If you're familiar with the idea of defining the end goal first then working your way back to the beginning to start, then you'd appreciate this simple idea about the way we approach new beginnings.
In one of my previous blog posts on knowing when to work and when to stop, I mentioned how important it is to know what to stop for and I believe this is equally, if not more, important when we approach a new year. In other words, what's your 'definition of done' for the new year? How would you know when you have accomplished all that you set out to accomplish? Once you define this, you will know what to look for and when to stop.
The year doesn't always end on December 31st. If you have a clear cut goal for the new year, your year might end on August 31st because that's when you arrive at your 'definition of done' for the things you set out to accomplish.
This is a challenge to look at the prevalent year on year tradition of resolutions differently as you approach the new year and understand that we are all not on the same journey, therefore, we all are going to have different destination points and if you arrive at your intended target early in the year, that gives you the time and opportunity to start on the next year without having to wait for the giant ball to drop on December 31st (well, that's a New York thing in case you're wondering).
I love how Jim Rohn puts it, "never start a year until you've completed it".
If we approach every new year this way, we'll always be ahead and have very little to worry about as we journey through the year because now we know what we're aiming for but more importantly, we can identify it when we achieve it because we have to work backward and the end is already known from the beginning.
So, whatever your dreams and goals are for the new year, the time to start is now and make sure to decide your definition of done so you know when to stop and start making active investments towards the year that comes next.
Here's wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful Christmas and a very fulfilling and meaningful new year!