January is a great month to get clear about what you want to have happen in the upcoming year. I did my goal setting, as I do every year, late last year. I use life categories to keep track of my goals: vocation, financial, service, marriage, health, kids, friends, and health.

In each category I create a Personal Declaration. A statement that declares what I want to happen. I write the statement in present tense, as though it has already happened. As an example, if I am looking to draw better boundaries around my work schedule and bring more play into my life I would write a Personal Declaration like:  “I am balancing my work and play time and spending fulfilling time with my friends, family and hobbies.” If I am working on my relationship with my wife I might write: “I am in a truthful, trusting, mutually respectful, and intimate relationship with my wife.”

There are a couple of key characteristics to my Personal Declarations. They are clear and specific, they are written down and they don’t include a time or form in which they will come to pass. I balance being clear without being attached to the outcome.

I write four to eight of these every year that guide how much I work, who I work with, the nature of my relationships and how I spend my play time. I have been doing this for years because it works. I end my years having manifested great stuff. It’s because I bring my attention to what I want.

These are my requests and my prayers. Energy and focus follow attention. I am very careful with what I am focusing on. I like to say, “If you want to know what you want, just look at your life.” At some level we are putting out our requests to the universe all the time and we will get feedback, hence, be careful what you are asking for, for that matter be careful what you are thinking all the time.

Under each of these Personal Declarations I have 3 to 5 Action Items that are designed to support the Declaration. For example, in the case of my vision for my marriage I might list: Have a weekly date night; go on an overnight at least once a quarter; express my hurt when it arises; attend a workshop on conflict resolution with my wife.

Action Items are time-bound, specific, measurable and concrete ways to support my intentions.

Lastly, I put in the Secret Sauce. I meditate on these intentions regularly. I have a process that will put on a video post at some point but suffice it to say I get still and picture the Declaration unfolding, again, in present time. I use all my senses in the visualisation process to anchor the outcome in my mind. This part may sound too woo woo but there is brain research and physics to support this process and for me, it just works so I keep doing it.

I’d love to hear your techniques for goal setting.