I know when I purchased my 2014 planner I had certain commitments and goals for the year. Did I achieve them all? No I didn’t. I completed some, progressed others and took up new unexpected opportunities too. I am a great believer in having a direction but not forcing things to happen. The truth is we can’t anyway.
The nature of goals
Sometimes projects we commence have unexpected twists and turns, so we have to pause and reappraise our approach. Other times we complete our tasks smoothly and save time. Now that the year is coming to a close I encourage you to reflect on what you have achieved. Knowing why you completed some goals and not others is important. This allows you to move forward equipped with knowledge about how to successfully introduce change into your life.
What goals worked?
Reflect on the priorities you set for yourself during the year. Identify those you completed or significantly progressed.
- What allowed this to occur?
- Did you create designated time for them?
- Did you seek advice or assistance?
- Were you inspired by the benefits that you believed you would gain?
- Did the progress flow smoothly or did you have to navigate obstacles?
What goals didn’t work?
As you reflect on the year you may also identify priorities that you didn’t achieve, but you still consider important.
- Why do you feel that these are still on your ‘to do’ list?
- Did you allow sufficient time for them?
- Were the goals realistic?
- Did you require more time, information or support than you first thought?
- Perhaps you can identify other reasons why you were unable to complete everything.
What goals did you discard?
May be you had goals that you chose not to pursue.
- Why did you make this decision?
- Did your priorities change during the year?
- Did you feel that you were unable to achieve the goals for some other reason (time, skills, ability)?
- Maybe you felt that the goals would not produce the benefits that you were seeking.
Appreciate your achievements
Regardless of whether you achieved your goals as expected, take time to appreciate what you have learned. If you didn’t reach a certain goal it doesn’t mean you have failed. It may indicate that were you overcommitted, became overwhelmed by conflicting advice or underestimated the time required to introduce a new activity.
Is it worth setting New Years Resolutions? Yes, if they are well thought through and planned. Whenever we introduce something new in our life, such as exercise or a new approach to eating, we have to create time and space in our life to support the change. Next week I will share tips on setting meaningful and achievable goals.
I wish you a very happy New Years Eve and look forward to sharing with you in 2015.