Sometimes, you have to look back in order to understand the things that lie ahead. ~Yvoone Woon
We're closing in on the end of the year. Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013! There's something wonderful about starting a fresh new year. It's new, but you get to bring in everything you learned from prior years to make this year your best ever. I love goal setting and New Year's Resolutions--it's amazing how many goals you achieve once you actually articulate them.
This year I'm adding a new twist - I'm going to dwell on my failures. Not in a morose, beat myself up for being suchaloser way, but I'm going to take time to think about the things that sucked this year. I've seen too much advice like "Don't sweat it, don't regret it, just move on and forget it." That kind of thinking is selfish at best -- criminals and perverts are masters of it. One practioner I know of this philosophy is being sued by nearly everyone he has done business with, then on a personal level he left his sick wife. A little bit of reflection would have prevented most, if not all, the lawsuits and legal fees.
You learn a lot by reflecting on the things that hadn't turned out the way you hoped, and thinking about the things you could have done better. This kind of thoughtful analysis helps to win championships, better business outcomes, and most importantly, improve relationships. It also turns disappointments into something useful. The seeds of success can be found in the ruins of failure.
For example, one goal I perpetually have is to be more timely. I can blithly set a goal of being on time, or I can think about the most frustrating times I've been late, and reflect on what made me late and what I could have done to avoid it. If I think about it, I realize that I didn't include enough time for walking the dog or for picking out an outfit. Ha. Now I have a goal AND a game plan.
So this year, before I set my new resolutions, I'm going to mine the year's disappointments.
What to do - Make New Year's Resolutions
- Think about your three biggest disappointments. What could you have done differently to change the outcome?
- Conversely, make a list of your happiest moments from the past year. It's fun! Last year's New Year's post walks through the process.
- Now identify the common threads from your best moments, and figure out what you want to do differently from your disappointments.
- Read this post on goal setting and New Year's Resolutions.
- Have fun making a few specific resolutions.
What I ate: 1 latte, 1 crab omelet, salad, jalapeno corn bread + honey + butter, 1 piece toast, 5 pieces, dark chocolate, 3 chocolate truffles, green tea, popcorn, udon noodles + spinach + mixed mushrooms + tofu in soup, rice crackers, raw milk cheddar, 20 oz. water
Exercise: ran 2.5 miles