New year comes new goals, need for goal setting and self relection, right? As the new year 2023 rolls out, for the majority of individuals, it is a time for making plans; planning our monthlies and quarterlies and yearly’s. In December, during our end-of-year parties, we probably reflected on our achievements of the year with great joy and pride in our work. We patted ourselves for the good job done and went into the new year with lots of hope for the coming days. And now that the year has started, we are taking out our diaries and year planners, ready to do even better than last year.

With our new diaries open and pens in hand, I would like for us to take a quick, yet worthy, detour from the goal setting and engage ourselves in a moment of self-reflection. 

Self-reflection involves acknowledging the things that we have been through, both the good and the bad, in order to gather our thoughts and focus on the next step. It is a process of challenging our thoughts and ideas of the past, the present and the future. Carl Jung said “he who looks outside dreams. He who looks inside awakes.” This process of looking then is essentially self-reflection. You want to ask yourself, how did I get here? This way, we take the events, accomplishments, thoughts, relationships, and even moments, of the previous year and find some meaning to their existence or occurrence.

Read also: The biggest secret to excellent goal setting – Doing the groundwork.

No doubt at this point, your mind is filled with instances of things that happened in the past year: maybe accomplishments you achieved, opportunities you missed, relationships you either gained or lost. In reflection, we get a chance to pause the noise and sift through all that information. For instance, maybe you accomplished an award or a promotion at your workplace.

While acknowledging the award is part of reflection, asking yourself some tough questions will help you in the long run. You want to find out, “how did I achieve this accomplishment? What sacrifices did I make? What habits did I learn or unlearn? Which relationships did I nurture or let go? Did I attain new energy levels? What was my inspiration and motivation? 

goal setting and self reflection

Asking yourself these questions helps you to identify and understand the characteristics that gave you the win. Consequently, you will also be able to identify the characteristics to borrow from your previous win in order to sustain the victory. Peter Drucker says “follow effective action with quiet reflection. Then from the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.”

How then do we effectively reflect? 

We start by asking the tough questions. Did I challenge my beliefs and perspectives? Who have I been hanging around? Your choice of company and relationships speaks to your character and the quality of person that you are. Do I wish for these relationships to continue being a part of my life? What has my focus been on and what are my priorities? Are they still what they were when I started this venture? Our focus and priorities sometimes shift based on the experiences we go through.

Thus it is important to reflect on these so that we stay aligned with our overall purpose and vision. How is my energy level, physically and emotionally? What motivates and inspires me? The answers to these questions, then, is a gauge of the energies, perspectives and relationships that we either need to maintain or let go as we embark on the new year.

Watch: Workplace Diversity & Inclusion Workshop, July 14, 2021

In reflection, we look back with compassion for the bad/negative parts and focus on the positive parts. For the most part, the past is gone and cannot be undone. As much as we reflect and acknowledge the bad things that happened, the point is not to brood over them or get anxious and depressed. It is important to acknowledge the negative aspects of the past, but only so that we can use them for lessons and set a path for the future.

Setbacks are merely setups for comebacks. Thus said, in our reflection and acknowledgement, it is vital to identify where we went wrong so that we can forgive ourselves, learn the lessons and keep moving on. There are no accolades for being too hard on yourself, saying negative things about yourself or beating yourself up. The rest of the world will do that for you; accord yourself some kindness and grace.

The other very important aspect of reflection is that we should look back with gratitude.  It is definitely much easier to dwell on the negative than the positive. The practice of gratitude and positivity is not denial, but rather choosing what to focus on. As much as it is difficult to find something to be grateful for in our lowest moments, gratitude changes our perspective. We do not change anything by being negative. 

Read also: The 6 steps of management by objectives in an organization

On the contrary, gratitude and positivity open our eyes to the lessons and opportunities that the bad experience brought. Even if you had a tirade of nasty experiences in the previous year, grieve, feel bad, but after that, reflect on the lessons, pick yourself up, dust off and keep moving. Gratitude doesn’t have to be for some big, elaborate or monumental occurrence. Look for the tiniest shred of light and be grateful for even that. No matter how bad the experience was, as long as you are alive, there is hope. Thus said, gratitude also improves our mental health.

In conclusion, Soren Kierkegaard said that life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.

The same way we have side mirrors and rearview mirrors in a car: we reflect on the part we have driven past but our focus is ever on the windscreen, looking forward. Reflecting is more than remembering; it is acknowledging and analyzing. It is an opportunity to learn so that we can apply the lessons and keep winning. It may be an uncomfortable process, but it is a gift to ourselves because we will deal with our negative feelings and habits and eventually learn and grow. 

After much reflection, we look forward and live forward. We look forward with joy, with hope, with gratitude, with discipline, with focus and with respect for who we are and our purpose.

Begin your goal setting journey and make the difference from today. Reach out to our consulting team.

1 thought on “New year self reflection and goal setting in 2023”

  1. Right here is the perfect website for anybody who wishes to find out about this topic. You know a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally would want toÖHaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a subject that has been written about for decades. Excellent stuff, just excellent!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.