It’s that time of the year when people are talking about ‘resolutions’ — which in itself is bizarre that it’s a word which is pretty much only used in January.
In reality, when we resolve to do something it’s about changing what we’re already doing — or rather, not doing.
So to figure out what we’re doing ‘right’ or what we’d like to change, we really need to take some time to reflect on the past year. Were there resolutions made in 2015 that just didn’t stick? Why? What were the barriers or challenges? Or maybe in hindsight, you really couldn’t give a shit about them anyway.
I don’t really believe in ‘resolutions’ in that sense, because they’re generally super lofty and therefore never get anywhere. I prefer to have theme for the year and then set very specific goals.
Regardless of whether you set a theme, mantra, resolutions or whatever works for you, I do think everyone can benefit from a bit of reflection. It requires you to focus on the present, which a lot of people find quite difficult to do in the first place. Which actually says a lot.
It also makes goal setting for the New Year super simple, because you’ve then got a launchpad to work from, and already know why you did or didn’t do something.
To make it even easier (and because I like things structured), I categorise it into the different categories I also set goals for:
- Personal/Spiritual (relationships and personal growth)
- Educational (because I love continued learning)
- Physical/Health (mental and physical health)
- Financial (self-explanatory)
- Work/Career (also self-explanatory)
I grab a pen and paper (old school) and spend about 15min writing down in no particular order for each:
- What I achieved and am proud of
- What I’m not so proud of
- What I wish I’d achieved
- Why I didn’t
- Whether I still care, or scrap it and move on
From there, I feel like I get a pretty good sense about where my priorities are, and go about my goal setting.
I did this over breakfast a few days ago and it completely opened my eyes. It made me take stock of all the awesome things that happened for me in 2015, look at ‘failures’ as lessons, brush off stuff that now seems trivial, and be ready to move onto bigger, brighter, bolder things.
This might not be for everyone, but taking 10min just to reflect on the highs and lows of the past year is still a great thing to do and puts things into perspective.
Was that epic fail really an epic fail? Or is it now a blessing in disguise?
PS. If you want to take it one step further, check out @xsvengoechea’s post on doing a life audit. I haven’t done this yet, but plan to in the next few weeks.