How to Reflect on Last Years’ Goals

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

As we near the end of the year it’s time to start thinking of new year goals. I don’t believe in waiting until the new year to set goals. You can set goals any time you want and it’s important to jump on them when you are excited. But there is something magical about the New Year. It feels fresh and full of promise. It’s hard not to get excited about New Years goals when everyone else is making big plans.

Before we set our goals, it’s important to reflect on a few questions.

What goals did you set last year?

What were you excited to do?  Were you going to run a marathon, go on 52 dates, or save for a down payment on a house? Think about how you felt when you were thinking about making these things happen.

Why did you want to make those things happen?  How would your life be improved by making these things happen?

Did you accomplish them?

This seems like an obvious question, but it’s important. What happened to this years’ goals? Did you crush them? Did your priorities change? Were you more excited about the prospect of setting goals but became overwhelmed with the details?

What went right?

If you rocked your goals, what did you do to make them happen?  Even if they didn’t work out, what worked in your favor? What steps did you take in the right direction?  Did you find something else you were more excited to work toward?

Just because you set a goal doesn’t mean you can’t pivot later.  Changing plans isn’t a failure – needlessly pursuing something that doesn’t make you happy or improve your life is.

What went wrong?

The point of this question isn’t to focus on the negative, but to learn from what happened. What can you do to make sure things go better this time?

There’s a lot of perfectly valid reasons why we don’t reach our goals, but it’s important to understand if there is anything we can do to make it happen next time.

What do you want to make happen next year?

This is the fun part.  What things do you want to accomplish by this time next year?  If you aren’t sure, start to think about how you want to feel next year.  Is it healthy? Secure? Relaxed?  What things can you do to bring yourself closer to those feelings?


We’ll start planning our goals next week.  Just start thinking about what you want to make happen in the next year.

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