This week I want to talk about a process for identifying valuable lessons by taking a look at the year just ending--the good and the not so good--before finalizing our goals for the coming year.
It's useful to look back over the previous year and see what lessons you can apply to setting your goals for the coming year (Just remember to give yourself grace in the process!)
As I mentioned last week, I am spending these final weeks of the year taking some steps to prepare for a productive new year. For a lot of us, that involves setting goals for the year. We’ll talk about that process soon, but I believe it’s important to lay a strong foundation before actually setting goals.
Conducting your own year-end review
Set aside a time when you can be quiet and undisturbed. Get something to write with and your favorite beverage. Gather your calendar, your journal if you keep one, your planners for the year. If you set goals for this year and kept track of them, gather that as well.
Browse through your calendar, planner, journal, remind yourself of the key activities and memorable events of the year.
If you set goals for the year or parts of it, review those.
As you do your review, look at the various areas of your life, personal, professional, etc. Blogger Hannah Braime, in a blog post about how to conduct a year-end review, suggests we look at the following areas of our life:
Health and fitness
Fun and leisure
Personal growth and development
* Journal answers to some or all of the following questions:
* What are the best things that have happened this year? Would you like to repeat any of those experiences in the coming year?
* What were your proudest achievements--personal, professional, etc.?
* What knowledge or skills did you learn?
* What were the most fun events or activities?
* What are the best books you read?
* What were the toughest challenges of this year? How did you respond to them?
* If you had to describe this year in a word or phrase, what would it be? Why?
* Is there anything about this year that you’d like a do-over on?
* What did you hope to do or experience this year that didn’t come to fruition?
* Great questions that someone (I don’t recall who) has suggested:
What do you want to stop doing?
What do you want to keep doing?
What do you want to start doing?
* Looking at the goals you set for yourself for this year, how do you feel about those you did and didn’t reach? For those you didn’t reach, can you identify why? (Did you abandon them in favor of something you valued more? Did unanticipated obstacles arise? Were they the “wrong” goals for you? Maybe you set them as goals because you thought you should but didn’t really care about them? Maybe some other reasons?) Are any of those unmet goals ones you want to reactivate for the coming year?
What lessons have you learned this year--those that come to mind from the months past and those you can draw from your answers to the questions above?