September 1st is kind of my New Year. Every summer I’m working on something that takes up a lot of my focus, and I normally come out on the other side with a renewed sense of clarity. Without fail, God gives me a vision for the coming year right around that time, so I have a fresh set of goals every September 1st. I used to fight the urge to do this mental purge and planning session in early fall because it made me feel like a loner. The rest of the world seems to catch the planning spirit around the actual New Year. It’s kind of fun to see how other people are progressing with their goals the first half of the year. But this year I finally made peace with the notion that my New Year starts in the fall. I create something awesome over the summer, take a short vacation and the planning begins.
This year, my process was as follows:
Created a vision board – This is actually the first year I created a vision board for my life. I’m normally a bullet point goals type of gal, but with my minor health issues this year, I really wanted to see something positive. I’m actually still working on the physical vision board, but I created an inspiration board in IG that’s a pretty good proxy. It worked well enough to get my creative juices flowing for the rest of the planning process. I have images of the following areas on my vision board: spiritual, emotional/mental, health, relationships, career, material (stuff), experiences (like travel). Instead of focusing on targets or accomplishments on my vision board, I focused on how I want my life to feel overall. I think of my vision board as my “big picture” ideal. Whenever I have a free second, I jump on IG and scroll through my inspiration board, and it makes me smile.
Created my one-year goals – I normally start with my five-year goals when I’m planning, but this year I skipped it. That’s probably because my vision board this year scratched my long-term vision casting itch. Also, I have a really aggressive one-year career goal for 2020, and I’ve decided to put a significant amount of energy and focus into manifesting that one goal. I guess I’m on that “dream big, focus small” line of thinking this year. I did create goals for different categories of my life, and they are all specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. It took me about half a day to really drill down on what was important for me to accomplish over the next year, but I’m satisfied with what I’ve come up with.
Created my one-year plan – This part of the process was all about HOW I’m going to accomplish my goals for the year. It’s normally the most frustrating part of the planning process for me because if I can’t come up with an actionable plan for a specific goal, I force myself to take the goal off the table for a time until I can figure out how to make it happen. This is usually the stage of the planning process where I re-evaluate my goals as well. I ask myself questions like, “Am I trying to accomplish this particular thing to boost my ego, or is this really bringing value to my life and others?” “Does this goal align with my purpose?” I try my best to get to the bottom of why I want to accomplish a particular goal, so I’m not wasting my time and effort on a cause rooted in a terrible motive. In this phase, some goals get scrapped all together, so I’m only left with what I feel a deep conviction to accomplish.
Set up accountability – This is the first year I’ve made it a point to be accountable outside of myself for getting ish done. I wanted to join an accountability group, but I got frustrated and impatient looking for something that would work for me. Instead I opted for electronic accountability, and it’s working super well for me! There are some goals that are task oriented and take step by step action to accomplish. I dumped those goals into an online system that helps me track my progress for those goals. But I also have healthier habits I want to implement this year (like taking dance classes regularly) that I dumped into a habit tracker app on my phone. The app has been SUPER helpful with keeping me on track with my day to day work habits. There’s an overall percentage at the top of the app that lets me know how I’m doing, and looking at that percentage everyday is enough to keep me focused. I find this particularly helpful because most of my work freelance, and I don’t have a direct supervisor all the time. I treat that percentage as my boss, and things get done.
Next August I look forward to looking over my year and being proud of the person I’m becoming and the work I’m creating. Until then, I’m putting my head down and getting it done, so Happy New Year folks!
About me . . .
I'm Cyrah Hill. I'm a woman of faith, an actor and an everyday black girl.