I usually do an annual review late in December. But goals and plans are important to me. So I start off that process by asking myself some questions. The answers dictate what I put my focus on in the coming year. And they ensure that I am happy with who I am and what I’ve done with the twelve months ahead of me.
1. What do I want for myself? For this year? For my life?
Don’t think about this; just throw answers on the page. These could be one word or sentences. And the list might be long. Don’t worry about it – just write the list.
2. What *should* I want? Look back over the list in number 1 and ask yourself how many of these ‘wants’ are actually things you ‘should’ want. Perhaps you put ‘more time with my family’ on the list but you don’t really like your sibs. Or your family get togethers are stressful. Why would you want to spend more time with them? For you, this is a ‘should’, not a want. Review the list and strike off or note any that are not really things you want. It’s okay, no one else is going to see the list, so be honest.
3. What are my passions? Or my most urgent priorities? These are the desires that you really, really want. These are the hidden ones – the ones you never tell others about. These are too big or too good to share with others. Write them down.
4. What are the priorities I think about all the time? These are the ones on my mind all the time.
5. Are my desires really mine or have I adopted someone else’s? Do you want to be a doctor or is that my mother’s dream for me? Review the lists and notice how much of what I want is really for others.
6. What really matters to me at this time in my life? Maybe it’s not writing but succeeding in my career? Or keeping my job?
7. What needs my attention? Is the clutter in my house stopping me? Or the mess in my car? Does my home need organizing?
8. What am I afraid of?
9. What am I afraid of losing?
10. What am I afraid of gaining? What happens if my deepest desires become true? What will it cost me?
We’re all busy people. But taking the time to answer these questions will help us guarantee that our goals or resolutions will take us in the direction we want to go – the direction we really really want and not in repetitive circles that keep us from our deepest dreams.
So what will you do with these questions? Will you take the time to answer them? Will you allow your internal wisdom to guide you going forward in 2012? Let me know how you’ve made out and if you’ve learned anything new.