How to Prepare for 2017 – Part 3

Here it is, the last day of 2016. Another year that just flew by. I feel like those years are passing by faster and faster. If you feel the same way, use this feeling as a source of motivation that pushes you to seize and savor each moment and make the most of it before it evaporates.

In the past two weeks, we’ve been gleaning the wisdom of 2016 (see part 1 and part 2) and reflecting on how to prepare for 2017 (see part 1 and part 2) so that, when we look back on that year, we’re happy with what we see.

I have 3 more questions to share with you to help you set your year on the right track.

How Are You Going to Make 2017 Better Than 2016?

No matter how great or how bad 2016 was, you can make 2017 better. But to do that, you must be intentional about designing your year. What do you need to do to make 2017 better than 2016?

I believe that we should strive to make each year better than the previous. There’s no reason to let ourselves go backward. Sure, the headwinds of life aren’t the same from year to year. That said, we are resourceful, creative, and resilient. We don’t control the winds, but we control how we react to them. Every day, we show up with our best and give it our all.

One of the ways I intend to make 2017 better than 2016 is by serving more. More specifically, I intend to publish more and spend more time coaching and mentoring others. With everything I have going on in my life, this is a big stretch. But stretch is good.

What From 2016 Will You Leave Behind and Not Take With You in 2017?

Are there bad habits, negative attitudes, disempowering mindsets, destructive relationships you must leave behind and not take with you in 2017? Are there emotional baggage, such as grudges and unforgiveness, you know you must let go of?

For me, one of the bad habits I’m leaving in 2016—and I alluded to it in my previous post—is the habit of checking my phone first thing in the morning; there is rarely anything important. I love my phone; it serves me well. In fact, I’m writing this post on it right now (while on the bus on my way to work). However, checking it often is a distraction. It’s a bad habit that is staying in 2016.

What about you? Will you leave behind your habit of gossiping? Of eating junk food and sweets? Do you have grudges you must let go of and let bygones be bygones? What will you leave behind?

What Would You Like This Year to Be About?

If you could summarize the year in one word, what word would you choose? In other words, if you could focus your year on one theme, what would it be?

To give you some examples, people who do this exercise choose words like love, service, productivity, prayer, high performance, intentionality, growth, etc. It doesn’t have to be a noun; it can be a verb: love, serve, produce, pray, perform, be intentional, grow, etc. The important thing is to choose a word that expresses the focus of your year: a word that really captures the essence of what you want your year to be about.

For instance, by choosing the word “love”, it means that you’ll be focusing on spreading love wherever you go: loving your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, etc. This doesn’t demand that you’ll neglect everything else (i.e. service, productivity, etc.). It simply means that “love” will be your main focus for the year. And, when you lose your way during the year, you’ll have an easy way to get back on track: recall that word.

If you’re curious, my word is leadership. And by that I mean, leading myself better to be a better leader of others.

Action Step

Today, take a few minutes to reflect on:

  • how you will make 2017 better than 2016
  • the habits, mindsets, attitudes, etc., you won’t take with you in 2017
  • the word that captures the essence of what you want your year to be about

Final Word

If you’ve gone through all the articles of this series, I believe that you’re well prepared to crush it in 2017. If you haven’t, I strongly recommend you go back and diligently prepare for what is the come. For ease of reference, here are the posts once again:

2017 will be what you make of it; make it great! I pray this year exceeds all your expectations. Happy New Year!