2017 – A Year in Review
Facing the New Year can be daunting. If you’re like me, you find the initial process of making resolutions and setting goals energising. But that momentary optimism is gradually pushed aside by a low level anxiety worrying whether you’ll succeed in reaching them. You judge yourself from a fear of failure before even having the chance to begin.
You know goal setting is essential, but need a way to set your goals not as an expectation to live up to, but as a possibility to live into.*
This year I encourage you to do something different.
Write “2017 – My Year in Review.”
Give yourself a glowing five-star review for the year ahead. Imagine it’s Dec 31 and you’re looking back at your success over the past twelve months.
- What significant goals have you accomplished?
- What milestones have you reached?
Write down the story, in as much detail as possible, as though you’re looking back on what happened over the year to make your extraordinary success possible.
- What challenges did you overcome?
- Who are the people that helped you (directly or indirectly)?
- How do you feel as a person celebrating this success?
You might feel as though this is equivalent to giving yourself a free pass. Perhaps you’re uncomfortable with giving yourself credit ‘before it’s due’ and before you’ve put in the hard work.
Consider looking at it from a different perspective. If you begin the year without the certainty that your goal is achievable what impetus is there to put in the required effort to just get started?
This is not a way to dodge putting in the work to achieve your goals. It’s a way to change the narrative you tell yourself about the journey to reach them, removing the judgement that can hold you back.
By pre-supposing success you address the question “what would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?”
Assuming triumph takes just as little energy as assuming failure – but it provides you with much more fuel to charge forward and do what you need to do.
If you acknowledge the challenges that you will need to address in reaching your goal up front, when you meet them on your journey you don’t need to see them as insurmountable obstacles telling you to turn back, but as signposts that you’re on the correct path.
Some of the people who’ll be the characters in your story this year will tell you things you want to hear. Others will tell you that which you don’t want to hear, but need to. There is power in approaching each person you meet with gratitude for their role in your journey no matter what they say.
By reflecting on how you feel about yourself at the end of this successful year you prepare an answer for the ‘why’ question that you’ll inevitably ask yourself along the way. “Why am I doing this?” “Why don’t I just give up?”
I hope you find this process empowering, and I’m honoured to be the first to toast your tremendous success in 2017. It’s been thrilling to see all that you’ve accomplished and the wonderful impact it’s had on everyone around you. Congratulations!
*H/T to “The Art of Possibility” by Rosamund Stone Zander and Ben Zander for inspiring this post.