re working on, and the plan we’re following to achieve our goals.
- Take care of yourself. Make sure to prioritize your physical and mental health. This may include getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet. Achieving any goal requires energy, and we each only have so much of it to spend. When you’re not physically and mentally healthy, it creates barriers between you and what you’re trying to achieve. Think about the person you’re trying to become and consider how they care for themselves.
- Seek support. Surround yourself with people who will support and encourage you in your efforts to achieve your goals. This can include friends, family, and mentors. When we create a circle of people around us who have already experienced some of our challenges, built what we’re trying to build, or created success in their lives, we can lean into them for support, encouragement, and guidance.
- Believe in yourself. For years, self-talk was my greatest enemy. I would catch myself getting hammered with uncertainty, doubt, and fear, and I kept watching others succeed while I felt stuck. Then I started asking myself, “Why not me.” That simple question changed the game and led me to some significant breakthroughs.
- Don’t quit. Working toward your goals will be challenging. Instead of being surprised when the challenges come, which will lead you to want to quit, anticipate them and prepare for them. Before you quit, make sure to ask yourself some simple questions, including why you want to quit and what you’ll lose if you do quit.
There are many obstacles we all face in chasing our goals. Following the tips above, you can start strong in the new year and set yourself up for success. The biggest thing to remember is this… Just start. Too often, we start too late and stop too fast. Instead, take your first steps today and begin making the most of the new year in front of you.
Ready for more?
Follow me here for more insights just like this one as you begin working on your goals! You can also listen in to my Grit Meets Growth podcast here or on your favorite podcast platforms. Episodes are also available on YouTube.