Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Your Personal Year-End Review

Many businesses conduct a year-end review during which they compare the goals set for the past year against the accomplishments made. This is a very helpful process to undertake as an individual as well. Some quality time spent reviewing both this year’s successes and failures can help dramatically improve both your level and number of achievements during the year to come. 

Assuming you have a written list of goals from last January (and even if you do not have a written list keep reading anyway) take out your paper and review the goals. Answer these three questions:

1.    What items on your list did you successfully accomplish?
2.    Which items on your list did you try but not accomplish?
3.    Which items on your list did you not even work on?

These are relatively easy questions to answer at the top level. But each one requires some deeper thinking and quite a bit of personal honesty.

Did you accomplish easy goals? Perhaps goals that you knew you could complete before you even wrote them on your list? Many people add items to a list that they know are easy simply so they can feel good about completing them and “crossing them off the list”. C’mon –don’t be like that. Taking the easy way is not going to really help you grow and succeed at the level deep down you desire.

Did you accomplish stretch goals? Items that when you wrote them down you were unsure how you would take them on and get them done. Good for you for doing so. That is where real growth resides. It is in the pushing into the unknown that we find out who we really are and what we can truly accomplish.

What caused you to fail with some of your goals? Did you fail to truly commit? Did you let other things in your life distract you or throw you off course? Really think about your failures and learn from them. What could you have done differently to change to trajectory ad the final outcome? What will you do differently in the future when similar circumstances arise? Our failures can be our best teachers, but only if we take the time to analyze what happened and to absorb the lessons into our entire being and not just our brain.

What caused you to not get to everything on your list? Did you skip some and why (possible commitment issue), or did you run out of year (too ambitious in your undertaking)? Careful with choosing “ran out of time”. It’s easy to say that time was short but harder to be honest and admit your time management needs work.

Even if you do not have a written list for the past year (but you will for the next year, right?) you can still evaluate your successes and failures from the past year. You will not have a list to refer back to but you can still think about where you are in relation to where you wanted to be in any area of your life (Head, Heart, Health, Wealth, and World).

Goals are great. Without them we often find time has elapsed without our even noticing we are in the same place doing the same thing over and over. But even more importantly than setting goals is to take time to analyze overall performance. It is in the analysis that we uncover truths about commitment, ability and drive. It is these truths that will help propel us to higher and higher levels of success in all areas of our lives.

I wish you nothing less than an awesome 2013. Act boldly, set big goals and get after them. You will be amazed at just what you can do.

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