NEW GOALS FOR 2019? TIMELINE YOUR 2018 HIGHS & LOWS FIRST.
Fact. Most New Year resolutions we make don’t hold beyond the Feb/March time frame. Lots of reasons why: lack of support, no clear goals or process, too ambitious or did you just created too many ‘if’, ‘when’ & ‘but’s’ before even starting in the first place?
Ok, here’s my personal approach to setting goals, resolutions if you will, for the new year. The key missing piece with setting personal goals from scratch is: not reviewing what really works for you, not knowing what has made you happy or not analysing what your past successes looked like and felt like. Do you know the feeling that it’s hard to remember what actually happened this year? Was it this year of the year before? What did I achieve? Some people race to the end-of-year finish line without feeling the joy of accomplishment.
YOUR TIME-LINE, YOUR STORY
So, here’s how you go about this. December is obviously a perfect month to take some time just for yourself to do this. Set aside a few hours and pick your favourite, quiet space. Take a journal, a sheet of paper and draw a horizontal time-line and split into twelve months. The purpose is to reflect back upon your year in order to understand what has shaped you, what has made you feel happy or accomplished. Write these events above your time-line (the positives). Be sure to also include things that were challenging to you, keeping in mind that they can be as essential, if not more so, than just positive ones. Jot down these events below your time-line (the ‘negatives’). You might want to use your calendar or journal to look back en remind you of these things and when they happened.
WHAT DO YOU SEE?
After this work, reflect what you see month by month. What is it about the things which made you feel great, happy? Is there a common theme? Then this is something you could do more of. Probably closely linked to your personal qualities, strengths. Also, what can you learn by observing the more negative 2018 things, the challenging events. Is there a theme? Should you avoid these things from doing, is it work related? People related?
Now you are ready to make informed decisions about setting new goals, what you want or need to do more of in the new year. Remind yourself that it’s not always about the big goals. Small incremental changes which you can consistently apply often prove to be more effective.
Compare your time-line with the one of your life partner…great conversation starter for sure.
Have a wonderful festive December month.