2017 brings a new chapter for us all. While the events of 2016 have clearly shaped the arena in which we start this new year, the feeling of a fresh start is a powerful force that we can use to create the year we all want for ourselves and loved ones.

Instead of creating a new years resolution list, try this mental technique. Imagine that you were peacefully standing in a room on the morning of December 31st, 2017. Now imagine that you were reflecting on your year. What did the perfect year look like? Don’t think about what you want in the future, instead feel that you are in that room watching your memories of 2017 play out like a movie. By doing this a few times, you can create your vision for this year.

Once your vision is clear, the next thing you need is a plan.

Making your vision a reality is no different from any other large endeavour. What dissuades people is the apparent size of the task or obstacle before them. Projects that take great periods of time and energy are daunting to say the least, not to mention fear evoking.

As most of us know, the trick is to divide the large goals into small tasks, and if those small tasks are still too hard, then divide them even smaller. By doing this we in effect create to-do lists for achieving our vision.

A well made to-do list will need two types of tasks. Your stretch goals, which are big and scary. And your smart goals, which are smaller and manageable. If the smart goals are indeed smart (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based), each one completed will bring you one step closer to completing your stretch goal. Having your smart goals tied to your stretch goals ensure that you don’t waste time completing tasks that feel good but actually get you nowhere.

In summary:

See your vision as if you are remembering events that have already transpired.

Stay on track by creating an action plan that has stretch goals and supporting smart goals.

Make 2017 your year.