Are you waiting for the new year to get a clean slate and start fresh?
I’ve got one question for you: Why not start right now?
What if you just decided to give yourself a fresh start every week, and instead of calling any setbacks along the way “failures,” you call them “experiments”?
If you begin using the tool I’m going to share with you right now, by the time January rolls around, you will have had eight fresh starts already! (This assumes you started using it when I published this article, which would be the final week of October 2021.)
Just think of the momentum you will have toward your big dream or goal come New Year’s Eve.
This practice is super simple and not new. There are actually many different versions of this. The one I’m going to share is the one that is built into the planner I’ve been using for the past couple of years, the Full Focus Planner. The main trick to making this work for you is committing to using the tool.
It’s called the End-of-Week Review and Preview and it is specifically designed to give you a fresh start every week. It also helps you shake off any yucky feelings or interactions you might have had during the past week so you can start with a fresh slate. Here’s how it works:
- Celebrate and acknowledge your wins.
Start by writing out your wins for the week. Come up with at least three. When you celebrate, it releases all those feel-good endorphins that help reinforce how we show up to accomplish our big dreams and goals.
What happens when we don’t take time to celebrate? We train our brain to believe that whatever we’re striving for must not be that important or exciting. This might eventually cause us to lose interest in the projects and dreams we once felt so fired up about.
- Write down what worked, what didn’t, what you will start doing, and what you will stop doing.
When I do this step, it refers to my weekly “big three,” which are the three objectives I wanted to accomplish that week to advance toward my bigger quarterly or annual goals.
I look at what I will keep doing, improve upon, start, or stop.
Keep close tabs on your inner critic on this step. You don’t want to use this as a tool to beat yourself up. Rename anything you consider a failure and call it an experiment instead. So, instead of “That didn’t work; I failed,” it becomes “That experiment didn’t work; time to try again.”
Be okay with any missteps or resistance during your week that show up in the subtext of your answers to these questions. Remember that nothing has gone wrong. The resistance and mistakes cause some discomfort but will ultimately make you stronger. Think of it as weight training for your mind.
- Write down a weekly overview of your upcoming week.
Write out important events, deadlines, and tasks. I make separate lists for my personal life and my business.
- Write down your weekly big three.
These are the next three objectives to advance your goals and projects. You can even write down just one main thing if that works better for your situation.
- Add these to your calendar.
You want to aim to schedule your big three first. It’s the same strategy as Stephen Covey’s BIG ROCKS example. Put the big rocks in the jar first and then pour in all the little pebbles. If you fill up the jar with all the little pebbles first, there will be no room for those big rocks – the important things.
Tips for a More Powerful Practice
Make this a ritual you look forward to. Do it in a setting that inspires you and makes it fun. I like to listen to classical music or lo-fi beats with a glass of wine and the planner I told you about. I give myself a full hour, but you can totally do it in 15 minutes.
Another tip is to keep your big three or your one main thing visible during the week so that it does not become another victim of out of sight, out of mind by Monday night.
So, why wait for New Year’s Day to give yourself a fresh start? Do it now and do it often; it’s way more effective than just writing down a bunch of “new year, new me” resolutions.
I realize everyone’s life is different. Though I may have made this process sound easy, some people may find it challenging to fit into their lives. If that is you, book a free consultation with me. I would love to help you come up with a process that will help you move forward every week.