How will this new year be any different from the previous one for you?

The answer is simple: it will only differ if you make it different. Picture the passing year as a track you have been running on for the last 12 months. You departed from A (Jan) and arrived at point B (Dec). The sad reality is that the “New year” is not new for everyone – only for those who make it new!

The new year will only be a new year for you if you run on a different track. Otherwise, there will be nothing new to the “new” year. Normally things in life don’t change magically.

Most people who are fit is because they exercise regularly, they eat healthy and don’t over eat – it’s not a mystery! Those who excel in academics pay the price of dedication and determination to see their dreams become a reality.

I’d like to share some practical ideas about planning and goal setting.

Manage Your Time

My wife often says that whether you accomplish something or not, time goes by. Time has no respect for our goals…it just keeps ticking. So it is up to us to develop respect for our time so we can accomplish our goals.

Could this be an area of improvement for you this new year?

If you improved in the area of time management, how much more could you accomplish this new year? You’ll never meet an achiever who has no respect for time. Conversely, you’ll never meet anyone who achieves great things in life while mismanaging his/her time.

Reflect and Plan

Typically, I dedicate the month of December to reflect on my life during the current year and to start projecting myself into the coming year. Thirty-one days to reflect and to look ahead. I encourage my family to do the same during this month.

On January 1st, my family and I spend a couple of hours writing down our goals and plans of action for the new year. It’s wonderful to see our two daughters involved in this process as they plan for changes and improvements they want to make.

This is a wonderful gift for our children and they can start getting practice in this area very early in life.

I encourage you to take the month of December to reflect over your current year and to prepare for the next. Evaluate how you’ve done in terms of accomplishing the goals you established at the beginning of the year. What habits you need to change, etc!

Write Down Your Goals

Setting goals and planning should be done strategically.

A written goal is most likely to be achieved than the one that exists only in thought-form. For many people writing down their goals may be an intimidating task. However, something happens when goals are written down.

You are filled with a sense of responsibility, which can be a source of encouragement, to accomplish your goal.

Write Down Your Action Plan

Writing your goals on paper is great! It demonstrates your willingness to accomplish it. However, a good intention without an action plan, it’s just that – a good intention.

After determining each goal ask yourself, “How am I going to accomplish my stated goal.”

This question will provide you the action plan you need.

Follow Up Periodically

The advancement of your goals needs to be assessed periodically so you can measure your progress and determine if you are on target.

If you plan as a family unit I recommend you have a quarterly review meeting of your goals. Make it fun and help each member of the family where help is needed.

If you are single, become accountable to someone, and have the quarterly review meeting over some coffee or hot tea. Accountability is a great tool that can help us achieve our goals.


I suggest you find someone to be accountable for your goals. I want to encourage you to take action and create the changes you desire. So I am making myself available to you as an accountability partner. Just email me your written goals and we’ll schedule the quarterly review phone meetings.

Free Goal Setting Tool

I have designed a goal-setting tool to assist you as you work on your goals.

It is designed so you can write your goals, your action plans and follow up on a quarterly basis. It also contains sections where you can manage, track and work on all your tasks.

Download the Goals Worksheet

Download in Spanish

Write down your deepest aspirations that you’d like to accomplish in the next twelve months!

Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. -Habakkuk 2:2-3


Nestor Lima