Reflection Before Action in Goal Setting

This week is a great week. I know some people take this week off and since having kids I do take one day during the week to hang with them but for the most part I work, and I love it. I spend time considering all that has been achieved this year by my team, our organization, and by myself personally. There is a little time spent thinking about the gaps and weaknesses of the group, and again, me personally. Then I cap that off with some solid strategizing around what next year will look like. Where will the greater focus be? How can I lead my group to that end? Where do my skills fit into that puzzle? This practice energizes me like no energy drink or fancy coffee ever could. It also allows me to start off the following year strong with my eye on the prize and a plan to accomplish our goals.

Now, I said that I work, and clearly, I have some big plans to get done in 4-5 days, but there is time saved by not running to a million meetings or responding to the hundreds of emails I typically get in a week. With that time, I’m able to create a little more margin on the beginning and end of my day. Meaning, that same intentionality I’m bringing to work I’m bringing to my personal life as well. I do go back through my memory and try to think of what went well this year, what obstacles we faced, and what we learned from it all. (To be honest, I could probably do this part a little better and not lump us all together but who can separate a kid’s win or mistake from the parent’s when said kids are all still in single digits age wise, right?) Where are we going as a family and what are some of the themes from last year that will carry us into the next year and what will need some boundaries around it?

No matter where your focus is, this is the perfect time to reflect before you start taking action in the new year. It is almost like one week of Sundays, a natural reset if you will. We can all take a deep breath after richness and fullness of the holidays right before we kick off the new year with all sorts of strong intentions and plans. What do you do during that breath though? I mean, it would be a waste to spend the whole week just waiting for New Year’s Day, right? It doesn’t have to be a fog. Add a little intentionality around the major areas of your life to decide where you want to go.

You can have a goal of being an angel on Christmas day but unless you know you’re starting as a couple of witches it’s tough to get there.

Though I hinted at the steps above, here are the pieces to consider as you look back at the past year. There are only three but as with most things, you get out of it what you put in. If you want to phone this in, you can totally think through the steps on your drive to work or while you’re folding laundry. If you want to take this to the next level, break this down in a journal or some loose paper. Go through your camera roll to remind you what you’ve been up to the past 12 months and dig in.

Reflect: What success have you and those around you seen this past year? What challenges have come up? What obstacles stood in your way? The tendency is to box yourself in here. If you first come up with a success in parenting your brain will then rattle off 10 more memories to do with parenting. Resist the urge my friend. Cast a wide net here and consider all areas of your life with this one.

Analyze: Here we’ll break this down a little more. When you consider those successes and challenges, what was the driving force behind them? Were some of them situational? (For example, lots of people were sick and missed Thanksgiving which allowed you to connect with others that you wouldn’t have otherwise been able to.) Who drove the success or pain points, was it primarily you? Were there other impactful players?

Find the themes: Look for the areas of life that were mostly impacted. After casting a wide net, now is the time to break it down a bit. Did you have a lot of successes in your health but obstacles at work? Did you learn a ton about your family or perfect sourdough baking? Maybe you’re realizing you have nothing, good or bad, listed around finances. Are there areas you want to be paying more attention to?

Now I said you can phone this in, and I mean it, there is much to be gained by doing something halfway compared to not doing it at all. So, before you get to long term goals, short term goals, and smart goals take a little time to at least think through where you are. Before we get to New Year, New You we have to understand our starting point. Are you feeling like just the starting point is leaving you hanging a little? Cool Kel, now what do I do with this information? This is just the first step in setting and achieving some awesome goals. If you want more click here and join the Challengers. We only open this up a few times a year so here is your chance to make the most of preparing for the year to come! Happy holidays and Happy New Year everyone!

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