Best of 2008 - Year in Review
Five Agreements that Can Change Your Life

Celebrate Your Successes - Then Set Goals not Resolutions

As the year comes to a close, I want to pass on one of the most impactful exercises my former business coach had me do several years ago.  The purpose of the exercise was to conduct a review of the previous year by writing down every success, win, and positive thing that I experienced - both big and small.  So, I challenge all readers to Celebrate Your Successes

In my experience as a coach and manager, I have observed that most driven and success-minded individuals have a tendency to focus on what they haven't achieved yet.  They are always moving on to the next goal or challenge without stopping, however briefly, to acknowledge the victory or success of the moment. 

So, as you fine tune your goals and business plan for a successful next year, take some time to look back on the current/previous year with a focus on the positives.  Grab your journal or some paper or...

Use this Celebrate Your Successes PDF: Download CelebrateYourSuccesses

Just write it all down - stream of consciousness - no matter how seemingly insignificant.  Just write it down.  Once you start writing, you'll be surprised at how much you really have to celebrate!

  • List all your accomplishments, wins, victories, successes in the past year.
  • List all moment of joy and gratitude.
  • What did you do last year that you were really proud of?
  • What do other people in your life have to say about what you did, accomplished, contributed?
  • What did you do last year that moved you toward your goals?
  • What lessons did you gain from any setbacks, challenges or obstacles?
  • How are your going to integrate any learnings in to your future goals and the coming year?

Now Set GOALS not Resolutions!

I am not a fan of New Year's Resolutions.  Statistics show that most people never keep the resolutions they set for the new year.  The main reasons why they fail?  Lack of Commitment and Clarity.

For some thoughts on Clarity see this post:  Clarity of Purpose - Do You Have It?

Numerous surveys and research show the following as the Top 10 New Year's Resolutions:

  1. Lose weight/Get in shape
  2. Stick to a budget
  3. Reduce Debt/Get out of debt
  4. Enjoy more quality time with friends and family
  5. Find my soul mate
  6. Quit smoking
  7. Find a better job/Make more money
  8. Learn something new
  9. Volunteer & help others
  10. Get organized

You may, like me, look at this list and think "I want to accomplish several of these things this year!"  So instead of saying My New Year's Resolution is "x" - back it up with total commitment and clarity to ensure success this year. 

The critical steps to achieving your goals:

  1. Identify clear, concise, SMART goals and know your WHY for each of them.
  2. Write them down for all areas of your life (Personal, Financial, Business/Career, Relationships/Family, Spiritual)
  3. Create Action Plans - break the goal down into steps and next actions.  Take action every day!
  4. Measure and track your progress - you can't improve what you don't measure.
  5. Celebrate your successes along the way - make any necessary course corrections.

Related posts on Goal Setting: