Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution? Have you ever seen it through? Maybe some of you strong willed and determined people have. However, some of us have likely made resolutions that have fallen to the the wayside by the end of January. Then maybe we got down on ourself or made an excuse like “new year’s resolutions are stupid.” I’m proposing something different this year. Do a year end review instead.
Get out your journal/computer/tablet/smartphone. It’s time to to reflect on the past year and to make a plan for next.
What were your favorite moments of 2018? Make a list of the things you enjoyed about this year. This is when you can get nostalgic. Maybe a trip you took, a memory with a loved one, or a book you enjoyed reading… list the good things that you want to remember.
What were your accomplishments? When we make resolutions we are often focus on what we wish we could do differently. I want you to take some time to recognize all the things that YOU DID DO. Maybe you had a milestone in your personal life or your career, maybe you set a personal record of some kind, maybe you took a class… give yourself some darn credit!
What were your challenges? Now it’s time to acknowledge what you didn’t do so well. Try not to be too hard on yourself. We all have things to list here. Life is about growth. Try to see if there are any themes that may relate to something you want to work on.
Make a SMART Goal (or a few) for 2019: One of the challenges about New Year’s Resolutions is that often we make grand goals with no plan on how to achieve them. Don’t make a resolution just because you think you should. That’s how we set ourselves up to not seeing them through. Use this graphic to help you format your goal(s).
Yes I know this may feel like a self evaluation you’d do for your employer. When I worked in higher education, we had to set SMART goals for our performance reviews every year. To be honest, I often dreaded that time of year. Emotions were on high at the office. Probably because we were being evaluated by other people and that they sometimes had a different perspective on what we did well and not so well. Plus, it was tied to potential salary increases and money can bring up a lot. What I’m asking you to do here is different from that type of review. Here, you’re doing a self evaluation for your most important boss… You.
The goals you set for yourself and how you feel about yourself are most important. Our relationship with ourself sets the groundwork for our other relationships. Also, the only time we are going to change is if it’s change we are choosing for ourself. That’s when the change has a chance to last.
This year I’m asking you to sit down and really take a good look at the past year. Acknowledge all that went well and what you want to improve. Then make a plan. If you really want to take it to the next level, take that review out in June to see what kind of progress you have made so far. Adjust as needed. Stop setting unrealistic New Year’s Resolutions. This year, do a Year End Review instead. Then watch yourself grow.