“Be filled with an enthusiasm for living, a joyous expectation of the more that is to be, and gratitude for what has been.”
— Ernest Holmes
It’s the end of one year, and soon will be the beginning of the next.
Now that the Christmas festivities have passed, as you take a breather before the new year, I’d like to suggest an exercise that I do every year. Some of you have seen this exercise before, and this is simply a reminder to reflect on the past year and think forward into the new year. For others, this will be the first time—enjoy!
For all, please share with your family, friends and employees. We are all in this together!
What I appreciate about this exercise the most is, it’s simple. I am all for short, to the point and memorable—and this fits that description. I appreciate that this exercise sidesteps too much “deep-deep” thinking and stays right on point—yeah!
“You wish to reform the world: reform yourself, otherwise your efforts will be in vain.”
— St. Ignatius
Reflecting on the past year
- For the past year, what was your overall theme? (I typically identify one to three words to use as “anchors” throughout the year—short and easy to remember, e.g., confidence, letting go, boldness, joy, achievement.)
- What were your three biggest wins personally?
- What were your three biggest wins professionally?
- What were the three top lessons you learned?
- What was the one personal quality you developed in 2017?
- List the ways this quality helped you both personally and professionally.
Preparing for the new year
- Looking forward, what do you want your overall theme(s) for the new year to be? (I’m contemplating three areas: discipline, energy & confidence.)
- What are your top three personal goals for 2018?
- What are your top three professional goals for 2018?
- What personal quality do you most want to develop in 2018?
- List the ways this quality will help you move forward both personally and professionally.
I typically write these questions and the answers (my plan) in a spiral-bound journal. Then during the year, or when I review past years’ journals, it’s enlightening to look back and see the direction the year has taken, and finally where it wound up — what I achieved, and what I want/need my next steps to be.
For your journal, go as simple or fancy as you like. Remember, it’s not what you write in—it’s that you write!
Have fun with this. Set goals that stretch you, and choose memorable anchor words that will inspire you to stay on course.
My wish for you is that you take the challenges of 2017 (and there have been a few) and move forward into 2018 with confidence and courage!
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day
in the year.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson