It’s 2018 and I hope and trust everyone reading this had a great holiday and a Happy New Year! One of my end of year practices over my Christmas holidays is taking some time to reflect on the previous year and set professional and personal goals for the new year that I wanted to share so that it might be beneficial as you look to the new year.
Looking back on the year gives me the chance to pause to celebrate and appreciate all the positives from the previous year and reflect on the challenges and setbacks and what I learned from them. I have started this past year to keep a journal and I use this time to read through my journal entries reminding me of what I did, how I felt, etc. Typically, I review the year divided into a few categories:
Accomplishments (Related to goals I set at the start of the year)
Highlights (my favorite memories or experiences from the year)
Ways I was able to improve as a business professional & recruiter/husband/father
New Things I learned
Desired outcomes not achieved (ex- where did I fall short?)
Looking ahead gives me the opportunity to think about who I want to be and what I want to accomplish in the coming year. My new year categories are:
Systems I want to develop (related to health, finances, career , etc)
Goals (related to family vacations, home improvement projects, health & fitness, business, etc)
People I want to spend time with (my wife, children, friends, mentors)
Areas I want to grow and/or improve in
In doing this exercise, I recently came across this blog post by James Clear I thought was both interesting and caused me to rethink how I approach the new year and my exercise. According to him, we all have things we want to achieve and setting goals can be a good way for planning your progress but establishing systems will help you actually make progress. Whats the difference between a goal and system? A personal goal of mine for 2018 is to maintain a certain body weight and body fat percentage while getting stronger in a few key lifts. The system is the training program I am developing and nutrition plan I will follow on a daily basis to help me get there. So, if I can focus on the system, the goal will/should take care of itself.
If you are interested in adopting or trying this process as part of your new year process, I’d recommend:
Pick up a journal or something like OneNote to write in for the year and use it to capture your year-end review and new year plan.
Share your review and plans with a family member or friend.
Start the habit of writing in your journal each night or every few days.