I think it’s safe to assume that 2016 has been a rollercoaster of a year for most of us. Global conflict, international power-play, and radical economic changes aside, the common man has had his share of thorns and roses through all of the 365 days.
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As the ‘good riddance 2016’ and ‘can we delete this year already’ memes begin to do the rounds on social media, let’s take a moment out to look long and hard at the year and every loop we’ve skipped past. Just like Facebook is gracious enough to ‘review’ it for us with ‘memories’ of the good times, let’s take out what we can of value from 2016 – the blessings and the lessons – so we know better and do better in the clean slate of 2017.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself before the onslaught of 2017, so you can begin the New Year better.
Did you realistically meet your goals for the year?
Let’s not get to the infinite number of resolutions that you keep bouncing off from one year to the next. It’s alright if you didn’t get on that diet or if you didn’t keep in touch as much as you wanted to. But as a professional, you must have set a goal for yourself – the position you wished for, the projects you collected under your name, the client number you aimed to reach by December. So if you managed to actually reach this goal or target, and in some cases even surpass it, then you know you gave it maximum effort and dedicated commitment, and can incorporate the same discipline into the next year. However, if you fell short of your goals by a decent margin, then maybe it’s time to reflect on where you went wrong and why.
What did you end up accomplishing this year?
This could be something as small as fixing up the pending repairs in the house to winning awards and recognition for the work you put in all year round. You need to feel like you’re ending this year with a victory – regardless of its impact – because the satisfaction that comes along with it is always the same. At the same time, if you feel like your list ended too short this time around, then go back to the first point and set some goals for the New Year to achieve the same purpose.
What are the lessons you’re taking back from this year?
The popular saying that everything in life is either a blessing or a lesson actually holds more truth than credited. You can take back a lifetime’s worth of lessons from something as seemingly inconsequential as multiple failed attempts at hitting the gym to something much more affecting like changing friendships and bad relationships. Personal or professional disturbances and double-takes can go a long way into shaping your outlook to life, because the truth is you’ll know what mistake never to repeat a second time.
What did you spend your time on this year?
Not only is time the most valuable dimension on this planet, in the professional sphere, time is also money. So you need to review the whole of 2016 and figure out what you spent most of your time on. It could have been on a project, an activity, or anything that interested you. And you need to evaluate whether it was time valued or time wasted. So for 2017, your aim should be to not waste even a minute on anything that doesn’t add value to your life.
What improvements would you wish to work on for the New Year?
Human beings are built to ‘live and learn’. They are also intrinsically arrogant creatures that, fearing change that will make them step out of their loving comfort zones, fall into a pit of forced self-sufficiency. The truth is that we are evolving each day, and no matter how much we can achieve, we will always hold the potential to do even better. So looking back at the year, you need to pick out the places that you know you can improve upon and make that your resolution for 2017.
What else do you like to introspect on at the end of the year? Let us know in the comments below!