Lots of people look to the future in January every year. Focusing on New Year’s Resolutions, making plans, getting ready to tackle the year and most of them will fail.
Everyone wants to set a Resolution, while I suggest setting SMART Goals, instead. Yes, that’s right, even I get involved in the New Year Craze.
But I also take time to do something else. I take some time to just breathe and look back.
Do a New Year’s Reflection.
I try to take a look back at my previous year to see what went really well, what didn’t go so well, and things that I simply may not have noticed.
For me, I had a son, bought a home, got married. It was a damn good year. I have so much to be grateful and thankful for.
But I also did things that were wastes of time. I spun wheels on a few projects, I burned bridges by accident that I should have spent time trying to keep up.
There was definitely a balance of “good” and “bad” in my life, the trick is seeing each of these things in the right way.
Gratitude is the foundation.
While a few things definitely went wrong in 2016, gratitude is still the base of my New Year’s Reflection.
There’s a reason you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself – because changing that self-loathing to self-appreciation can really help you in the short and long-term.
Studies show that showing gratitude (even toward yourself) can improve your physical and mental health, help you sleep better, improve your mental strength and even give you higher self-esteem.
So do your best to reflect on a few things that happened in 2016 that you are grateful for. Also, if there were other people involved – let them know that you’re thinking of them and show some appreciation!
Analyze things that could have gone better.
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
— Winston Churchill
Nobody likes to think about their failures, but if you don’t think about them, you won’t learn from them.
I’ve openly admitted that I’m a failure, but it doesn’t keep me from moving to the next big project and doing it with passion.
Just so I’m a bit more open about it, here’s what I failed at last year:
- I let a very long meditation streak end.
- Being a manager in a super-high-stress job. But I view this as more of a learning experience about poisonous politics than a failure.
- Finishing a single workout plan that I started, though I stayed in good shape.
- Reaching my business goals, but I made progress and found what didn’t work.
And I’m still ready to tackle 2017 with enthusiasm.
These failures aren’t “bad” because I choose to look at them in a beneficial way. Because I can analyze each one of these things and learn something beneficial.
I learned a lot about myself.
By looking back and taking note of the important things in my life (both good and bad), I really learned a lot about my priorities in life.
This gives me the insight to know what I want to completely change, what I want to improve, and what I want to drop. In conclusion, it lets me know where I should be spending my time.
Finally, to get the printable worksheet to find what’s important for you, just sign up for the email list and gain access to the New Year Reflection Worksheet. It takes 20 minutes to fill out and you’ll get a better understanding of what is really important to you.