Before you plow full-steam ahead into 2019, let’s take time to look back on 2018 and do an assessment. How far did you get last year and what do you need to know in order to move forward with strategic purpose in the coming year?
Most of us want 2019 to be better than 2018. For real progress to happen, you will need to know what happened last year, what could happen this year, and how will you make that happen? Learning some things about your 2018 can help you prepare a better path to a more successful 2019.
Let’s look at last year:
What were your 2018 defining moments? Make a list of the most significant moments from last year – what do they say about you? Did they change you?
- Success – I’m betting you worked hard last year but do you know what went well? Jot down the things that turned out right, challenges both big (goals accomplished with one less staff member) and small (even with all of the construction on your route, you were never late) that were met successfully.
- Disappointment – What didn’t work well for you in 2018? What mistakes did you make? What did you learn from those failures? Jot those down too.
- Amazed – What surprised you and how did you respond to those unexpected curves in the road? How would you describe your ability to pivot and adapt? What did you learn about yourself? What insights have you gained about the core internal skills you have and the abilities you need to help you with the unexpected this year? What do you need to do more of or less of in order to be more stress hardy this year?
Who did you learn from and what did you learn from them? Who had an impact on you? What did they say that made a difference in your 2018? How have those words changed you?
What articles or books did you read and what did you learn from them? Books and articles can make you think – about yourself, about ideas and about others. What did you read and what concepts have stayed with you?
How did you take care of your mental health, physical health, and emotional health? How did you take care of yourself last year? How will you improve on that in 2019?
What can you do better? There isn’t much that can’t be improved upon. Where do you want to improve? What do you know you can do better in 2019 – even just a little?
What do you need to stop doing, thinking, saying? Do you know what isn’t working for you? Do you think you need to stop overthinking every decision? Stop saying you’ll get together with people but never follow through with actual plans? Maybe you need to stop checking social media when you are out for a meal. Determine what things you want to stop and take steps to eliminate it from 2019.
What can you appreciate? List the things that you are grateful for: health, family, savings, or opportunities. Appreciate those times you made a difference for someone or when someone made a difference for you.
Where can you start? If there were things you had hoped to do in 2018 and didn’t – take heart – you can write a list of the things you want to make happen in 2019 and start this week. Whether it’s get an article published in a national publications, meet a certain decision maker or connect with longtime friends – make the list and then make the plan.
Motto it: Give last year a title that fits the overall experience. 2018 was the year of – Murphy’s Law? Health? New Clients?
Where do you want to end up next December? While there will be some unexpected things that could obstruct that goal, some focus will give your 2019 direction. Have you identified new skills, experiences and knowledge that you would like to acquire? Who do you want to develop a deeper connection with? Do you know how will you do that? Plan activities in 2019 with those goals in mind.
Motto it: Now create a mantra for 2019 that underscores your intentions. 2019 will be the year of – more reading, good deeds, useful feedback.
If you want to step in firmly to 2019 with optimistic purpose, look back at 2018 first. It has a lot of the information you’ll need.