When I was working at my old financial planning firm, one of the things we were trained to do every fall was define our “Woody Woofys” for the following year. “Woody Woofy” was our nickname for WDYWFY, or “What do you want for yourself?” Although I thought the nickname was lame at the time, the process of mapping out your goals for the following year is one I still practice religiously today.
Actually, most of my successes in my life and career have been due to the fact that every year around this time I start to get very specific about what I want for myself next year. WDYWFYs are not New Year’s resolutions, but rather specific goals or lifestyle changes you want to make in the following year as a way to continue your personal growth and live the life you desire for yourself. Defining exactly what you want is no easy task, but once you figure out it out, the path toward reaching your goals begins to become clearer.
Below I’ve outlined five steps you can take over the next few months to create your WDYWFYs for 2013. Let’s all come together to dream big and make 2013 the best year yet—in all areas of our lives! Cheers to your Woody Woofys!
What do you want for yourself in 2013?
1. First, allocate time in your calendar to dream about your desires for next year. What do you want to add into your life next year?
Document the goals, words and pictures of your desires in each area of your life–love, career, health, money, friendships, travel, community, etc. Give yourself permission to visualize the life of your dreams, and remember: You don’t have to justify your wants to anyone. You can want something “just because.” This is your life, so dream big!
2. Review your goals every morning for at least two weeks and see if they still feel right and are realistic. For example, one of my goals is to write a book. After further thought, I realized that while I do want to write a book, it’s not imperative that I do it in 2013, and it’s also not likely I’ll have the time, given everything else I want to focus on next year. I have stronger emotions toward my other goals, so I tabled the book goal until 2014. Plus, I can always change my mind and add the book back into the list next year if it feels right.
3. Once you have your list defined, make sure your goals are clear and specific. For example: “I want to save $10,000 in my cash accounts in 2013.” Do this for each of your goals.
4. Next, create an action plan to get these things in place before the year ends. List out three to five action steps you will need to take in order to achieve each of your goals. For example, if one of your goals is to be healthier, your action steps may include:
1. Join a yoga studio
2. Find a workout partner
3. Cook healthier meals at home
4. Sign up for a blog about health topics
Also, make sure you recognize that most of us cannot become successful alone, and having help along the way is critical to our success.
5. Finally, remember to breathe and take things step by step. As you start to plan out your goals for 2013, chances are you’ll feel incredibly excited and inspired at first, then experience stress, anxiety and fear (at least, I always do!). When I set goals and intentions for my life and business, I get extremely impatient and want all the things on my list to happen now. But then I realize I need time and space to grow as a person in order to reach my new goals, and that I can’t force that growth. That’s the involution part of the creative process. In order to take new action or evolve as a person, we first need to look within and see where we need to grow. It can be scary and uncomfortable, and the hardest part will be to find peace in this stage, and to just be in the moment without your mind racing on and on about all the things you need to do or be in order to achieve your new goals. When this happens to me, I do specific breathing exercises and meditations that bring me back to the present and help me find peace again. This quote always helps me remember that all I need to do is take one step at a time:
“It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.” —Proverb
This post was contributed by Brittney Castro, a Los Angeles-based CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner and founder of FinanciallyWiseWomen.com. Brittney Castro, CFP® specializes in working with busy professional and entrepreneurial women who are passionate about life and want to gain clarity about their money. Brittney’s mission is to help women plan and create the life of their dreams, free from anxiety about money. Brittney Castro is not affiliated with TheEveryGirl.com. Brittney A. Castro is a registered representative with and securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. California Insurance License #0F33895. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.