You surely know of someone who sets lofty goals each January only to be disappointed by June. Don’t let that be you next year. Instead, begin this month to set yourself up for success.
During the holidays, we naturally want to focus on customer appreciation, social events, and fun. Or, if this hasn’t been your best year, you are eager to set your sights on the New Year.
Before you rush into setting your own lofty goals for next year – stop, take a breath, and look back.
2011 has been ripe with learning opportunities. As with a college term paper, dig deep to discover what this year has been all about for you.
Those who don’t recognize the lessons 2011 presented will repeat unsuccessful actions, choices, and results moving forward. They will be in the same, sad position next year at this time as they are today. Will this be you?
To position yourself for a stellar 2012, find a quiet place to reflect for a few hours. Turn off your smart phone. Sink into your chair, and ponder my:
Top 7 Questions Pertaining to 2011
What were your primary accomplishments? Look back at your accomplishments. Make two categories: large or primary successes and smaller, still notable ones. Leave nothing out. This is a time to learn from and celebrate your accomplishments. What or who contributed to these successes?
What were your failures, real or perceived? Sadly, for many it’s easier for us to focus on what we didn’t accomplish rather than what we did. List them, learn from them, and put them behind you. Though not pleasant to acknowledge, there’s important learning in each.
What were your largest challenges? How did you deal with these challenges? Are they still in process or are they in your past? How will you handle similar challenges in the future?
What does your calendar reveal? Be specific. Slowly look at each month’s activities. What patterns do you see? When were you most productive? When did you lose a little momentum? What surprises affected you positively or negatively? Were there seasonal changes?
What major forces affected your success? On a positive note, did you come up with a brilliant idea that created new opportunities and financial rewards? On a negative note, were there forces that were out of your control as a death or end of a relationship? Either way, how did these forces influence your outcomes?
What significant individuals entered your world? What did they teach you? This could be professional or personal. Sometimes, the wisest business lessons are learned on the racquet ball court or from unsuspecting sources in your personal world.
What choices or actions will I repeat (or definitely not repeat) in the New Year? This is the accumulation of what you learned from the above six questions. Hindsight is 20-20. If you’ve spent pensive time on these questions, the answers to this last one will be crystal clear.
Let go of anything that still holds you down from 2011. It was simply learning that, if recognized, has put you in a stronger position to excel in 2012.
Humor is a good trait to possess during this process. The ability to laugh at one’s self strengthens your ability to learn, grow and heal.
Now, celebrate your successes. Celebrate all that you’ve learned—positive, negative or indifferent. It’s all education that will move you to a higher level of existence.
Some clients like to do this exercise prior to year-end. Others feel it more powerful the first week in January. Either way, I challenge you to set a time on your schedule to get away for two to three hours and squeeze the most learning out of 2011 in order to excel in 2012.
Master Executive & Leadership Coach Ann Golden Eglé, MCC, has steered highly-successful individuals to attain greater results since 1998. President of Golden Visions & Associates, LLC, Ann can be reached at 541-385-8887 or http://www.GVAsuccess.com.