Looking Back and Looking Forward
For the start of the new year, I’d like to do something a little bit different today. I recently talked about the idea of yearly themes, so I’d like to give you a tool that will help you reflect on the year we’ve just completed and look forward to the year ahead.
Below you’ll find a series of questions that I’d suggest spending an hour or two going through and answering for yourself.
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Reflecting on Last Year
Resolutions, Goals, Themes
What goals, resolutions, and/or themes did I set for myself last year?
How did I do? Did I make progress towards my desired outcomes?
Where was I most successful? How did I do that?
Where was I least successful? What got in my way?
Go through my calendar and/or journal for last year. What activities gave me the most energy? What people did I enjoy spending the most time with?
What activities drained me of energy? Where would I like to spend less time?
Pull out the top 3-5 positive and negative things to do more and less of respectively next year.
Looking back to the beginning of last year, what’s different now?
How have I changed?
What have I learned?
What things came up several times for me that might give ideas for a theme for the new year?
You have many paths to choose from
Looking Forward to The Coming Year
Using my reflections from last year, what might I explore as a theme for this year? Remember, themes are broad, resonate for you personally, and directional.
Write a short description of what that theme is and what it means to me.
Outline some ideal outcomes. Think about the different dimensions of the theme, if relevant - personal, professional (personally and/or for my team), financial, etc..
What might get in my way?
How am I going to fulfil that theme? Keep it light - the idea here is not to have a bunch of goals that you’re going to feel bad at if you fail, but some rough things to aim for.
Thinking of the same dimensions as above, how do I want to allocate my time this year? Get some things in the calendar now.
Where shall I start? Write down some first step actions to take, starting this week.
Start, Stop, Continue
Finally, with the above in mind, what am I going to:
I’d encourage you to review what you’ve written here, particularly the Looking Forward part, at least every quarter.
Does my theme still resonate? What adjustments might I want to make?
How am I progressing towards my aims? Do they still make sense?
Feel free to adjust accordingly - there’s no right or wrong here, you’ve just created the opportunity to have a great year ahead!
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