Society constantly pounds into us that the start of a new year is the ideal time to implement new resolutions, changes, and improvements in our lives. While New Year’s may present a great time to think about making changes, it also presents a valuable chance to reflect back on the past year. Take a moment to think about what you accomplished in 2014 – maybe you achieved all your goals or maybe you didn’t achieve any of them. Either way, reflecting on the past year will help you mentally recharge and prepare for what’s ahead.
One way to help yourself in 2015 is to make a list of goals you accomplished in 2014. Remember, all accomplishments (big or small) matter. Looking back on what you achieved will give you the motivation to re-evaluate past goals and create a new set of goals for the coming year. It will also give you a chance to celebrate your accomplishments rather than rushing to your next goal.
Next, write down the goals you didn’t accomplish in 2014 and think about whether these goals should be taken off your mental “to do” list. Often times we tell ourselves we need to do things that maybe are not as important in our lives as we perceive them to be. For example, you may tell yourself you need to “work out more.” Maybe the better goal to set is to practice yoga or mediation, rather than start cardio or weight training. Looking at alternatives for goals can help narrow in on what you can really do to improve your life, rather than focus on the types of changes society tells us to make.
Lastly, think about why any of your goals from 2014 were not achieved – were they too broad or unrealistic? Did they require time or money that was not available to you? Depending on your goals for 2015, see how you can adjust any limitations you faced this past year to maximize your chances of achieving this year’s goals. Plan to make those adjustments before you go ahead and set new goals.
Of course looking forward to the future is important, but reflecting on the past is just as critical to personal and professional growth. The past will always shape the future so be sure put on the brakes before getting into full gear this year.