When was the last time you PLANNED how you wanted to feel? That is a crazy notion, isn't it? However, if you do it, you will find that you have a way different year ahead of you!
Look back for lessons
In my last blog post, I encouraged you to look back over the past year for the lessons you learned. I suggested that by reviewing how things turned out in different situations, you can collect ideas for what you may want to do differently in the future. If you want different results, then you need to do something else. Doing last week's exercise should have highlighted some areas of your life that you want to change.
Look ahead to choose feelings
Now that you have taken a look back, it's time to pivot and look forward. Both the backward review and peering into the future are all part of laying a solid foundation before you set goals for the new year.
As you inspect what might unfold for you in the new year, I want you to consider how you want to feel. Yes, instead of thinking about what you want to achieve or what you are hoping to accomplish, I want you to think about feelings for a moment.
This is not what you want...
What is it that you want to experience next year? We all know what we don't want:
Consider the experience you want
But if not that, then what? That's the easy part. We complain, bitch and moan all the time about what we don't want. However, continuing that cycle in your head only keeps you stuck on the negative. Instead, you need to look for something different.
Consider for a moment what feelings and experiences do you want in the coming year. Here are some examples of what feelings you may be looking for:
Hold off on developing goals
If your mind keeps going to goals, step back from them for a bit. Setting goals are important. And we will get there. But the goal is not the whole picture. When we only identify the target, we miss why attaining that is so important.
When you ask yourself what you are looking to accomplish a goal or achieve something, it's about the feeling that you will get as a result of completing it.
It matters because it's doing that thing, or achieving that thing means you have a certain feeling as a result. It's that feeling that I want you to focus on now.
I come back to one of the most popular. Goals that everyone identifies each year to become healthier. So what difference does it make if you lose weight or change your eating habits?
Imagine though that you want to do something different at work, go back to school, apply for a new position or start a new project. Consider that outcome for a moment and think about what the feeling is that you are longing for. Changing jobs will make you feel what?
Where do you already feel that?
The second part of this exercise is to consider the list of feelings that you've identified. Then, look at where you already experienced those feelings now.
Combine the lessons learned and feelings desired
Pulling these two concepts together (lessons + feelings) looks like this:
Looking back and then ahead
When you pull out lessons learned and pair that with the desired feelings you have for the future, you are in a great place to set goals for the future. Take the time in the next week or two to let these two ideas sit with you. Come back to them a few times. Journal some thoughts about them. Talk to others in your life about it as well. Slowing down to get a handle on your life intentionally, will put you back in the driver's seat. From there, you can create your future yourself, rather than just watch it unfold!
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Gifts, parties, baking and work deadlines likely have your attention these days. You aren’t quite ready to set your New Years Resolutions or develop goals for next year quite yet. But, I want you to plant a few seeds now so that you will be ready when the time comes.
Keep reading to learn what you need to do now, to have a better year next year.
The Typical Goals Fail
Closer to the end of December or the beginning of January you’ll start thinking more about goals and resolutions. The problem with waiting until then is that we often jump into goal setting with whatever is on our minds at the beginning of the new year.
Think over eating and over spending….
The most popular New Years Resolutions are about weight loss and reducing debt. AND…most New Years Resolutions are dropped within a couple of weeks and goals are forgotten about by February.
Lay the Groundwork for Success Next Year
Start thinking about laying the foundation for goal setting now. This groundwork will help you not only identify the goals that are going to make the most impact for you but also how to achieve those goals.
This week and next I am going to give you two things to do for December. These two tasks won’t take up a lot of your time. In fact, they simply need to be in the back of your mind and occasionally jotting a few notes down. They will help put you on the path to developing more successful goals for next year.
This coming week, start to look back over the past year. Scan events, relationships and experiences for the lessons you've learned. What is it that you've done or not done that has taught you something, and perhaps taught you something that you can take forward into the New Year?
This review is not a time to judge or beat yourself up. It is a nonjudgmental observation. Just be curious. Look back and notice.
Some examples of lessons:
Keep Curiously Looking Back
Let this idea of ‘lesson’s learned” simmer in the background for the coming weeks. Write down the lessons you notice as you go back over the past year. They are going to help you when you start to define your goals next year.
Next week, instead of looking back, we will start to look forward.
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.