I ditched the new year’s resolution a long time ago, then I found that there is a better way to do things.

If I take a moment now to consider this year, and make plans for next year, I know that I’ll hit the ground running in January.

It can be tempting to put off planning time till after things slow down. But then you’ll be playing catch up once again. I find that this process is best done before the year is over. It can be done quickly while still being effective (30 minutes of focused time can do the trick). As coaches, we already have the skills to do this. It’s a combination of giving yourself feedback, and setting SMART goals. Here’s my process:

1 – Reflect on this year

What 3 things gave you the most joy or satisfaction?

If you are the kind of person who tends to focus on negatives, this may be challenging. Big things like overseas vacations are easy to think of, but don’t forget the people who enrich your life. And make sure to reflect on the small stuff, such as your morning coffee break or sleeping in on your day off.

What 3 things caused you the most trouble?

Let’s not turn this into a whinge fest – however, it is important to consider your roadblocks through the year. Specifically the things that prevented you doing the things you wanted to.

What were your 3 most impactful activities, strategies or projects?

This is about what you did either intentionally or by chance that made your year better, easier or more productive.

2 – Consider next year

What 3 things do you want achieve?

Some of these goals maybe the same as your previous year, that’s totally cool. I find that it’s helpful to have each goal aimed at different aspect of my life. Such as a personal goal, a work goal, and a financial goal.

I try to have a goal for my circus school (work), a goal for me or my family (personal) and a goal for something I would like to purchase (financial).

Why do you want to achieve each goal?

This is a key part of the process. If you don’t have a motivating reason to achieve the goal, chances are you won’t do it. In some cases, you might write down your reason and then realise that it wasn’t that important after all.

What will happen if you don’t make the goal happen?

In the same sense as the above, many people are more motivated by avoiding problems. Not reaching a goal could also have some undesirable outcomes. My personal goals usualy relate to the amount of time I spend with family or on ‘me time’. If I don’t achieve these goals, my mental health invariably suffers.

So with that in mind, I’m listing these goals for myself:

  • Work – Encouraging intermediate students (at The Circus Spot) to train more than twice a week.
  • Personal – Spending at least 3 devoted hours a week on hobbies (that aren’t circus based!).
  • Financial – Buying a new car (ours will probably croak anytime now).

3 – Outline a plan

For each of the 3 goals you listed in the previous step, write down the following:

  • How will you know if you’ve achieved the goal?
  • What is the most impactful strategy you can do weekly or daily to achieve the goal?
  • What is one big thing that you can do before the end of February that will set me on track to achieve the goal?

And that’s it! 2019 sorted.

I’d love to hear how you go with this. Be sure to comment below if you found this helpful.


Did you know that Circus Training Australia runs teacher training for circus coaches? Until December 10th we are offering 20% off all our January courses and packages. All the course times are listed on our bookings page, make sure you don’t forget to book as the discount won’t be extended.