Christmas has come and gone and now it is time to plan for the next year. January brings hopes, fears and, for some, New Year resolutions that more often than not quickly turn into memories by the end of the month. In my world of financial services markets will remain volatile, the Euro crisis will evolve and regulation continue to affect our daily lives.

So how can we prepare and plan better for 2012 so these actually happen? Interestingly, the best place to start is to review this year, 2011. This has a number of advantages; we can see what we have achieved, what we wish we had done and what we have learnt. It is also about acknowledging, celebrating and re-motivating. It gives us a perspective so we can make better decisions and goals. This way we can enjoy the journey and avoid unnecessary stress.

Split your review into different areas. I suggest work and personal but some people might want to add other areas such as parent, finances or hobby. Get your diary out, think of the highs and lows of the year, holidays, where you were this time last year to see how far you have travelled. Remind yourself what is important to you; ask your partner or good friends what they remember of your last year. Use the opportunity to get in touch with your feelings and relive the moment. The following table may help structure your thoughts.

Now that you have reviewed last year and reminded yourself of what you have done, what you wanted to do and what is important to you we can move forward to 2012.

First thing is to decide which area of your life you want to focus on for 2012. Once you have decided on this it will help you to get the right emphasis so that you can use your resources most effectively. Planning to do everything in all areas will make it much more difficult to progress or it will increase your personal “cost”.

Much has been written about goal setting so I will only remind you to make them ‘SMART’; that is Specific, Motivational, Attainable, Resources and Tangible. Date them and group them in to the relevant part, making a list of the top ten in each.


Now take a highlighting pen and choose the 10 most important ones. Now go and write them on a separate sheet of paper with a statement of how you want things to be different in a year’s time. Keep this in a place that you visit regularly; the fridge door or a bedroom mirror possibly. Put time in your diary every month to review. Talk to people about them and get their help. Plan how you are going to celebrate when you achieve them. Find ways of making them interesting and fun. Remember to make your goals important and to give them time. If you know where you are going you are much more likely to get there!

If you want to discuss this in more detail call me on 020 7987 7080.

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