Last week, I talked about the importance of planning – not a precise mapping of every single thing you’re going to do, but a framework to guide you as you start moving forward – and what better time to come up with a plan than the end of one year and the beginning of another? It may be an arbitrary date in the calendar, but there’s something about the new year that brings a renewed sense of hope, focus and commitment to our goals. I find it helpful to capitalise on this moment and use it to set ourselves up for success in the coming year.
Before looking at what’s your plan for the new year, however, it’s worth taking stock of what’s happened this year.
Your annual review
What did you achieve out of the goals that you set for yourself at the start of the year? What do you feel went especially well for you this year? What were the highlights? Your happiest moments? What are you most proud of?
What didn’t work so well?
Which goals did you not achieve? Where didn’t you do as much as you would have wanted? What were your biggest disappointments? Where do you feel you went wrong? What obstacles did you come up against?
What do you want more of next year?
What was missing this year for you? What do you wish you would have focused more on? And what do you want to make sure that you do differently next year?
To get more specific, and make sure that we’re considering different areas of our lives, let’s take a look at each of the 5Ls. For each of these, ask yourself the same questions: What worked? What didn’t work so well? What was missing, and what do you want more of next year?
LIVE – Wellness & Wellbeing
How has your physical health been this year and, equally important, what about your mental, emotional and spiritual health?
LOVE – Relationships & Romance
What about your relationships – friends, family, colleagues and partner(s)?
LEARN – Development & Growth
Getting out of your comfort zone and learning new things ensures that you don’t get stuck where you are – what have you learned this year? How have you grown?
LEAD – Career & Impact
Work and career is a big part of our lives. Are you doing work that you enjoy, that’s meaningful to you? Are you where you want to be?
LAUGH – Fun & Spontaneity
Finally: have you been having fun this year?! Enjoying ‘me’ time, doing random things that bring you joy without necessarily serving a purpose?
To help you out here, you can use the success audit, which talks through each of these five areas and also includes a little quiz to help you assess where you are today. Download the audit here >>
Finally, before moving onto planning next year next week: How would you sum up this past year? Using one word, how would you describe this past year? Is there a theme that you can identify? How do you feel overall? What do think your different experiences have in common?
Give yourself the time to really reflect on this past year before you dive into setting meaningful goals for the new year. Proper preparation will lay the groundwork for more meaningful goals – and help you set yourself up so that you actually achieve them this year!