At the end of the year, I always take some time to reflect on the past year, and give some thought to the upcoming year.  I think about what I’ve learned, what I’ve accomplished, and where I would like to be at the end of the upcoming year.  This creates a fire within me which I use as my fuel to push forward.  It also helps keep me focused.

I want to share a powerful exercise that was created by one of my mentors Robin Sharma.

What I admire most about Robin is his holistic approach to life.  Robin released a short 10 minute video which is a 5 Step Planning Process that will help make the New Year your absolute best. Watch the video, and don’t worry about taking notes.  I summarized everything below and also added some of my own notes.

Click HERE to watch the video.

Grab a piece of paper and get ready to write

    1. Celebrate

  • What wins do I need to celebrate from the past 12 months?
  • What things did I do that I need to appreciate myself for?  Write an inventory of your successes, wins, achievements and special moments.  Big or small, write them down.

You will begin to notice things you may have not noticed before.  This helps you create a greater level of self awareness.  It will give you a greater appreciation of all the things that have happened over the last 12 months.  This will give you a greater sense of confidence & energy which helps with your momentum going in to the New Year.


    2. Education

  • What did I learn from the past 12 months?
  • What are the 3 best life lessons I learned over the past 12 months?
  • What are the 3 best business lessons I learned over the past 12 months?
  • What were you doing when you achieved your best results from the past 12 months?
    • What was going on in your life?
    • What were your best practices when you achieved your best results?

With better awareness, you can make better choices. With better choices; you are bound to see better results.


    3. Clarification – Clarity precedes mastery.

  • What are your ‘Big 5’ for this New Year?  What 5 things must happen between Jan. 1st and Dec. 31st for this to be your single best year of your life to date?

Look at this list as often as possible.  At least daily.  This helps to create focus and energy to achieve it.

  • What are your top 5 values for the next 12 months?   (Freedom, peak health, relationships, family, money, etc)

These values will drive your behaviour.  Always be congruent with your values.  Act with integrity and live your values.

  • What are your goals for the next 12 months?  Dream big, stretch and challenge yourself.


    4. Graduation

  • Take your Big 5, your Values and your Goals for the next 12 months and graduate them in to a plan.
  • On a double sided piece of paper, sequence all of the things you want to do, and values you want to live by, and put them in to a month by month plan. This will be your graduated plan of execution.


     5. Visualization

  • Close your eyes and emotionally engage with what your life will look like in the key areas of your life.  Finances, work, family, health, personal life, inner life.
  • See it with colour and vivid detail, with as much clarity as possible.
  • Do this exercise as often as you can.  The more you can internalize that ideal vision or colourful picture of where you want to be at the end of next year, consciously and subconsciously your behaviour will be aligned with that expectation. Because behaviour and performance are aligned with images and beliefs that run through your brain.


Many thanks to Robin Sharma for the inspiration.


Bonus ones I added:

 6. What are you most proud of?


7. What are you least proud of?


8.  What didn’t go as planned?  Why?


9.  Reflect on your relationships.  What company did you keep?  Were they supportive and get you closer to your goals, or did they drag you down and bring you further from your goals?  Who did you like hanging around the most?  Why?


10. If you had a magic wand, and you could change 1 thing about the previous year, what would it be?


11. List your 1 biggest regret of the previous year.  If you had acted on this last year, how different would it be starting off this year?


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