Before you set about the ritualistic task of making resolutions for the new year, I encourage you to spend some time in self-reflection regarding your successes and challenges of 2010. By grounding yourself in reality, you are more likely to make resolutions that are both meaningful and achievable.
What three accomplishments are you most proud of?
Are these goals that you set and met? Perhaps one of these accomplishments was an unexpected opportunity you took advantage of. Do these accomplishments reflect your personal life, family life, business life, or some intersection thereof? Think about how they made you feel and if they changed the way you live and/or work.
What three items are still on your to-do list?
I like to start my year by sewing up all of the cut out or half-completed outfits I started during the year. Doing so gives me a feeling of accomplishment, but it also lets me start with a clean slate. Although my sewing projects are just a hobby, the same principle applies to bigger items that affect family and/or work life. If you can identify those tasks or projects that just never seem to get done, you can either do them (and feel the exhilarating thrill of FINALLY getting it behind you) or decide that they’re just not that important to you. Either way, move on freely.
What happened to you in the past year that you had no control over?
Have you or your family been affected by sudden job loss, a major health issue, an unexpected move, or the death of an influential person in your life? Almost everyone experiences something during the year that is beyond their control, and tuning in to how you react to these events can give you a good perspective about how you handle challenges and change. Use this insight to gain confidence about how you can tackle a big project in the year to come.
Describe your year in one sentence.
The exercise of summarizing major events (and your feelings about them), accomplishments, and shortcomings can help you understand what you value. This summary–and the priorities it represents– can be your springboard for thinking about how you want to approach resolutions for next year.
Good health and great happiness to you.