Last Year Reflections and Goal-setting for the New Year

Hey Angels and Alphas,

The New Year right around the corner, and with it comes a great opportunity!

It’s an opportunity to reflect on what we’ve experienced in the past year and learn from it. An opportunity to review ourselves and our progress. Most importantly, an opportunity for us to set new goals and work on achieving them with last year’s momentum.

This festive season is the perfect moment for you to stop for a second, take a deep breath, and make a mental note of where you’re at now and what you’re going to achieve.

In this article, I’ve outlined a clear step-by-step process you can follow to successfully identify your mistakes, learn from them, and turn them into strengths you can use in the new year.

Let’s begin…

Reflections from the Past Year

We’ll start off by reflecting on the past year with a series of questions!

Sit down with a notebook and a pen, follow this process, and answer these questions to gain valuable insights into your progress this year.

The first, and probably most significant, question to reflect on is: What did you learn this year?

Every experience we have, every day, every month, every year, is there to teach us something. It’s our choice whether we tune in and learn from it.

By taking the time to reflect on our experiences, we’ll always learn a lot of valuable insights. Even if you do it once at the end of every year.

What did this year teach you? What were the most important lessons you learned from both your positive and negative experiences? What adjustment in your attitude or mindset do you have to make to *not* make the same mistakes again?

The reflections you make should serve as the pivoting point of your past behavior toward something better.

Ask yourself; What goals did I achieve?

For some people, achieving goals means making a ton of money and building their business. For others, it means letting go of a toxic relationship or developing more self-esteem.

Regardless of what you define as an accomplishment, examining the goals you successfully tackled will give you a ton of momentum toward achieving your goals in the future.

This is especially great when you can dive deep into an experience and find lessons you never thought you’d find. Achieving some goals is easy, while others might become an unanticipated struggle that you can learn a lot from.

Remember – create SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-sensitive. When you’re reflecting on your goals, you’ll quickly realize how much it helps to have them be specific and measurable. Just by making it official, writing it down, and giving it some specifics like a time frame, you’re significantly increasing the chances you’re going to increase that goal.

How have your priorities changed in the last year?

Some people, for example, new parents or people who just graduated from college, experience these quick but significant shifts in their priorities.

Think of the priorities you had when you were single or those you had when you didn’t have children. Or even those you had when you were still in college. Chances are, they look very different than what they do today.

Have you felt such a shift for yourself in the past year? Most likely, you left some things behind last year and went through some new experiences, but is there something that didn’t matter so much at the start of the year compared to now?

These types of reflections, those we do on our priorities, are often those we learn the most from. Journal about it – write down how your priorities have shifted, and you will see how much you’ve changed over the last year.

This exercise is great for helping you bring things into perspective.

Did you face any of your fears?

Did you do anything this year that you were terrified about? Did you take on any new adventurous opportunities? Did you tackle any unexpected challenges?

If you have, give yourself the praise you deserve.

One of the most important lessons you can learn about fear is to ask yourself: would you rather have no fear or know that fear can’t stop you?

It’s precisely from facing our fears do we become stronger, smarter, and more resilient. This is how personality and confidence are built.

If you’ve had any similar experiences this year, make sure to write them all down and list out all the things you learned from facing that situation.

What was your most positive experience?

What were the most exciting, joyful, and mind-opening experiences you had this year? Did you travel or go on any trip? Did you create any new memories with your friends and family?

This is a great moment for you to go to your phone gallery and examine all the memories you’ve recorded throughout the year.

Take the time to organize your photos, and be sure to add all the positive ones in a “memories” folder you can go back to any time.

The end of the year is the perfect time to preserve these photo highlights and remember all the moments of joy, happiness, and gratitude you had throughout the year.

What would you change about the last year if you could do it over again?

Is there anything you experienced this year that makes you feel regretful? Is there something you would’ve approached differently if you were given another chance?

Of course, we all wish we can turn back time and escape from even the slightest inconvenience. We all make mistakes and face difficult roadblocks. This, however, is an opportunity to learn, not an excuse to stop moving.

Think about all the people you have to apologize to and all the people you have to forgive. Take responsibility and make amends with your experiences so you can guarantee you’re not carrying them into the New Year.

The faster you can let go of your regrets and move on, the quicker you’ll grow through them.

To wrap up this year’s reflections and move on to setting goals, let’s recap;

  • Write down both the positive and negative experiences you went through this year.
  • Write down the lessons you learned from both of them – what you were grateful when you were happy, and what you were avoiding when you were unhappy.
  • Use the insights you learned as momentum toward the goals you set for the New Year.

Setting Goals for the New Year

Some people create goals. Others set New Year’s resolutions. Regardless of what you choose to call it, you can’t deny people naturally gravitate to this periodical goal-setting.

Earlier on, we mention what characteristics you need to give your goals in order to have a higher chance of achieving them.

Here are my five tips to enhance your goal-setting abilities for the upcoming year!

Step #1 – Create a SMART goal.

When it comes to goal-setting methods, SMART goals take the cake.

As we mentioned above, SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-sensitive.

When people set New Year’s resolutions, most often they are just vague and unrealistic ideas of the things they want to achieve. They’re not well-thought-out, they’re not practical, and they have no real game plan people can follow to achieve them.

You can apply the SMART method to a variety of goals, both professional and personal, and you’ll have an actual blueprint to success if all your goal-setting endeavors.

Step #2 – Write it down!

By juggling family, school, career, and a hundred other things, we can often get lost in life’s daily routines. By writing things down, we can put everything that’s on our mind in front of ourselves, therefore cleaning out our subconscious of all the mental clutter.

Especially when it comes to setting new goals, writing them down is crucial. Writing helps you organize your thoughts and visualize your goals. Moreover, you can track your progress by creating plans and checklists for yourself to follow. This will give you an added sense of accomplishment and motivate you to move forward.

So don’t hesitate – pull out that journal and write down every goal you have for the next year (and how you plan on achieving it.)

Step #3 – Embrace what you’ve learned.

Setting goals involves listing out what you need to do to achieve them.

More often than not, the lessons you’ve learned throughout the year will serve as stepping stones to your success in the future.

When you’re writing down all the steps you need to follow to achieve your goal, make sure you take into account everything you’ve learned, and use it to optimize your approach and your attitude.

Also, remember to embrace failure as a necessary part of achieving every goal. Success doesn’t happen in spite of mistakes, it happens because you can learn from them when you make them.

Step #4 – Don’t self-sabotage!

Whatever your goal is, you can drastically increase your chances of success by limiting the amount of self-sabotaging behaviors you have.

Do you find yourself comparing yourself to others? Do you find yourself having a problem with authority? Do you think people’s qualities are fixed, or do you think people can grow past their mistakes?

These types of behaviors are very common and yet very personal. Everyone has them, but they’re different for everyone.

In order to realize your own limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviors, you have to go back to the first part of this process and reflect on the things you’ve learned about yourself through your own experiences.

Once you do that, you can actually take effective steps toward developing a new habit and healing that self-sabotaging behavior.

Step #5 – Enjoy the process!

Massive successes are made up of small victories. Whatever your goal is – earning more money, having better relationships, or losing 20 lbs, chances are it’s not going to happen overnight.

You have to learn to enjoy the process.

Having goals is crucial, but if you never take the time to enjoy the process of achieving them, achieving the goal itself will not give you the satisfaction you desire.

If you can learn to derive genuine satisfaction from the process itself, you will achieve any goal you set your mind to – I promise you.

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