My favorite week of the year is the week between Christmas and New Years! Both my husband and I have the week off of work and guard the time to set up our year for success. We reflect on the past year, plan and set goals for the upcoming year, align our budget with those goals, purge and clean the house, and make sure we are starting fresh on January 1st. Its an invaluable way to create clarity for the year ahead and ensure we spend the next 365 days on what matters most.
If you haven’t done a year in review or are curious about different ways to set goals, this post is for you! It’s never too late to set aside time to reflect and create intention. Of course there are a million ways to do this, but I will share what Tim and I did in hopes that it encourages you to set up your year for success!
Before Tim and I start thinking about plans or ideas for the next year, we sit down and reflect. It helps put things into perspective and remind us what was valuable from the previous year and what wasn’t. In 2017, we did our review without any sort of structure and it was great. This year, I was very excited to incorporate “Your Best Year Yet” by Jinny S. Ditzler into our process for a little more structure. The book guides you through a 3-hour workshop that the author typically teaches in person and prompts you with 10 questions to stir reflection and goal setting. I would recommend blocking out as much time as possible so you can work through the questions to completion, and if you have to break it up over a couple days that’s totally fine! In total it took Tim and I two large blocks of time over two days to work through it individually and share.
Here’s an overview of my 2018 year in review and best year yet exercise:
What did I accomplish in 2018?
When I began this exercise there wasn’t much that came to mind immediately for the things that I accomplished in 2018. Of course, there were a view obvious answers, but the rest had gone in my brain and right back out! To jog my memory, I scrolled through all of my photos from the year that are backed up to my Google Photos account, looked through my calendar, and skimmed my journals. It’s a fun trip down memory lane and helps to resurface some things that you may have forgotten.
- I traveled to Gatlinburg and Nashville, Tennessee, Detroit, Kansas City, Orlando, Miami, Tampa, Longboat Key, Maryland, South Carolina, the Bahamas, and drove the entire Pacific Coast Highway!
- I completed the Whole30
- I learned how to ski
- I joined a gym and started going regularly
- I made my health a priority by going to the dentist and doctor regularly
- I started working my full time job remotely (and I am loving it)
- I got to experience a turkish bath
- I spent a lot of time with amazing friends
- My husband and I lived off of one of our incomes and saved $20k for a house
- I read 15+ books
- I flew first class for the first time (on a teeny tiny plane lol)
- I attended Create & Cultivate conference in Miami
- I led the worship team at church and enjoyed serving our church body
- I rekindled my love for food and Tim made some amazing meals at home
At first it didn’t seem like there was much to celebrate, but as I went back through the year day by day I was amazing at all that I had accomplished. It’s so easy to forget all of the things that happen day- to day and I’m so glad I captured the memories with pictures and journal entries to look back on and celebrate.
What were my biggest disappointments in 2018?
Everyone has disappointments. What is powerful is acknowledging them and putting steps in place to avoid the same disappointments in the upcoming year.
- I didn’t commit to this blog and let fear and excuses keep me from consistently creating
- Tim and I fought more than I would like (and about the dumbest things)!
- I lost patience with my coworkers and stormed out of a room- that was definitely a low point and I’m disappointed in myself for that
- I said yes to things because I felt like I had to and in return I didn’t do them with the right heart
- I was inconsistent in my time with the Lord and didn’t complete my goal of reading the Bible in One Year
- I prioritized work over my personal goals and let work hours creep into the evenings and weekends
- I allowed myself to think negatively about my body
- I compared myself to other women and bloggers and allowed those thoughts to keep me from moving forward
- I wasn’t patient and didn’t invest in family relationships as much as I wanted to
I’m sharing these here in hopes of encouraging you to dig deep! None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes. Whether your disappointments stem from your own failures or the actions of others in your life, take the time to acknowledge them and let them go.
What did I learn?
For me, 2018 was a year filled with so much learning. Tim really challenged me to read more and now I’m hooked! I truly believe I owe my shift in mindset to the fact that I read new books, listened to podcasts, and challenged the beliefs in my life that I treated as unquestionably true for so long.
Here are a few of the things I learned:
- Mindset is everything and whether you believe you can or you can’t, you’re right!
- It’s important to be active daily
- Having financial freedom and not stressing over money is invaluable
- I have to focus on “starting” instead of “finishing”
- I have a fear of success as well as a fear of failure
- It’s important to prioritize date nights and work everyday for an exceptional marriage
- I have to let go of unstated expectations (or communicate them)
- If I focus on the negative, things will be negative
- Say no!
- Be a great listener because there aren’t many in the world
- Perfection is not the goal
- Never break a promise to yourself
How do I limit myself and how can I stop?
We all have limiting beliefs! Subconscious assumptions about who we are and how much we can or can’t do. It’s time to air those out! Here are some of the limiting beliefs I let hold me back in 2018:
- I allowed the opinions of others to shift my actions
- I made excuses
- I broke promises to myself
- I worried about being too much for others
- I avoided the unknown because it’s uncomfortable
- I said yes to things I shouldn’t have and didn’t speak up when I should’ve said no
In 2019, I am committing to being unapologetically me, taking up space, and being seen. No more lying, faking and hiding! No more apologizing. And no more breaking promises to myself. It was really eye opening to look at the limiting beliefs I had and create a new, opposite belief to work towards everyday in the year ahead.
What are my personal values?
If you haven’t done a personal core values exercise before you should! There are so many easy to find worksheets on google that take you through the process of selecting words that resonate with you, grouping similar words together, and then adding a verb in front to make them actionable. These are my personal core values:
- Take risks
- Seek growth
- Live simply
- Find joy everyday
- Give generously to others
- Invest in an exceptional marriage
What roles do I play in my life?
Each of us fulfills a long list of roles in our daily lives. We work, go to school, are in relationships, parent children, have hobbies and side projects. Whatever it may be, this step of the process asks you to write each and every role you currently have or want to have in the future and then narrow them down to your top 8. Jinny also mentions in her book that one of your top 8 needs to have something to do with your own personal growth and development because how can you take care of others if you aren’t taking care of yourself! Here are mine:
- Child of God
- My personal coach
- Content Creator
Which role is my major focus for the next year?
- Content creator!
One of my biggest disappointments of 2018 was not investing more time to my blog. It’s my creative outlet! The space where I get to share all that is happening in my life and the things that I’m learning. I allowed my limiting beliefs and excuses about my other commitments to keep me from carving out time to show up consistently. This year, my biggest focus is to change that and I know I will feel more fulfilled when I do.
What are my goals for each role?
In this step, it’s time to think about what success looks like in each of these roles. List out your 8 roles and begin to create goals under each one. you will list subgoals under each of your eight roles you selected above. What are things that you aspire to do and be for those roles. Since this post is already SUPER long, I won’t list all of mine out here. For each of my roles I had 6-10 goals that I then narrowed down into my top 10 goals for the year.
What are my top ten goals for the next year?
Now it’s time to narrow your goals down to a top 10 list. Start with the obvious goals underneath each of your 8 roles that really stand out to you. The ones that seem to jump off the page are meant to be in your final list! Once you have selected a top 10 to focus on for the year, wordsmith them until they resonate and excite you. These are the goals that made it through the fire and earned a spot in my top 10 goals for 2019:
- Create one piece of content each week (no excuses!)
- Get active daily and receive insurance reimbursement for gym fees
- Be intentional to cultivate an exceptional marriage
- Travel to two new places in the world
- Read the Bible in One Year
- Connect with friends and family each week to deepen relationships
- Read 30 books
- Don’t allow work hours to flow into the evening and weekends
- Collaborate with 10 amazing companies
- Master the behind the scenes of blogging, photography, and copy writing
How can I make sure I achieve my top ten goals?
The last and final step is to create an implementation plan! The book has some great suggestions for doing this including 15 minute reviews each weekly and a monthly planning time to break down your goals into what you need to accomplish in the next month to stay on track. Tim and I wrote our full plans out in our bullet journals so we see them everyday and posted them on our vision boards. In addition we scheduled a weekly time on Sundays to reflect on our goals and create smaller milestones to accomplish each week so we stay on track. We all know how many people set New Year’s resolutions and don’t stick to them and this is why! There is no point in setting a goal if you don’t set up the systems to remind yourself about it regularly.
So that’s it! Goodness gracious that was a long one! If you made it to the end of this post you are the real MVP. So what are your 2019 goals? Let me know in the comments below.
I really hope you enjoyed a glimpse into my goal setting experience using the best year yet format. If you are looking for a new way to set intentional goals, I would highly recommend grabbing a copy of the book so you can work through the detailed exercises yourself! Either way, I hope your year in review leaves you with a fresh perspective, clear focus, and new motivation to tackle your goals and have your best year yet!
Thanks so much for reading and Happy New Year everyone!