Have you set goals for this year? Are they the same goals as you set last year? Do you even remember the goals you set last year? Do you want to be more successful with your goals this year?
If you want to achieve your goals this year, you need to review last year’s goals to help you succeed.
There is a popular meme that says, “Don’t look back; you’re not going that way.” While dwelling on your past isn’t helpful and doesn’t move you forward, you need to occasionally look at where you’ve been so you can see how far you’ve come, and so you can make sure you’re still headed in the right direction.
So, how can a review of last year’s goals help you succeed this year?
Analyze and Review Last Year’s Goals
What goals did you set last year? Did you achieve them? Were you fully successful, partially successful, or did they fall by the wayside, never to be acknowledged again until now?
If you weren’t fully successful, what held you back? Was it time? Was it timing? Was it finances? Was your goal not clearly defined, or was it not something you felt strongly enough about to stay motivated to achieve it? Why did you set these goals? For goals that you worked toward but didn’t complete, are you still progressing on them? For goals that you neglected or discarded, why did you set them? Was it good intentions or was it a goal that you felt you ought to have even though you weren’t committed to it?
Knowing why you set a specific goal will tell you a lot about whether or not this is a goal to set aside this year or to keep striving for. Additionally, knowing how far you’ve progressed, whether you continued to work on it through the year, or whether you set it aside will help you determine what changes might need to be made for you to continue working toward that goal, or whether it’s no longer as significant for you.
Sometimes we set goals because we feel pressured to do so even when we don’t feel a real need or desire for them, like health and fitness goals. Sometimes we set goals but life changes create a shift in direction or priority for us and those goals no longer fit with our life plan. For example, many years ago I had a career goal of becoming an international photojournalist for one of the large news services. But then I met my husband and realized that the lifestyle of a foreign correspondent wasn’t really going to be compatible with my life goal of becoming a wife and mother. So, I made a change. And in case you’re wondering, I have no regrets–though I do occasionally wonder what it would be like to be on the scenes of some interesting world events.
Sometimes we set goals that are not clear or specific enough, or that we aren’t quite ready for yet. There is no shame in not achieving every goal you set. Goals are one of many tools to help us succeed and grow both personally and professionally. We should not necessarily view all of them as essential to achieve at any cost; rather, they should be flexible and fluid, so we can adapt them as needed to fit our lives.
Use Your Analysis as A Guide for Setting This Year’s Goals
Look at your answers to the questions as you think about the goals you want to set this year. Are this year’s goals the same as last year’s unsuccessful goals? If they are the same goals, why? What’s different this year that makes setting the same goal a good idea?
Why are you setting these goals? Do you know your “why?” If you aren’t sure why a goal you’re setting is important to you—or you’re not convinced it’s important to your life, you may want to rethink. Spend some time reflecting on this part so that you’re clear on the why.
If these goals are important to your life, and you know why, what are you going to do differently this year that will allow you to achieve these goals? Do you need to work with a mentor, coach or adviser to help you achieve this goal? Are there skills or training you need that you didn’t have last year? Are there resources available that weren’t previously? If it was a matter of time, is there now the necessary time in your schedule or will you be able and willing to create that time so you can be successful in pursuit of your goal. For help in setting your goals with the maximum potential for success, use the guidelines in this post from last year that outlines the seven easy steps that will help you achieve your big goals.
It’s good to set goals. It’s better to set goals that you really want to achieve and that you can achieve. A good goal should be a stretch, but not so much that you’ll lose interest, hope or motivation. When you set this year’s goals by using a review of last year’s goals as your guide, you will be much more likely to succeed this year.
What goals have you set for yourself this year? Please share them in the comment section below—and let me know how I can help you to achieve goal success this year.