What are your plans to have the best year ever? How will you increase your chances of 2017 being better and more productive than 2016? It won’t happen unless we intentionally spend time reflecting on last year and planning for the next year. Here are a few questions to help you and me have the best year ever.
Each year, people intentionally spend time reflecting on the past year and planning for the year to come. I find this exercise to be extremely beneficial because it forces me to slow down and graph highs and lows and wins and disappointment and create a map for success in the future.
So, what are you going to do to make 2017 better and more productive than 2016? As we’re ending this year, I think it is helpful to reflect on all that has happened in 2016 and plan for what we desire to happen in 2017. In short, If we want to have the best year ever, we must reflect, evaluate, gain insight, and plan ahead.
Consequently, reflection is not a quick exercise. If it is to be meaningful, then we should give considerable time to it. Some high achievers take several hours, and some take an entire day to reflect, evaluate and gain insight into the previous 365 days.
Here are the questions I am using this year to help me have the best year ever. Some of these questions come from Day One Journal, Brad Lomenick, and the book, Eat That Frog. Also, I have added some questions to the list of twenty-six.
Reflect to Have the Best Year Ever
- Where and how did I see God show up in my life this past year?
- What was my favorite single day/single event of the year?
- List ten highlights of the past year.
- List ten disappointments from this previous year.
- What was the best thing I built or created?
- What was the most impactful decision I made for my family’s future?
- As I contemplate the last 365 days, what was my best financial decision and achievement?
- What lifelong goal did I achieve or come close to reaching this year?
- Think back over the year. What was the hardest lesson I learned over the past year?
- If I could change one thing that happened this year, what would it be?
- What did I complete this year? What still feels incomplete?
- Did I neglect anything this year? What three things did I ignore this year? What things did not receive my best attention this year?
- Did I discard anything from life that was holding me back growing in my relationship with God and others? List them here.
- What 2-3 unexpected events caused me to realign or reorder my schedule?
- Did I develop any new hobbies or passions? What new hobbies or passions do I want to grow next year?
- Did I develop any new relationships this past year? If I did, how have those links added value to my life? If I did not, what prevented me from developing those relationships?
- What was the most humbling experience of the past year?
- Is my family closer at the end of this year? Am I a better spouse, parent, and friend? If not, what needs to change immediately?
- What am I most grateful for this past year?
Plan to Have the Best Year Ever
- What are at least three areas of growth that I will focus on this year?
- What are my personal goals for the New Year? Family goals? Faith goals? Health goals? Financial goals? Career goals?
- In what areas will I venture outside my comfort zone in 2017?
- Have I written down my goals (Unwritten goals rarely stick)?
- For accountability and encouragement, with whom am I planning to share my goals?
- How will I know I am are reaching my goals?
- How will I be different in the New Year?
Now, these are just suggestions. Get a journal and spend time answering the questions prayerfully and honestly. Use the ones that you think might be the most productive for your end of the year reflection and beginning of the year goal setting.
I don’t know about you, but I fight to stay motivated. What can we do to stay motivated? Here are a few attitudes and actions Michael Hyatt encourages us to adopt to remain motivated in pursuing our goals this year.
- Get off your “but”: Stop making excuses.
- Don’t overthink it: Don’t let planning hinder progress.
- Chunk down your goals: Do the next thing, then the next thing.
- Get it on your calendar: Make a commitment of your time.
- Honor your commitments: Take your goals seriously.
- Maintain forward momentum: Work on your goals – possibly first thing in the morning when you have the smallest chance of getting derailed.
- Celebrate your wins: If you don’t celebrate your successes along the way, you’ll lose the energy you need to reach the finish line.
As we say goodbye to 2016 and hello to 2017, may we reflect and plan well! I pray, as we reflect and plan, that we will all have the best year ever.
What has been your end of year practices?
What are some things you do to increase your odds to have the best year ever?