by Kelly Sullivan
The year is new, and that always comes with a look back at the previous year to reflect on what you accomplished.
Less often talked about, though, is the reflection on what you didn’t accomplish. The internet is full of advice on how to go about setting your goals for the new year, but what about advice for those that didn’t meet the goals they already set?
For many entrepreneurs, the constant hustle makes it difficult to make time to really stop and reflect. But assessing where you are is important for your growth, as is celebrating the goals you did meet, while gauging what you could have done better.
It’s totally okay if you didn’t meet all of your goals in 2022. What matters most is that you don’t ignore them or lock the “failures” away because you’re embarrassed that you didn’t excel in every category. Reflect on them, learn from them, and use them to adjust your goal-setting for 2023.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you weigh last year’s shortcomings with this year’s challenges.
- What matters the most to me in my life, right now?
- What worked well in the past year? What didn’t?
- What are the values and priorities I want to hold onto throughout my life, no matter what?
- What do I want to start doing?
- Do my actions currently reflect what matters the most to me?
- What should I stop doing?
- What should I keep the same?
- How will I fund next year’s plans?
- Are there any new skills I could learn?
- What specifically do I want to accomplish this year?
- Are my goals realistic?
- Where should I focus my time and energy this year?
- Did anything in your business change this year, major or minor?
- What have I been putting off that I should really be doing now?
- What got in my way?
- Who can connect with who can help me?
- What would I do differently if I were braver?
- What am I demanding from my people that I’m not demanding of myself?
- Was I out of touch with reality at any given point?
- If I was an employee in my company, what would I want?
- Where am I stuck?
- What challenging issues did I avoid last year?
- Are my customers elated? If not, what will I do differently to excite them?
- Am I willing to really tackle the challenging stuff?
- Am I willing to do whatever it takes to reach my goals?
This is just a starting point to get you thinking about why you crushed some of your goals, why you fell short on others, and how you can learn from it all. Some of the most crucial questions you need to answer about yourself and your business are inevitably the most difficult ones.
Did you give yourself time to actually meet your goals? If you want to achieve your goals, you need to give yourself enough time. If you set them too late or without proper intention, you may end up feeling rushed. Be proactive and create a game plan tackling every individual goal.
Try to avoid getting lost in frustration or disappointment when you realize you might not meet a goal. This is an easy way to give yourself anxiety and make your goals seem less attainable. If you feel this coming on, walk away from the task at hand for a moment. Come back to it with a clear head when you’re feeling more stable and ready to take it on. You and your business are about more than your ability to cross items off a list.
Being picky and strategic about what goals you set for yourself is an excellent way to set yourself up for success. You don’t want them to be unrealistic or unattainable, but you also don’t want them to be way too easy. Reflect on the past year, and find a middle ground. What will challenge you without making you feel like you’ll never amount to anything? Keep yourself grounded in reality while also setting yourself up to push your boundaries in a healthy way.
If you do wind up failing to meet a goal, cut yourself some slack. Goals should inspire you to think outside of the box in a way that will help you and your business flourish. If you missed all of your goals, they may have been a little too ambitious for this stage in your career. If you hit all of your goals every time, they might not be ambitious enough.
The most important takeaway is to always be honest with yourself when reflecting on the year you just had. If you don’t take in an honest account of our past, you won’t be able to efficiently and accurately set yourself up for future success. Give yourself some grace, a little time to breathe, and you can hit the ground running for setting attainable goals in 2023.
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