Right after Christmas is a big reflection time for me. I usually plan for it weeks in advance. It’s a time to take stock of all that’s been done over the past year. I celebrate accomplishments. I repent of failures. I make plans to increase my WINS and cut out my biggest weaknesses. Since beginning this discipline, December 26th through 31st has become something very special. Here are some of the question I ask at the end of every year. How would you answer them?
1. What was my biggest success in 2014?
What was the biggest touchdown for this past year? Maybe it was a promotion you’ve been hoping you would receive. Maybe it was the birth of a child or a friendship gained. Whatever it is, celebrate it as much as possible. You did it! You earned it! You gained it! If we never celebrate our accomplishments we soon forget why we work so hard to achieve them.
2. What was my greatest challenge in 2014?
Where did you miss it? What went wrong? What about this past year still makes you cringe a little? It’s important to give those things proper time and thought as well because you cannot change what you haven’t identified. The first step to becoming better is realizing where you are. Be honest with yourself. Where do you need need the most growth?
3. What do I need to do more of in 2015?
It’s been said many times over that we all need to “work in our strengths and staff our weaknesses”. What did you do well in 2014 that you should really focus on in 2015? Maybe you starting blogging and really enjoyed it. Maybe you began exercising, spending more time with friends, or started a weekly family night. What WINS do you need to carry into 2015?
4. What do I need to do less of in 2015?
Working overtime. Procrastinating. Skipping important events. Neglecting your faith. Wasting too much time on social media. (ouch). Whatever it is, what do you need to put the brakes on in 2015?
5. What would make 2015 a success?
I’m one of these people who still believe New Year’s Resolutions can work. However, not according to the old methods. Many people set out with a list of things they are going to start on January 1. This year they are going to do 10 things… and… here we go. No preparation. No thought went into it. Just somehow plan to make it happen.
One year I said I was going to go on a crash diet and lose 20 pounds in two months starting January 1. All the way up to midnight of December 31st I ate like a monster. It was awesome… sort of. I ended up so sick I couldn’t eat until January 3rd. Then, all those sugar cravings came back with a vengeance and before lunch, it was over. The next year I made the same goal. However, this time I made a plan which started a week before and had been well thought out. The result was shedding 60 pounds by the end of the year.
Make a goal for 2015. No more than 3 though. Then take time to systematically figure out how you can make it happen.
Here’s an example:
YEARLY GOAL: Loosing 30 pounds
SUB-GOAL ONE: Develop a new eating lifestyle you can stick with. (There are a lot of plans so this will take a while to find out what works for you.)
SUB-GOAL TWO: Journal about my journey everyday.
SUB-GOAL THREE: Re-search what a healthy average amount of weight loss looks like for someone like me. (Most experts say that you should really try not to loose over 2 pounds a week. You’re age, sex, and boy type all play into that as well.)
SUB-GOAL FOUR: Figure out what type of exercise regimen works for your lifestyle.
SUB-GOAL FIVE: Do monthly inventories.
SUB-GOAL SIX: Chart your progress.
SUB-GOAL SEVEN: Find accountability. (hang up a shirt you want to fit into and try it on each week. Tell your friends to ask you tough questions often. Start a blog and tell the world what you are doing. etc)
… I could keep going but you get the idea. Real life-change doesn’t usually happen with one decision. It’s usually happens with one decision followed by a lot more decisions that keep you on track.
So above are some questions I ask at the end of every year to keep myself honest and moving forward. What do you do? I’d love to hear about it.