New Year 2024_Square

How to Make the Most of the New Year

01/03/2024 Written by: Kristine Simmons

The concept of January 1st starting the new year, began in 46 B.C. The idea was to sync with the annual cycle of the sun more accurately. This was called the Julian calendar and it was used throughout the western world for more than 1600 years, until Pope Gregory XIII replaced it with the even more accurate Gregorian calendar we use today.1

Today, most of us look at January as starting the new tax year, the new business year, and a possible new beginning in our personal lives. What bad habits can we leave behind? What good habits can we adopt? And what milestones can we reach before next New Year's Eve?

Making positive changes that become the norm can be a real challenge. Jennifer Deane, an executive leadership coach, recommends a five-step process for preparing for the year ahead.2 Interestingly, the first three steps involve looking back and reflecting. Before setting new goals it's important to review your old goals and to track not just how you did on them, but how your life has progressed over the last year.

While some might not want to review the previous year, fearing it will only produce a catalog of failed ambitions, Deane asserts that the exercise can be surprisingly affirmative. First, we naturally remember failures more easily than successes. So, it often takes reflection to bring them to mind. Second, we need that information to prudently set future goals.

Her five steps for annual reflection and goal setting:

  1. Reflect on your greatest challenges in the year
  2. Reflect on your greatest achievements in the year
  3. Reflect on what you are most grateful for right now
  4. Set aspirations/goals/direction for the key areas of your life for next year
  5. Give yourself a glimpse of your life five years from now and identify one important, long-term ­goal

Be sure to be specific with your financial objectives as well. We are here to help you achieve your goals in 2024.



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