As yearend approaches, many feel the weight of the past 12 months. This is a blend of brilliant successes combined with challenges, struggles and unmet goals.
Whether you acknowledge it or not, 2018 has brought a wealth of knowledge to you: knowledge that you can build upon as you envision your stellar New Year.
You’ve learned much about yourself:
• Who you are as a leader.
• What you are capable of accomplishing.
• What distractions stand in your way.
• What doubts or false assumptions creep up a bit too often.
• How to defeat those misgivings in order to succeed.
• How you feel having accomplished seemingly unattainable goals.
You’ve learned about who you are in relationships, with others and with yourself — at work, play and in silence. You’ve learned about your body, what works to keep your energy where it needs to be, what sets you back.
To get the most out of your lessons learned and to set yourself up for massive success in the coming year, it’s time to ask yourself some powerful and critical questions.
Nationally-recognized executive coach, speaker, and author Marshall Goldsmith has six questions for leaders and managers. Goldsmith pays someone to call him each night and ask him these and other questions, reflecting upon his day.
December is the time for you to reflect upon this past year in preparation for 2019. Goldsmith’s questions may guide you. Below I list each question along with my additional questions and suggestions for how to dig a little deeper. This is all about you and what you want to create for yourself.
1. Did I do my best to set clear goals? What were your December 2017 visions of upcoming 2018 accomplishments? Were your goals clearly defined or vague? Did you envision taking them on all at once, or portion them out throughout the year? For example, did you set up quarterly goals? In Q,1 I’ll start this program, Q2 this one and so on. Did you have a clear image in your mind for where these goals will take you or what challenges may occur along the way?
2. Did I do my best to make progress towards goal achievement? According to Inc. Magazine, 92 percent of people never accomplish their goals. Having a specific, realistic, workable plan will energize you. List small daily steps to build your foundation. Select actions that can be realistically accomplished to set you on the right path. We’ll discuss this plan for goal achievement in greater detail in my January CBN article.
3. Did I do my best to find meaning? ‘Meaning’, or fulfillment is different for each of us. What brings meaning to me is likely not what is important to you. Ask yourself what brought meaning to you this past year. When did you feel most alive and fulfilled? How will you enhance these experiences moving forward? This will take time, awareness and a commitment to yourself. It’s also a significant gift as a leader to help others find their source of fulfillment.
4. Did I do my best to be happy? Happiness is an inside job. Too often we blame bosses, coworkers, politicians, the media and too many others for our dissatisfaction. In Central Oregon, we are fortunate in that practically everywhere you look one can find joy – from the mountains to rivers, lakes, breathtaking sunsets and sunrises. It’s all right here. Create moments to allow this joy to fill your heart. No one can generate this for you. Success will follow.
5. Did I do my best to build positive relationships? Healthy relationships are an often-overlooked key to our deepest contentment, joy and success. Instead we rush through our 24×7 electronic days overflowing with expectations. When did our ‘to-do’ lists become ‘too-much to-do’? Never enough time for oneself, let alone thriving relationships. Think of how and when you did your best to build positive relationships this year. How will you build upon this in 2019?
6. Did I do my best to be fully engaged? Ah, the challenge of being present and fully engaged. In any endeavor, whether it is a meeting, conversation, planning session, even reading this article, being present can be a challenge. Where does your mind wander? We miss vital information in not paying attention. It’s like driving by Mirror Pond in a rush to get somewhere and not noticing the immense beauty of the changing of the seasons.
Or, lack of awareness when your top employee needs more challenge to expand and flourish. Or, not noticing when a valued employee has been discontented for months and now, you’re surprised by what seems to be their sudden resignation.
Jim Loehr’s book, The Power of Full Engagement is a great resource if distraction is keeping you from the successes you crave.
The best way to set yourself up for any sort of success, especially in planning your coming year, is to look backwards.
What have you learned? How can you ‘not’ make the same mistakes year after year? How can you expand and build upon your successes? What new activities or experiences will you bring to your world this coming year?
I challenge you to take the necessary pensive time to answer these questions. Take time with this. Write down your answers rather than giving them a quick passing thought.
I also challenge you to begin now to make 2019 your most enjoyable, productive, successful and alive year ever. Only you can create this for yourself. Make it happen!
Executive/Leadership Coach Ann Golden Eglé, MCC, has steered highly successful individuals to greater levels of success since 1998. Ann is president of Golden Visions & Associates, LLC, can be reached at 541-385-8887, firstname.lastname@example.org or GVAsuccess.com. Subscribe to Ann’s internationally acclaimed ‘Success Thoughts’ e-zine on her website