Time for Review GraphicWhen it comes to resolutions, everyone talks about which goals to set and how to achieve them. They may set up long-term goals and list a lot of smaller milestones to help them along the way. Without a solid follow-up process, however, you may find yourself setting the same goals year after year. Fortunately, it doesn't take a lot of time to reflect on what you have accomplished. In fact, you can learn all you need to know to move forward by answering a few simple questions.

What Did You Accomplish?

Start with a simple side-by-side comparison of your plans and your progress. List the goals you made, and note whether you met them. Give yourself credit not only for reaching long-term goals but also for any progress that you made. For example, even if you planned to run a marathon by the end of the year but didn't quite make it, the fact that you increased your regular running distance by a few miles is still something noteworthy. This knowledge can also help you set more attainable goals in the future.

What Skills Have You Learned?

Often, it's not just reaching the goals themselves that show you the progress that you've made but also the tools you used to accomplish them. Look at the things that you did well. You probably reached these goals through honing other valuable skills:

  • Improving time management
  • Practicing good sleep hygiene
  • Getting good nutrition
  • Accepting social support
  • Incorporating goals into spiritual life

It's useful to know the skills you have developed to reach your goals. Then you can identify other areas of your life where they can come in handy.

What Challenges Did You Face?

You may have made some plans that didn't come to fruition. That's ok because you can often learn just as much from what you didn't accomplish as you can from what you did. It's also important to take time to reflect on goals that were more difficult to reach than you expected. Identify the challenges that made it hard to accomplish what you planned. Are these obstacles surmountable, or can they be managed? Discovering how to overcome challenges can be just as much a part of achievement as the goal itself.

How Did You Celebrate Your Successes?

Many people give up on resolutions because their motivation wanes. One way to counteract this phenomenon is to celebrate milestones. Take a look at how you did this throughout the previous year. If you didn't reward yourself when you achieved a certain goal, reflect on the process to see if more motivation might have made it easier. Are there certain rewards that improved your drive toward your goals? What are your favorite rewards? Use this information to set yourself up for success in the future.

What Would You Do Differently?

Finally, your year-end reflection should conclude with lessons you have learned. If you had the opportunity to do it all over again, what would you change? Learning what didn't work is a valuable part of the change process, but that doesn't mean you have to repeat the same methods all over again. It is particularly illuminating to identify the ways that you might have sabotaged your progress. Figuring out how to adjust these behaviors can make meeting your goals go more smoothly.

Setting both long-range and short-term goals is an important start. The work you do to achieve your goals is also worthwhile. Without a follow-up review, however, you may get trapped in a loop of recycling the same resolutions year after year. Reflecting on your accomplishments not only helps you celebrate them but also plan better for the future.

Category: Health and Wellness Holidays and Observances

Add Your Comment

To post a comment you must log in first.

Log in Using: