I know. It's not even Christmas yet and I'm already talking about New Year resolutions. Isn't that the way it is now a days? We pull out the Christmas decorations the day after halloween, why not start thinking about the new year right after Thanksgiving?
I don't mean to rush you into making new year resolutions, in fact, I think that it is silly to wait for a day on the calendar to resolve to improve your life. There is no time like the present! You don't have to wait until January to start chasing your dreams.
I suggest that you don't even think of about New Year Resolutions until you have spent some time reflecting on the past year. Once you look back and think about what has worked for you and what you can do to improve, you'll be in a better position to make clear and concise goals for the new year.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to get clarity on your goals for the new year.
1. What did you accomplish this year? Did you set any goals and achieve them? Were there any accomplishments that weren't planned? Think about why you were able to achieve these goals. What actions did you take? What was your mindset along the way? How can you replicate this success for future goals?
2. What were the highlights of the year? What fun and or exciting things did you do this year? Think about how can replicate or build upon these things in the new year.
3. What disappointed you this year? Was there anything you could have done differently to change the outcome? It's important to be mindful that some things are in your control and some things are out of your control.
4. What changed this year? Did you make any changes in your life? Were they changes you made by choice or changes life threw at you? What was the outcome of those changes? Explore both the good and bad. This is a good time to think about what changes you might want to make for next year.
5. What were your priorities this year? Did they remain consistent or did your priorities change over the year? What will your priorities be for next year?
6. What did you learn this year? Any life lessons? Any experiences that you grew from? Any mistakes that you learned from? How can you apply that knowledge in the upcoming year?
7. Did you neglect anything this year? Did you have plans or ideas this year that you neglected? Are these things still important to you or have your priorities changed?
8. Did you pick up any new habits this year? Explore both good or bad. What led to the new habits? Can you break bad habits or build upon the good ones?
9. What were your weakness this year? Did they inhibit you? Are your weakness something you need to work on or move away from?
10. Did you step outside of your comfort zone this year? What did you do that scared you? What was the outcome? How can you use this information to take risks and try new things in the new year.
It can be tough to revisit your successes and failures. It not only takes time, it takes self-awareness. You have to be willing to recognize that there is room for improvement and be ready to put in the work to change if needed. If you take the time to reflect on the past year you can use what you learned to inform your plans for the new year. You're more likely to meet you new year's goals when you first take the time to review what had worked and hasn't worked for you in the past.
I would be answering these questions on my personal blog (Running with Ollie) in the next week or so, I will add the link here when it goes live.
I created a PDF worksheet that you can download, print out and answer the questions. It is helpful to not just think about your answers but to write them out.
Complete the workbook and if you feel comfortable share in the comments what you learned about your goals for the new year! Maybe it can help someone else too.
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