With the new year fast approaching, it’s inevitable that our thoughts turn to setting intentions and resolutions for the coming year. Before doing that, it might be helpful to take a look back. After all, it’s hard to know where you want to go, if you don’t know where you’ve been!
Often our inclination is to highlight regrets and focus on the negatives – it seems to be in our wiring that the negatives hold more prominence in our memories. But that’s only a small part of the picture. Remembering positive achievements, people who have helped us along the way, and fun moments are incredibly important – in many ways more important than focusing on the negative.
Here are some thoughts to help you look back, to lay a good track for the year ahead:
- Find the positive, even in negative experiences. Think about what you learned, how you dealt with the experience, who helped you, what skills you developed.
- Be kind to yourself! Chances are you did the best you could at the time.
- Note where you made headway and give yourself credit for getting to that place.
- Assess where forward momentum on last year’s goals stopped. What insights do you get into your personality? This way you can develop strategies to best work with your strengths and weaknesses.
- Be honest! This is not the time to sugar coat, exaggerate, or gloss over things. You can’t change what happened, but you can parse out the lessons and move forward. What do you want to take with you into the new year and what do you want to leave behind?
- Break down any ideas for change in the coming year into small achievable goals. Set aside a monthly time to review and assess.
Research shows only about 8% of New Year’s resolutions are followed through. Don’t make next year a repetition of years past. Take a few minutes to look back, so next year will be the best year yet!