The year that was and the year ahead - five questions to ask yourself

Reflecting on the year that was …

1. What did you spend your time on in 2016?

We all have 24 hours in a day so how you spend those hours will show up in what you achieve. Reflecting on the activities you spend your time on can also be a good indication of where your passion and values lie. If you find that you're wasting time on things you don't really value, find a way to be spend more time on the things you do.

>Tip

Make time in your day to take a break. Studies show that while you're daydreaming your brain continues to solve problems—those lightbulb moments that seem to come out of nowhere are usually the product of unconscious thinking during downtime (Ferris Jabr, scientificamerican.com). Raising your mind out of your daily grind can make you feel happier, helps you process the learnings from your mistakes, generates good ideas and can put things into perspective.

2. Who did you spend the most time with?

You're most influenced by the five people you spend the most time with - colleagues, family, friends etc.  Are you hanging out with people who inspire you, make you feel good, have values similar to yours?  Check out this TED talk

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Remember to be grateful for the important people in your life and continue to make time for them. If you weren’t happy with your answer above try to include some inspiring people in your circle. And seek out others or interactions that will inspire you.

3. What did you do well?

It’s important to acknowledge your successes. There’s nothing more satisfying than achieving a goal or doing something really well. Acknowledging your achievements also builds confidence that you can keep on achieving.

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Celebrate the wins—reflect on all the good things you have done, the small and the large.

4. Would you do anything differently?

There’s nothing like retrospect for wise insights. Would you have done things differently if you had your time over? Everyone makes mistakes, and as the saying goes, wise people learn from them. Is there something you could do differently? Can you take a new approach to an old problem?

The year ahead

5. What are your goals this year? 

Many of us start the year with good intentions but it’s not always easy to stay motivated, and sometimes events out of your control can take you off course.

Think about what’s achievable. Have you talked about your goals with your adviser? Have they changed since last year? What do you need to do to make them happen? What things can you stop, start or continue?

Often, the act of writing down your goals helps you get clear about what you want, and the tracking of your goals helps you to stay motivated. It’s like making a public commitment. Put your goals somewhere you’ll see them every day as a reminder. It also helps to share your goals with someone and regularly let them know how you’re tracking.

Tips

  • One way to help you reflect and stay motivated is to write a letter to your future self about where you’re at and where you’d like to be in a year’s time. Using Futureme.org you can have it emailed to yourself 1 January 2018.
  • Break down some of the bigger goals down into smaller achievable steps.
  • Try the goals tool on amp.com.au

and, a sneaky sixth question …

What word describes how you want 2017 to look?

Our word is help.
Helping more people achieve goals that are important to them. 

Important information

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