We’re in the home stretch of 2016, so it’s natural to be looking ahead. Plotting, planning, dreaming and scheming of all the greatness you’ll achieve in the year to come.

As you make those plans and write out your goals for the year to come over your morning coffee or holiday cocktail, it’s important that you don’t just look ahead. 

The allure of visualizing your amazing, shiny future in 2017 is downright irresistible, and it’s easy to be intoxicated by the possibilities. Wanting to do this is 100% natural and we’ve all been there from new workout plans to doubling down on our business.

Some of those goals happen, and others are abandoned only days into the New Year.

Why?

Because the act of setting goals is easy.

Figuring out how to make them happen and owning our role in them is much, much harder.

Before you race towards your future, it’s time to press pause. Take a look back at the past year and see what really worked, what didn’t, and how everything stacked up to your plan.

I call this the Year in Review. A practice that’s become a key part of my planning process.

It may seem a bit tedious as you’re ready to forge ahead, but carving out time to execute a Year in Review {in your business and life} brings you much-needed insight and knowledge to help you polish your goal setting process.

2016 Year in Review

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Here are five specific questions to ask as part of your Year in Review before you start planning and commit to those big goals for 2017:

What 2016 Goals Did I Achieve?

This is typically an easy question to reflect on as we tend to know what we accomplished according to the plan. As you’re assessing your achievements against your stated goals, look for the success factors that enabled you to make them a reality. What kind of support did you have? Did you spend a lot of time in this area? Were you more committed to this goal than anything else? 

What you need to look for is WHY those goals were a success so you understand how to replicate that success in the future.

What Was My Biggest Win?

Over the course of a year, we celebrate wins but one or two things may stand out as the big highlights for the year. Analyzing your biggest win in more detail helps you figure out what types of successes are most relevant to you. Then, you can create goals that align with all the things that can move your business and life ahead as you like.

If you’re struggling to come up with a big win for the year, it’s time to take a real hard look at your goals and see if you’ve been setting yourself up for failure. Stretch goals are great, but not if they’re so audacious that they should really be a goal for five years from now. On the other hand, if you have a laundry list of big wins, your goals may not be big enough!

What Didn’t Go According to Plan?

Failures are par for the course, and while we don’t want to dwell on them, we need to understand why things didn’t go according to plan.

For me, when things don’t go according to plan it comes down to one of two things. First, there’s not enough passion or conviction behind the goal and I may be suffering with a case of thinking I “should” do something. 

Second are the times that the goal is a goal only, and there’s no plan to go with it. We can all set goals, but setting out the plan and then executing it is where things can easily breakdown.

Assessing your failures ensures that you have the intelligence you need to help ensure you don’t fall into that pattern it the future.

What Do I Need to Do More Of? Or Less Of?

We’re so ready to move on at the end of the year that we often don’t bother to look at how accomplishing our goals impacts our lives. Often we push so hard that self-care or family time is sacrificed in the process.

It’s hard to admit that our goals may come at a cost. When you’re doing your Year in Review, commit to going beyond the surface and look at what you need to do more of, and what you need to do less of.

If you’re not sure, here are a few things that often come up for the more/less reflection:

  • More: Unplugged time, asking for help, boundaries, systems, vacations, self-care, connections and community.
  • Less: Crazy deadlines, working weekends, going it alone, unrealistic goals, overcommitting, undercharging and clients that aren’t a fit.

This one may take a couple days, but start a list as you reflect. Get out a sheet of paper and write out what you want more of {and less of} and use that as part of your goal-setting process.

How Did This Year Feel?

Taking a page from Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map, move beyond the checking-off of your goals to a deeper, more critical question:: how did this year feel? 

The idea of core desired feelings works because it gives you a tangible way to check in on how chasing your dreams is making you feel. Two people going after the exact same goal will likely feel very different about it, and that’s a valuable guidepost to creating goals that have real meaning. {And not ones that are hollow and artificial like chasing six figures for the sake of chasing six fug.}

For one of my biz friends, her goal this year was to focus on the core desired feeling of space. And let me tell you – she created space in spades. She cleared out service offerings that no longer served her and let a long-time side business go. Heading into 2016 feels like she has more space than she could have imagined a year ago.

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It’s truly the one of the most powerful ways for you to set yourself on the right course for the year to come.  


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2016 Year in Review

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Ready for your best year ever?

Start with a year in review! Get your free workbook now!

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