I don’t really start my new year until January 5th, my birthday. The day after is a public holiday in Bavaria, so it’s only after this first week in January that it feels like time to get back to business.

I treasure this quiet time to refine my thinking and goal setting for 2014. I’ve been thinking about this year’s goals since August, but I’m also trying something new. I’m working through all ten questions of  Your Best Year Yet by Jinny Ditzler.

This is a book my friend and talented photographer Teresa Marenzi told me about at last year’s Hive conference. It sounded right up my alley so I bought it and spent the summer reading through it as I had time. I loved it so much, I included it as one of the extra resources in the first module of the Steal This Process course.

The processes and techniques I share as part of Steal This Process are necessarily mechanistic; the nuts and bolts of how you get stuff out of your head and make it happen. The only module that departs from this is the first one that deals with goal-setting, which is more about gaining clarity on what you want. Your Best Year Yet is a real complement to this part of the process.

What’s so great about the book is that it is a deep dive into figuring where you want to focus in the whole of your life, not just your business.  I’ve been struggling with reconciling all these different aspects of my life, and the ten questions in this book are helping me finally tie everything together.

The especially powerful questions are the ones that ask you to define the roles you play in your life (and want to play), choose one in particular to focus on for the year, and then set goals for it and each of the other roles. This flies in the face of my preaching about not setting too many goals, but somehow the approach in the book is not mutually exclusive with my personal mandate not to set more than five goals.

For example, goals that I have for the role of  ‘daughter’ are things I would have done anyway, but it’s helpful to articulate and write down what I want to accomplish in this sphere in my life. The same thing goes for goals around health, these are things I’d do anyway, but I’m approaching these, habits really, in a more deliberate way.

There’s a great chapter on identifying your values and aligning them to your roles. This exercise demanded some mental heavy lifting, but it was an eye opener and completely worth it. The exercise illuminated a lot of the ‘why’ of what I want to accomplish what I do and how I’ll approach this next year. It’s the heart of the ‘R’ (Relevancy) bit in setting SMART goals.

My husband is going through the book too, and if his enthusiasm is indication, this may become a yearly ritual!