If you’re anything like me, after the year-end festivities, you’re excited to finally close the door to the year and welcome the new year.
Before you blaze into the future to think about what you want to accomplish in the new year, there’s a vital step that you have to take. As the new year begins, many people think that the very first step is goal-setting.
However, goal-setting is NOT the first step in creating an amazing year.
The first step is reflecting.
In order to set yourself up for success, you must reflect on the past year so that you walk into the new year with the right insights.
Reflecting gives you closure to what has been and prepares you for what can be. It gives you the foundation for a fresh, new and exciting year.
I know this seems obvious but most people don’t take the time to do this step and actually resist it–and for good reason!
Are you feeling some resistance to reflect?
If you’re feeling like you’d rather skip reflecting on this past year because you prefer to look towards the future instead of “living in the past”, I get it. I’m one of those people myself!
However, if you don’t take the time and reflect, you risk missing out on an opportunity to set the right goals that will improve your life in a meaningful way.
If you’re feeling like you don’t want to reflect on this year because it wasn’t what you anticipated, don’t feel disappointed. You’re not a failure.
Discovering you aren’t happy with your life is actually A GOOD THING! Anytime you realize that something isn’t working, it’s the perfect opportunity to change things up. This means major growth and a new reality.
There’s power in reflection.
Looking into your past for what worked, didn’t work, lessons learned and what you accomplished is a powerful exercise. A simple reflection can be life-changing and will help you create your goals more strategically.
Grab a piece of paper, a pen and answer the questions below like your future depends on it…because it does!
Here are 5 simple questions to help you reflect on this year:
1. If you had to describe your past year in 3 words, what would it be?
- Think about your year, write down common themes or words that come to mind.
2. When did you feel inspired, alive or excited this year and why?
- Think about what had you feeling fired up. Was it working on a new project, meeting new people, reading books, learning new concepts, teaching, taking action, sharing, connecting with loved ones, working out, eating healthy or traveling?
3. When did you feel at your lowest this year and why?
- Think about your lowest points in the year and why you felt that way. Was it an unfortunate event, a failure, a mistake, a disappointment in yourself, a time when you felt lost, a misunderstanding with a family member or friend? I want you to spend some time thinking about this one! I promise that you’ll gain new insights that will help you make this upcoming year the best yet! It’s difficult to get this type of clarity and closure any other way.
4. What lessons have you learned?
- Think about your highs and lows this year in relationship to what you’ve learned. If you’ve made a mistake or a few, write down what you learned from them.
5. What are your biggest accomplishments?
- Think about what you are proud of? If you haven’t yet accomplished your big goal for the year, what major goal did you lay the foundation for?
I answer these five questions at the end of every year to quickly reflect and it has made all the difference in starting my year off right.
Once you answer these questions, you’re ready to start goal-setting and mapping out strategies to make it all happen.
Cheers to making this year the best year yet!