More often than not, we tend to set personal goals/resolutions for the upcoming year based on what’s impacting us the most at the end of the current year. Unfortunately, this approach usually leads to superficial goal setting, often based more on emotion than on logic.
The most efficient way to establish sound goals and/or resolutions for the upcoming year begins with an honest and sincere evaluation of the past year. Such a process provides the necessary context and insights that are needed to move forward in an intentional way.
To help you get started, I’ve provided some thought-provoking questions that will assist you in assessing your personal experiences in 2022. I suggest you select the questions that resonate the most with you and spend some solo time writing down your thoughts for each. You might also consider turning these questions into an activity that you do with your partner or with a group of friends.
In reflecting upon 2022:
- What personal accomplishments were you most proud of and why?
- What challenges or difficulties did you face? How did you handle them? Knowing what you know now, would you have done anything differently?
- Were there any missed opportunities that got away from you?
- What surprised you the most about this past year?
- What was one of the best decisions you made?
- Did you make any bad decisions? Explain.
- Who were the people who had the greatest impact on you this past year? How did they impact you?
- If you could relive a single day or moment from 2022, what would it be and why?
- What was the most meaningful thing someone did for you this past year?
- What was the most meaningful thing you did for someone else?
- What, if any, regrets do you have?
- What was the best compliment you received this past year?
- Did you do anything to grow and develop yourself as a person this past year? If so, what?
- What did you do to stay healthy in 2022? How’d you do?
- What did you do to play and have fun?
- Based on your responses from the previous questions, what did you learn about yourself this past year?
- Have you changed from a year ago? If so, how?
- What advice would you give yourself for 2023?
For now, I’m going to suggest the KISS method (keep it simple stupid) for your initial goals or resolutions for 2023. You can add to them, refine them, or turn them into SMART goals later.
Begin by reflecting on your responses to the 2022 questions and identify two to three commitments for each of these three areas:
- What I will start doing in 2023:
- What I will stop doing in 2023:
- What I will continue to do in 2023:
For best results, share your 2023 commitments with others so you can create greater accountability for yourself. Plan to review them quarterly and replace or tweak any commitments that lose their relevancy. And, like every meaningful process: Reflect, Reset, and Repeat on an annual basis.