As you set goals for the coming year, it's a good idea to take stock of the progress you've made toward your goals this year. For many people, this review is unpleasant and even can lead to a downward spiral.
If you didn't achieve all of the goals you set at the beginning of the year, you may feel like you have failed. Our self-esteem can take a hit, we can become disheartened and discouraged, and our motivation drops. Some people actually become depressed.
If this sounds familiar, it's time to reframe how you look at success. Zeroing in on accomplishments that didn't happen puts your focus on what you lack, rather than on what you have (the things you did experience and accomplish). This subtle mental trap leads to a host of negative consequences, which usually lead to attracting more lack.
The answer is not giving up the review of your year. Periodic review is essential to the process of growth and goal achievement. The key is to acknowledge, appreciate and celebrate what you did accomplish, and then to refocus on the goals that you still want to achieve.
Achieving a goal is a lot like flying a plane. You're guaranteed to be off course 99 percent of the time, which means that if you want to successfully reach your destination, it is essential to periodically check your position and correct your course. December is an ideal time to perform this much-needed review and analysis.
The "Win List"
One of the techniques I teach my coaching clients is to create a detailed "Win List" at the end of the year. Its purpose is to help you acknowledge all of your wins, especially those that didn't start as a written goal or intention.
This powerful technique takes about 30 minutes to complete. Start by listing all of the goals you set and achieved this year. Then list any other wins you think of – both large and small.
Here are some questions to help identify your successes.
• What wins or progress did you achieve in business?
• Did you discontinue an old product or develop a new product or product line?
• Did you identify a new market to focus on?
• Did you create any new marketing pieces or campaigns?
• Did you delegate any tasks to become more productive? This could include adding new staff and/or assistants, such as a housekeeper, executive assistant, gardener, errand runner, babysitter, or child care person. It also might include putting new systems into place to increase your efficiency.
• Did you buy, use or learn to use any new technology? This includes mental, emotional or spiritual technology, as well as mechanical, electronic and digital technology?
• Did you spend more time in nature?
• Did you develop any new supportive habits (such as meditation, exercise, sleep, or gratitude)? Did you overcome any non-supportive habits (for example, addiction to alcohol, caffeine, sugar, video games, porn, gambling, or shopping)?
• How did you grow in leadership?
• Did you deliver any presentations or speeches or develop new programs?
• Did you develop any new abilities, skills or competencies?
• What success did you achieve in the areas of financial income, investments or debt reduction?
• Did you create any new relationships or deepen existing relationships? Consider both business and personal relationships.
• Did you make any progress in self-development?
• Did you attend any positive events (e.g., seminars, lectures, concerts, theater, or sports)?
• Did you experience any positive events with your family?
• Where there any positive events in relation to your house or apartment?
• Did you take any trips or vacations?
• Were there any positive additions to your life?
• Were there any positive events in your community?
• How about any positive events in your spiritual life (e.g., church services, meditation, retreats, rituals)?
• Did you experience any positive events in regards to letting go (e.g., bad habits, negative people, or clutter)?
• Did you have any wins in health and fitness (e.g., weight, exercise, cholesterol, sports, or endurance)?
Reduce Mental Friction
Mental "friction" caused by negative thoughts and feelings will slow down your progress as you work to achieve your goals. By using this technique to focus your attention on what you did achieve, you'll shift into a state of gratitude and joy, accelerating your momentum into the new year.