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My 3-Step End of Year Reflection and Goal-Setting Process

Head into 2023 with excitement, positivity, and a plan!

If you are like me and you love a step-by-step process for reflecting on the past year, and setting goals for the new year… this is the blog for you! 

Below I’m going to share my 3-step process that I do every year. I can’t wait for you to try it and hear how it goes for you!

Before You Begin

1 – Set aside a minimum of 4 hours to spend on this. I usually take 1-2 days dedicated to this entire process. Even if you need to break up the time into smaller chunks on different days, be sure you dedicate enough time to complete it.

You don’t have to be as intricate as I am, and you might have different things you are reflecting on. The point is that YOU HAVE TO SCHEDULE IT. Put it in your calendar and don’t double book yourself. 

2 – Create an environment for focus and concentration. Get out of the house. Go to a co-working space, a not-too-busy coffee shop, or an office if you have one.

Get support with childcare if you need to. Tell people who might be reaching out to you during this time that you will not be accessible. 

3 – Minimize distractions. I usually give myself a few minutes to settle in, check and email or two, and get set up for the process. I have my coffee, blank paper, headphones, planner, computer and phone. 

Close all unnecessary apps and tabs. Set a timer for 15min to get settled and ready. Then it’s time to leave the email, SM and texts behind and get to work.

I LOVE listening to binaural beats for focus and concentration. I listened to this “flow state music” on YouTube this year.

STEP 1: REFLECTION

Before we move on to the next year, it’s important to know how we did this year! It informs what went well, what got left in the dust, or maybe what we no longer want to focus on. 

I encourage you to be gentle on yourself during this whole process, especially this step. If a goal didn’t get achieved, that’s simply information, not proof that you suck as a human being and will never accomplish anything ever. 

Answer the following questions about the past year. You can go even deeper and answer them each for different life areas I list below.

Focus on areas most important to you. For instance, I do personal reflection but a big part of my process is business reflection. I make a note of my email newsletter statistics, social media analytics, income, etc. 

Here are some categories to reflect on:

  • Food
  • Fitness
  • Mindset/Mental Health
  • Other Health
  • Family
  • Romantic Relationship 
  • Finances
  • Career/Business
  • Purpose/Legacy/Service
  • Spirituality
  • Fun/Hobby/Passion Projects
  • Community/Social

REFLECTION QUESTIONS:

1 – What went well this past year? What would I consider the highlights?

2 – What didn’t go well? What moments felt like my lowest points?

3 – What would I consider my top 5-10 achievements this year, whether personal or professional?

4 – What are the 3-5 things that brought me the most happiness this year? What fulfilled me and gave me energy?

5 – What are the top 3-5 things, events, interactions, or relationships that sucked my energy this year? What felt draining and triggering for me?

6 – What goals did I set over this past year that did not get accomplished? 

7 – What got in the way of me achieving my desired goals this year?

8 – Make a note of any important numbers, statistics and other data relevant to the goals you wanted to accomplish. 

STEP 2: GOAL-SETTING

Allow the first part of this step to be a bit of a dreaming brainstorm. Don’t worry yet about the details of HOW it will happen, simply allow yourself to envision an ideal year-to-come!

VISION AND GOAL QUESTIONS:

1 – If I could choose 3 big things to happen next year, what would they be?

2 – If I were to accomplish at least one goal in each area of my life, what would the goal be for each category? Feel free to add categories or skip them based on what feels relevant to you!

  • Food
  • Fitness
  • Mindset/Mental Health
  • Other Health
  • Family
  • Romantic Relationship 
  • Finances
  • Career/Business
  • Purpose/Legacy/Service
  • Spirituality
  • Fun/Hobby/Passion Projects
  • Community/Social

3 – If I were designing the perfect week, what would each day look like? Don’t worry about what your schedule is now. 

Allow yourself to dream of your perfect week and how you would spend your time. Actually write out a schedule and activities for each day of the week. 

4 – What professional initiatives would make next year a 10/10 kind of year?

5 – What personal activities or experiences would make next year a 10/10 kind of year?

6 – What is one long-term (3-7 years) professional and/or personal goal you want to take a step forward on next year? What might that step look like?

7 – What do you want/need to put on your “To Don’t” List? (Get inspiration from your answers to questions #2, #5 and #7 above.)

8 – How can you make more space for lightness, joy, and peace next year? And when?

9 – What needs to happen for me to unapologetically prioritize this vision next year?

STEP 3: MAKE IT REAL

Now it’s time to bring the daydream back to reality. YES! Keep that vision alive that all things are possible. You deserve to have your best year yet! AND… we want to make sure the steps and habits we’re implementing are doable. 

I think we all know that coming out too hot in the new year is the number one way to NOT achieve our resolutions. Remember you can always add on. So start slow and focused, and build from there. 

I want to offer my 5-step goal-setting process here: The H.A.P.I.E. Goal Method™. I usually use this with my health coaching clients to set up food, fitness and body image goals. But you can use it for any goal or area of life!

H = HABIT-BASED

Reference the goals (especially from questions #1 and #2 in the vision questions) If you have a tangible, measurable, results-based goal, that’s great! Now, what are the ongoing habits that will help you achieve that goal?

For example, if you have a goal like “make $10K a month”… what do you need to be doing on a regular basis to get there? Write down the routines and habits you’ll need to take on in order to achieve your end goals.

A = ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF PROGRESS

Did you know celebration is scientifically proven to increase motivation and consistency? 

When we acknowledge our progress along the way (whether it’s simply talking a little kinder to yourself if our goal is ultimately to love our body, or making $6K a month on our way from $4K to the end goal of $10K) CELEBRATE YOURSELF!

I recommend doing a mini version of this 3-step process each month, allowing yourself to celebrate what HAS been accomplished. And choose a way to reward yourself. It can be small or big.

Maybe your reward is buying yourself a new candle, getting a massage, going out to dinner, or even booking a vacation. When we acknowledge progress, it helps us step out of self beat-up mode for not being “there” yet. 

P = PETITELY PROGRESSIVE

Look back up at that ideal week. Now it’s time to break that down and ask yourself “what are the most important things to include in my ideal week?” 

If those things are not yet happening, what is the most baby-step next thing you can do to get there. 

Example: If you wrote down in your ideal week that you will work out 5 times a week… and you’re working out 1 time a week now… DON’T JUMP TO 5! 

Start with a habit goal of “I work out 2x a week” and when that is consistent for at least 3 weeks, add on.

Petitely progressive means you are choosing action steps and habits so small you feel like you should be doing more, yet big enough that it is more than you are doing now.

I = INNER TRUTH FOCUSSED 

This means you want to make sure your goals are for YOU. They’re not for your boss, your parents, your significant other, or society. 

They are not for external validation. Your goals need to be set because it’s what lights up your soul. It’s both what fulfills you and what you are good at. If need be, look back over some of the goals you set and be honest about the intention behind them. 

Rework or get rid of any goals that don’t feel like a HELL YES!

E = END OF MONTH REFLECTION

As I briefly mentioned above, consider putting in your calendar time to check in on these goals. Another reason why new year’s resolutions fail is because we forgot we created them. 

I know it sounds silly, but I am guilty of this as much as the next person sometimes. Don’t let this process go to waste. Be sure to revisit it and see how it’s going. 

I’m also a believer in divine manifestation, meaning I’ve seen it happen where I have written down a dream or goal, forgotten I wrote it down, and then found the piece of paper only to discover I GOT WHAT I WANTED! 

That happens! Nevertheless, it won’t hurt to intentionally reflect on these goals monthly to stay in action. 

Ok, so now you have a framework of how to hone in your goals and make them real and doable. Lastly, you need to schedule in your first action steps.

SCHEDULE YOUR ACTION STEPS:

1 – Be sure you have a focus of NO MORE THAN 3-5 GOALS for the year. It’s ok to leave some categories on the back burner. Focus on the most important areas relevant to you. 

2 – Based on your end goals, write down any initial action steps or regular habits that need to be created.

3 – Put those habits and action steps into your calendar/planner. I personally love the BlueSky weekly and monthly planner. I also use my google calendar for all meetings and time-blocking!

4 – Can anything be delegated? What do you need support with? Again, put it in the calendar to reach out for support or delegate as necessary. 

5 – Break down your 3-5 goals so that you have a clear plan for the first 30 days with each of them. It’s also ok to focus on 1 goal at a time and add on throughout the year. Remember, you’re going to check in every 30 days 😉 at which point you can adjust as needed. 

Don’t be ashamed to repeat any habits if they’re not consistent yet, versus adding on anyways just because it’s a new month. Instead, take inventory of what got in the way of important action steps or habits happening, make a shift, and practice again the next month!

6 – Create accountability! I highly recommend having an external accountability system like a mastermind, community, coach or buddy who knows what you’ve said you want to accomplish, and will help hold you to it by checking in. 

We are 90% more likely to achieve goals with external accountability than we are if we just think about achieving the goal and end there. 

If a big part of your focus is on health this year, and you’re wondering if a coach might be what you need, I’m happy to offer you a complimentary discovery session with me! Book your free 20min food and body discovery session with me here

Conclusion:

Now you have it! 3 steps to reflecting on 2022 and setting goals for 2023.

1 – Reflect

2 – Goal-Setting

3 – Make it Real

I hope you have enjoyed this article and feel prepared to create your 2023 plan! I’m here to support along the way. Comment below and share one of your new year’s goals!

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