Before you dig out the paper to make your 2010 New Year's Resolutions, take the time to evaluate what you did in 2009. Back in October, I had you do a midterm checkup to see where you were at in terms of reaching your 2009 goals. Are you closer now than you were before?
Take out your 2009 goals. You did write down goals for 2009, right? If not, write down what you'd hoped to accomplish in 2009. Now, take a look at those items. How many did you accomplish?
Now, let's dig deeper into the goals. Of the goals you did accomplish, what do you think was the biggest factor in accomplishing those goals? Can you use that success lesson to reach next year's goals? Looking at the goals you did not accomplish, what was the biggest factor in not accomplishing them? Were they circumstances you in or out of your control? If they were in your control, what can you do next year to make it happen? Can you apply the success lessons from goals you did reach?
It's important to look at both success and failures. If we focus on our failures, we often miss the success and the chance to both celebrate and learn from our successes. If you know what does work for you, it makes setting goals and planning for the future an easier task.