The end-of-the-year transition allows us to reflect on and appreciate the past year. Then, with renewed enthusiasm and motivation, we can move into the New Year with purpose. Although meaningful milestones happen throughout the year, establishing expectations and goals at the start sets the stage. After all, we don’t just want to move forward, but move forward to create the life we desire.
Download On Track with Barix: Reflect, Appreciate, and Plan to Reach New Heights in 2023
Reflect and Appreciate
Take time to reflect and appreciate the experiences of 2022. You’ve likely acquired new knowledge and skills, developed good habits, and shed bad habits – positive changes that will set you up for future successes. It’s easy to appreciate those positive aspects of the past year.
On the flip side, sometimes you may have really blown it and missed the intended mark. If you can learn from those experiences, acknowledge the lessons learned rather than consider them unfavorable.
Reflection allows us to take note of what we have learned in the last year and apply it to the future –bringing the helpful parts and leaving behind those that are not.
Prompts to Guide Your Reflection
The past year may seem like a blur. After all, it’s hard to remember what you ate yesterday, much less the past year’s events. To get those brain cells firing, flip through your planner/calendar and the pictures on your phone. And then, as you think through the events of the year, use these prompts to guide your reflection:
- What experiences did I love?
- What were my big wins?
- I was most grateful for what (or who)?
- Did I develop any new friendships?
- Which people were most important in my life?
- When did I reach out to help someone else with acts of kindness, generosity, and compassion?
- What were the biggest surprises?
- Did my priorities change?
- When did I step out of my comfort zone, overcome temptations, or fight back against self-doubt?
- What was my favorite music?
- What were my biggest challenges?
- What was my biggest fear?
- When did I mess up completely? What did I learn from those experiences?
- What goals did I achieve?
- Which goals did I start but not complete?
- What would I change about the past year?
- What did I focus on the most?
- In what ways did I grow?
- What didn’t I do that I really wanted to do this year?
- Did I stick with positive habits?
- What negative behaviors popped up?
As you plan for 2023, start with an overall broad vision. Use these questions to help you envision how your days will look and what it will take to make this a fulfilling year.
- How can I spend more time on the things that bring me the most joy?
- What is most valuable to me?
- If I knew I could not fail, what would you try?
- What would I like to learn?
- How would I like my life to change?
- What does success in 2023 mean to me?
- What challenge would I like to overcome?
- Is there anything I would like to change myself?
- What healthy habits would I like to make part of my daily life?
- I would like to spend more time with which people?
- What is holding me back, and what do I need to do to get out of my comfort zone?
- What can I let go of that is not serving me?
- What most excites me?
- What do I need each day to feel my best – healthy food, good sleep, physical activity, and downtime?
After you have an overall vision for next year, set specific goals to help make that vision a reality.
Create Goals for Different Aspects of Your Life
Set one or two goals in each vital area of your life. You may want to include goals regarding finances, relationships, health and fitness, vacations, free time, home improvements, and spiritual life.
Write Your Goals Down
Post your list of goals in a place where you will see them regularly. That way, you can review your progress and stay on track.
Set Realistic Goals
Break a large goal into several smaller goals that seem easy to reach. You’ll get a sense of satisfaction and boost your motivation to keep going.
Measure Your Progress
Write your goals so you can measure your progress throughout the year. Instead of setting a general plan to increase savings, set a goal to deposit $50 weekly into a specific savings account. Instead of spending more time with friends, set a goal to plan a get-together once a week.
In addition to the intrinsic rewards that come with a sense of accomplishment, build in some fun extrinsic rewards. When you’ve completed that home improvement project on your list, get a sweet new rug for your office space. Once you’ve worked out consistently for four weeks in a row, buy a fun t-shirt. Little rewards help you to celebrate your accomplishments.
Starting a new year is always a little exciting. Full of possibilities, you can turn the page and make a fresh start. By reflecting, appreciating, and planning, you can reach new heights by intentionally creating the life you’d like to live.