Review Your Life Before You Resolve to Change It

Because it’s a new calendar year, everyone’s talking about New Year’s resolutions. But how can you make a new, forward-looking resolution if you aren’t sure where you are starting from?

Can you imagine a business that decides to implement a new set of policies without considering whether or how any of the current policies are working? And can you imagine the results if that business had no concrete way to measure whether or how any of the current policies are working? Obviously, it would be a disaster.

But what about our personal lives? Do we ever stop to consider how and why we are doing things the we do? From our daily habits, to family living, to hobbies and skills, we can learn a lot from taking time to reflect back on what is and isn’t working, and why.

Good resolutions start with good reviews. Have you paused to take a good look at 2018?

(Don’t worry that it isn’t January 1st, exactly. The new year for Christians began in Advent, back in December, anyway!)

If you’ve never done an annual review of your personal life, it might sound overwhelming – but it’s actually pretty simple. Grab a pen and paper (to increase your creativity), and a quiet ten minutes. If you keep a calendar or diary, pull it out and skim over the last year – you’ll be surprised how much you may have forgotten.

Now just ask yourself a couple of questions. Anne Boegel uses two: What worked for me this year? What didn’t?

It might help to give yourself a few categories: things like, “health”, “spiritual life”, “hobbies”, “home”, “financial”, etc.

Of course, sometimes questions like these are difficult to answer because we don’t know our bottom line. We don’t know what really matters to us the most, so it’s hard to decide if something worked or didn’t work for us.

For example, in 2018 writing creatively was a priority for me. My bottom line in this category was that I wanted to write more, whether or not it was great writing, and whether or not it was published — so journaling a lot really worked for me. I’m proud of the time I spent on it. In previous years, I’ve journaled more or less, but I wouldn’t have really considered it as something in my life that was working well, because at the time it wasn’t explicitly linked to something I cared a lot about.

If you are really stuck for ideas, try this this exercise:

My “high” for the year was _____________ because _______________.

My “low” for the year was _____________ because _______________.

The “because” part will help reveal the things that really matter to you, as you look back on the last year.

Ready for a more in-depth and systematic personal review before setting new goals? Get in touch! I’d love to help you reflect more deeply on your priorities so you can move forward with purpose.

If you’re curious about what worked and what didn’t for me this year, sign up for my email list! It’s just on the blog sidebar →. I’ll be sharing some of my personal review with subscribers soon.

I’d love to hear about your 2018, too! Send me an email at claritylifeconsulting [at] gmail [dot] com and tell me what worked for you and what didn’t!