So often we are so busy trying to jump ahead, that we’re not taking the time to reflect on where we have been or what has happened to us in the last 12 months. When we reflect before setting goals we can set more meaningful and purposeful goals for the New Year.
Now, this year has been insane. But it has also given us a good reason to find things we can be proud of. And by looking back it can be really helpful to reflect before we start thinking about what we want for the future.
A couple of weeks ago I talked about dreaming before goal setting, this is the next step after dreaming.
In my latest Coffee Talk which you can watch here, I give you an exercise with 5 tasks to complete before you start thinking about setting New Year’s goals.
This blog is just a quick recap of what I explain in my video. Here are the 5 things I talk about:
#1 Write down what has happened to you in the last 12 months.
When I do this I write down things that have happened to me in every single month – what happened in January, what happened in February, etc. And I write down everything! Anything that has been challenging, accomplishing, anything that I feel has been notable in my life.
#2 What are you most proud of?
Once you have your list of all the things you have done or have happened to you in the past 12 months I encourage you to review this list. Review it, and think about all the things we are most proud of. This could be pride in the fact that you got through a difficult situation, you navigated some hard feelings, or accomplished mastering a new skill, hobby, or activity.
#3 Ask for feedback
We are the hardest on ourselves and sometimes we put up a filter that stops us from seeing our real potential. We often criticize ourselves and don’t acknowledge things we have done well. This is why I encourage you to ask those who are close to you for some feedback. Ask them what they have seen or observed in your life that has made a difference, things they have noticed that have changed in you that weren’t there the previous year. People who support us and love us and care about us will provide feedback that is more genuine with a real filter then the criticism that we typically put on ourselves.
#4 Choose one word to describe your year
Words can be powerful when we attach meaning to them. For me, 2020 has been granted the word tenacity – in my professional life, as a team at Eterna, and in my personal life. Tenacity is my powerful word that I plan to take with me into the New Year. What word can summarize your time in 2020?
#5 What surprises you?
Think about this, what happened in 2020 that really surprised you. It can be something good or bad. It could be a reaction you had, an insight, a change that occurred in your life, what was surprising to you? And how did you respond to that?
I hope this helps you when starting to plan New Year’s goals. I find this exercise to be very uplifting, empowering, and interesting. I always find out things about myself that I might not have noticed before.
Try out our 2021 Goal Setting Workbook – it is the workbook our team uses every year to reflect, dream, and plan our goals with intention.