Happy December! Welcome to the final month of 2016. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty eager to get this year over and done with. It’s been full of personal challenges, political surprises and general global upheaval and I could quite happily allow it to slip quietly into oblivion, never to be thought of again.

Thing is, if I want any hope of facing 2017 with hope and confidence, I’m going to have to look back at 2016 and take stock.

Michael Hyatt asked a number of high achievers how they prepare for a new year.
Eight things high achievers do now in order to accomplish more next year:

Reflect On The Past Year.

John Maxwell blocks out the last week of every year and reviews his entire calendar from the current year. “Evaluated reflection turns experience into insight.”

Stay Positive.

High achievers choose a positive attitude as they look ahead to a new year. Jon Acuff says, “The most important thing I do at the beginning of a new year is leave the old year where it fell. It’s good to learn from the year you just lived, but if you stare at it too long, regret over the opportunities you missed or mistakes you made will blossom.”

Express Gratitude.

Research suggests that gratitude has a measurable effect on achieving our goals.  Robert D. Smith says, “I set myself up for a great year by writing down fifty things I’m grateful for. I find that taking time to count my blessings keeps my mind focused on helping others and achieving even more than last year.”

Jon Gordon includes gratitude in his everyday life. “I take a daily walk of gratitude. While walking I practice gratitude and pray. The research shows you can’t be stressed and thankful at the same time. If you do this walk just one day, you won’t experience a huge benefit. But if you do it daily, you’ll notice incredible benefits and major life change.”

Eliminate The Excess.

Derek Halpern: “I review my previous year and decide what I won’t do in the upcoming year. I don’t just quit things I hate. I try to quit things I love that aren’t delivering the results I want.”

Set Compelling Goals.

High achievers set goals that harness their emotional energy. Dave Ramsey: “I have to intentionally stop and dream again. What can I work on next year that makes me smile? Then my mind automatically moves from the strategic to the tactical. In detail—how can I organize my work and my life to do the things that cause that same smile?”

Break It Down.

High achievers break those big goals down into manageable pieces. Lysa TerKeurst breaks her goals down into three categories: Giving, family, and personal development. This is how she looks at personal development: “This is a great year to become an expert on something. By pre-deciding what that something is, I can become a strategic student and an eventual expert.”

Chris Brogan sees it this way: “My great years are built on keeping a bigger mission in front of me, but looking at my daily actions as the ‘molecules’ of that mission. Your day is your week is your month is your year. Best years come from best efforts performed daily.”

Schedule The Year.

Once they’ve set their goals and broken them into manageable pieces, the seventh thing high achievers do is schedule them. Michael Hyatt says, “What gets scheduled gets done”. Marie Forleo: “I block out calendar time for my most important outcomes—vacations, fun and time off and major business and creative projects. Those ‘stakes in the ground’ ensure that what’s most important happens.”

Unplug For A Time.

High achievers are intentional about taking time away to refresh and recharge. Andy Stanley: “The single most important thing I do to set myself up for the best year ever is take the last two weeks of December off”.

Although I won’t be squeezing all these practices into this final month of the year, they have certainly made me want to hang on to 2016 for just a little bit longer. Long enough perhaps to consider what I’ve learnt from this year, how I’ve grown and how I can prepare myself for a great 2017.

You can download Michael Hyatt’s ebook for free: Achieve What Matters In 2017.  The 8 Strategies Super-Successful People Are Using Now to Accomplish More Next Year: http://bestyearever.me/achievers/