New Year’s Motivations: Get Ahead In 2018

New Year's Motivations

Getting Started with New Year’s Motivations

I don’t know about you, but for me, those New Years Resolutions seem to be a bit of a moot point. Each year a make a mental note, maybe jot a few down in my planner, and feel confident that I’ll see progress. By January 5, they’re out of my mind completely.

Not that the resolutions aren’t good goals, and that I don’t have the best intentions. It’s just that I seem to fail at actually challenging myself to complete them.

This year I did things differently. I set goals that can be measured tangibly. I made sure to write them down in a way that can either be checked off as completed or used as a tool to measure where I’m at a certain point later in the year.

Teacher Indie kicks off 2018 by sharing these methods with you. None of these are my original idea, although a couple are slight adaptations. Instead of resolutions, we’ll call them ‘New Years Motivations.’

I made a ‘5 Best/5 Worst’ List.

Looking back is inevitably part of thinking forward. With that in mind, I opened a Note in my iPhone and made a list of the five best and five worst things that happened throughout the past year. The idea originally came from my friend Jason Moore at Zero To Travel, who has been doing this for several years.

The list doesn’t have to be super specific and can cover all aspects of life from work to relationships to finances. Here are a couple examples of good and bad:

  • Best:
    • Live Lingua’s Black Friday gift card campaign was immensely successful. We sold over $7,000 in gift cards in one day and validated the concept of selling gift cards in the first place, something we weren’t doing until recently.
    • My wife and I traveled to Europe and spent three weeks exploring. We knocked multiple destinations off our bucket list along the way.
  • Worst:
    • A close friend from college passed away. I took it hard, and went through a period of internal reflection. I noticed points of our relationship where I should have been more forward or present. This year, I plan to work on that.
    • I injured my ankle doing something careless, at an inopportune time (not that there’s an ideal time to break a bone or hurt yourself, but the timing here was incredibly inconvenient as we were about to leave for a road trip). As a result, I spent a month on crutches and was unable to take part in multiple activities that my wife and I had planned.

I set quarterly goals with my mastermind group

I’ve been in my mastermind for over a year but we had never taken the time to set long-term goals and hold each other accountable – it had always been on a weekly or monthly basis. We’ve restructured to add quarterly goals meetings and to follow up with each other in the interim.

This allowed me to really set a bar for what I want to accomplish in my business over the next 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. We, of course, can add to or modify as time progresses, but it feels great to enter 2018 with so much direction.

The coolest part is that we included personal goals in the planning. Each of us has fitness and travel goals we want to accomplish outside of work, and we now have someone we trust holding us accountable.

I bought a moleskin notebook and started journaling.

I’ve never been much for journaling. But recently I’ve been plagued by thoughts that I couldn’t quite place or situations that others remember differently than myself.

The way I jot things down is a bit of a hybrid between traditional journaling and bullet journaling. I note things that happen throughout the week, but not necessarily in a narrative format. I list them in bullet format and also include inspirational quotes I come across and thoughts I have that relate to them. Additionally, I have a section for ‘letting go,’ where I note which things I got rid of or let go on a monthly basis, and an add-on section for stuff I need to do or obtain.

The entire process has been incredibly freeing and helps me feel much more organized.

My team and I developed a full-year content calendar

If your teaching business at all involves content, I highly recommend planning out everything from blog articles to social media posts in advance. This makes staying on-brand with messaging and imagery much easier, as there is time to edit and change things and nothing is being done impulsively.

We did ours in a Microsoft Excel document. Here is a sample you can use. There are many different variations available on the web as well. Do a quick Google search.

I identified two conferences to attend this year

We talk about the power of networking quite a bit here at Teacher Indie. I truly mean it – nothing will benefit your career more than the people you know. Traveling Lifestyle published this great calendar of digital nomad events, a solid place for online teachers to start.

There are also a number of education conferences and location independent lifestyle networking opportunities built for specific niches or industries, Google is a great place to start.

The more organized and attainable our goals and ambitions are this year, the more likely we are to reach them. I hope this list helps you set your own New Year’s Motivations. Here’s to a great 2018!

Ray is the founder and creator of Teacher Indie. He is an award-winning entrepreneur who has created online education businesses that have appeared in publications such as Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc Magazine, Buzzfeed, The Boston Globe and many others. His goal is to help teachers from around the world get online and gain the financial independence they deserve.

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