New Year’s Day is right around the corner! And if you’re hoping to make the most of it, there’s no better time than now to start planning for a fresh and exciting year.
But to make the most of the year ahead, it’s essential that you stop and see where you are. That you take a good, long look at this year that’s wrapping up. That you see where you’ve found your happiness and where you want to make some changes in 2018.
If you’re ready to start off 2018 on your very best foot, let’s start by taking stock of your year in 2017.
Let’s start with the good stuff. Look back over the past year and consider the following questions:
- What did you achieve?
- What did you overcome?
- What did you finally cross off your to-do list?
Don’t just think about clearly visible accomplishments like landing a promotion or cleaning out the garage. Write down the intangible but oh-so-important accomplishments like conquering your fear of public speaking, teaching your kid how to bake cookies, and keeping your commitment to take at least 15 minutes for yourself every day.
Your Lessons Learned
Some of life’s lessons might come to you easily, but — chances are — your biggest lessons come from mistakes or heartache. Make some of that pain worthwhile by contemplating the lessons you learned this year.
- What new skills did you acquire this year?
- What important — and sometimes challenging — life lessons did you learn?
- How did you redefine your priorities?
- What activities wasted your time or turned out to be too low of a priority for you?
If you received an award for your performance this year, who or what would you thank in your acceptance speech?
- Who were your best friends and biggest supporters?
- From what people and sources did you get your best inspiration and advice?
- What tools, apps, and products helped you to accomplish your goals?
- What kind of support do you want to add to your life in 2018?
- Who or what is more of a hindrance than a help in your life?
Now that you’ve really warmed up your noggin, really reflect on this past year of your life.
- What are you proud of from this past year?
- What do you wish you had done differently?
- How have you changed for the better?
- Have you have changed in a way that you wish you hadn’t?
Your Big Dreams
You’re wrapping one year, but another fresh year of possibility is right around the corner! What are your huge plans for your life?
- What big dreams have you recently reached?
- Which dreams are still waiting in the wings?
- What are your outstanding easy-to-achieve goals?
- What are your outstanding goals that are a bit of a challenge?
- What are your outstanding stretch goals?
Your Plan for Next Year
Let’s nail down some specifics now. Thinking about just the year you’re finishing and the one you’re about to begin . . .
- What did you want to accomplish this year that you weren’t able to achieve?
- What new goal do you want to tackle next year?
- For what do you want to prepare in the next year? (Maybe you want to meet with an estate lawyer before having a baby, lose weight before your reunion, etc.)
- Do you want to assign a theme to next year? (Do you want this to be the year you learn everything you can about personal finance? Maybe you want to choose a single focus word or phrase like “balance or “family first.”)
Ready to dive in to 2018 and make it your best year yet? What have you learned from taking stock of your current year?