In my last blog post, I wrote about how I was giving myself permission to set fluid goals this year instead of making resolutions that tend to bomb before the middle of January. I’m sticking with that permission, but what if you’re one of those who needs a plan? Awesome! Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before you set new goals for the coming months.
When you think about 2017, what is the first thought that comes to mind?
Is your first thought uplifting or a real downer? Or is it no big deal – simply meh? This question gives you insight into the big picture of 2017 from either a personal or professional standpoint – or both. What does your word focus on? Don’t filter this word – let it flow and you’ll see exactly what happened last year. By investigating why this word came up, you know where to start with your plan for the coming year.
Did your word relate to family, friends or work life? What wore heavy on your mind? What can you do differently to make improvements?
If your word describing last year is not as positive as you had hoped, then digging deep can help you see what didn’t work – and let go of it. Letting go of something that isn’t working can be downright intimidating. However, letting go of what isn’t working makes space for something new that gives you an entirely new perspective on the situation.
Which of your accomplishments stands out the most to you?
This is especially important to ask yourself as it says you did indeed accomplish much more than you give yourself credit for. This question is best asked and answered with a trusted friend. So many times, we don’t think we’ve accomplished much at all in the past year when in reality, we’ve done a lot.
I am my own case in point. Last year felt frustrating to me as I didn’t see the progress I thought I would. A glass of wine and a good friend to point out a few things made my year a whole lot better.
Make sure to count the times you said NO when you really didn’t want to do something and you were being pressured to say yes. Remember to count the times when you took good care of yourself because you can’t give someone a drink from an empty cup. Please count all the times you kept your mouth shut and picked yoru battles wisely.
All those times you really wanted to stay in bed but you got up and exercised anyway? That’s huge!
Life would be so much easier if we could just give ourselves the attaboys that we give to our best friend.
What lesson or frustration kept surfacing?
When we’re not paying attention to the lessons we’re supposed to learn, the message keeps coming at us but it gets stronger every single time.
How are your finances – are they in order or do you resort to retail therapy on a regular basis? That co-worker of yours that is ridiculously annoying – there’s a lesson in there somewhere. Keep missing deadlines? What does that tell you?
Perpetually running late? This is frustrating for those left constantly waiting. We all run late once in a while – everyone does. When you consistently run late more than 15 minutes and more than twice a week, there’s something deeper going on that you need to address. Constantly running late has more to do with a measure of self-worth and control more so than laziness. There’s a passive-aggressive tendency in there, too.
Michael F. Formica, MS, MA, EdM in writing for Psychology Today says this about being late:
The chronically tardy, in large measure, have a perception that others do not feel them to be important, so they operate in a way so as to impose themselves on a situation – exerting control to feel in control – while in reality they are silently validating their own sense of unworthiness, whether consciously or unconsciously.
What personal strengths did you rely on this past year?
How well did you communicate in your most important relationships?
Set New Goals By Answering These Questions
Write your goals down in black and white. Keeping a list of goals where you can see them daily is an excellent way to stay on track and keep up your motivation. You don’t necessarily have to share your goals, but simply keep them close – and remember, your goals can change! If something isn’t working the way you expected or you absolutely hate the goal, stop. That’s what I mean by fluid goals. Now – with that said – don’t be a quitter. Every action plan has less-than-lovely tasks to reach your goal. Keep the prize in mind!