Ask Yourself These 5 Questions and Set Your Best Direction in the New Year

Bart is a good friend and client who called yesterday to say he had the post-holiday blues. He was struggling with the start of a New Year by setting big goals that made him feel small and anxious. Some were the same lofty goals he set last January.

We’re living in the whitewater of change so it’s easy to feel that we’re falling behind and a sense of urgency about bigger and bigger goals. But are we measuring all the right things?

Bart is a super-achiever who, like me, is always pushing toward a big vision but doesn’t take much time to measure backward.

“Why not think about what you and your team achieved last year,” I suggested. “Wasn’t it a lot?”

Celebrating the achievements of the last year can be motivational to your team members and inspire them to set not just bigger goals—but the kind of goals that grow the brand and drive the business forward in the right direction.

Bart paused for a moment and said, “Well, yes.” He went on to layout a list of remarkable achievements.

“How does it make you feel to consider those achievements?” I asked.

“Better,” he said. “Much better.”

Of course, it’s always easier to coach others—and I thanked him for reminding me to do this for myself.

Ask Yourself..

Before setting goals or making resolutions, as part of the strategic planning process, respond to these five questions:

  • What did you learn in the last year?
  • What were the highlight moments of family, relationships or teamwork?
  • What did you do that impacted both company profit and personal prosperity for the team?
  • What were the achievements that were beautifully in sync with your brand/identity?
  • Can you create more this?

The idea is to focus on creating more of the positive instead of measuring the miles between you and your mountaintop vision. After all, your vision should inspire you instead of making you feel as though you’re in “the back of the pack.”

Be specific in naming your achievements

Everyone needs to know that they are appreciated to become even more productive in the New Year. Instead of naming general achievements, make a human connection with the team and thank individuals for their contributions.

Throughout the year, take the time to talk about what’s working and how to create more of it. When a success is celebrated, everyone is reminded of their ability to succeed.

A constant push toward more, more, more, doesn’t allow time to connect with what’s already working. If you ignore the wins of your team, you miss an opportunity to down shift.

If you have a friend, colleague, family member or client who is unhappy with the level of their success, suggest they measure backward and think about how far they’ve come. Suggest they make a list of achievements to reset their inspiration.

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Ask Yourself These 5 Questions and Set Your Best Direction in the New Year
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Ask Yourself These 5 Questions and Set Your Best Direction in the New Year
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Before setting goals or making resolutions, as part of the strategic planning process, respond to these five questions.
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Interact Authentically
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Lou Solomon

Lou Solomon is the founder of Interact. She is a TEDx speaker and a member of the adjunct faculty at the McColl School of Business at Queens University of Charlotte. Her articles have appeared in Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur.com, CEO.com, and Fast Company.