Thinking about a new year… 4


As we come to this time of year, most people are thinking about goals, resolutions, and plans for the coming year. This can be a challenging exercise, but can also be a helpful one to set you off on a good foot into the new year. Here’s a quick and simple way to think about the year ahead:

Take a sheet of paper. Fold it in half and then fold it in half again. Then unfold the paper to its full size.

At the top of each quadrant, write the following words: Career, Financial, Relationships, and Self.

Now within each quadrant, jot down notes about where you’d like to be 12 months from now. Career is an area many people plan goals for, but this is only a portion of your life. Take the time to think about all four of these categories. Relationships should include your spouse, children, other family, and friends. Self should include spiritual, health, personal development, and recreation.

Once you’ve done this, your best chance of achieving these will be if you establish plans for each. If one of your “Self” goals is to be 20 pounds lighter, for example, you’ll need to commit to a plan to achieve that goal.

Next week, I’ve got some thoughts on what section of your life you should focus on to increase your odds of success.

If you find this exercise useful, I’d love to get feedback. Just comment below. (You can repeat the exercise with any four categories if you want, but seeing it all on one piece of paper brings a unique perspective on your world, and one that I have found helpful.)


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4 thoughts on “Thinking about a new year…

  • kwa

    Hey Eric,
    Happy New Year! Not only have I found this exercise useful, I actually took the time and did exactly what it said! Each of my four categories has a minimum of two ‘goal notes’, that are honest, doable and realistic. It is really helpful to see them on paper because it gets me to thinking concretely about how to begin realizing them. Just wanted to share and say thanks for writing on this; it really is practical wisdom.

  • NtrlScn

    Nice practical advice- I am familiar with Franklin Covey’s four quadrants with important versus urgent combination categories, but thats still a bit nebulous because I can’t always figure out which is important and which is not urgent- everything seems urgent if you procrastinate. 🙂 But I do like your take on goal setting, having the sheet of paper exercise makes it immediately an active rather a passive thing (digital), so I am going to try it… thanks.