Do THIS Before You Set a Single Goal for 2013

The following is a simple exercise I have done at the end of December, for the past three years. This year will be no exception.

Although most people focus on creative strategies for creating better goals, I feel we skip a MAJOR step: Putting COMPLETION on their previous goals.

You can watch the video below and follow along, or simply read the post, but if you’ve made it this far…DO IT! It seriously takes less than 10 minutes, it’s pretty painless, and it’s extremely POWERFUL.

Watch it on YouTube :

Grab a piece of paper and a pen (do not use your iPad, Computer, Laptop or other gizmo) and answer the FOUR following questions…

1. List your Accomplishments and Victories for 2012
Take a moment to write out the biggest and littlest “wins” that you experienced throughout the year. Think hard and take some time.

2. What Lessons did you learn?
Take a moment and get clear on the lesson you learned with EACH accomplishment you had in 2012!

3. List your FAILURES and Disappointments for 2012
Where did you fall short on your goals? What mistakes and upsets did you experience? Write them down…the big ones, and the small ones.

4. What Lessons did you learn?
Go back to your “Failure List” and spend some time identifying the LESSONS you have learned…or NEED to learn from each of these failures.


Ok! Did you do it?! Did you fill out the four questions above on your paper? Now comes the magic part…

Take this piece of paper, fold it a few times…and BURN IT!

No…don’t imagine it being burned…don’t pretend you’ll burn it later…go get a lighter and burn that sucker right now!

Say goodbye to everything that was 2012 so you can be lighter, more flexible and more focused for 2013!

Did you Actually Do it?!

Now, for those who actually BURNED their paper, please share your experience below in the comments!! How did this help you?! …or was it a total waste of time?! Let me hear from you!!

And if you DID get value from this exercise, please share this post with a friend!

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  1. says

    This is awesome. I saw something like this on Tim Ferriss’ blog minus the burning part.
    I’m definitely gonna try this out, I love symbolism as I use a lot of that to teach my students.

  2. says

    What a great idea! I think that a great deal of one’s unhappiness comes from focusing and living in the past. The past is gone and all we really have is the present moment and the future yet to come. Instead of beating yourself up, you just let the past go. Thanks for sharing this idea. I am going to definitely use it!

  3. says

    Thanks james for this wonderful post. I always use mindmap s/w for this. I will give a try on these let me check, how it’s working for me.

  4. Chris McKenzie says

    Awesome! I did this in the past week, and it made exactly clear what I need to do. Half the goals I set for 2012 I met, the other half I did not. The goals I met, I had a clear defined plan, written out with objectives to meet. The goals I did not meet–no plan of objectives to was only the vision. This helped IMMENSELY. Thank You, James!

  5. says

    Hi James:
    Love your goal tips! As someone who loves to plan and set goals, I too love pausing at the end of each year to reflect on successes and “things-gone-sideways.” I’ve been doing the fire burning ritual for a number of years too.
    Keep up the great videos!

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