Take a look back before you begin your 2021 journey
2020 was a rough year for all of us. The world seems to be on fire right now.
For some, it was the worst year of your life. 2020 may have kicked your ass. It certainly did a number on me and my family.
My heart goes out to anyone who lost a loved one to COVID.
Perhaps you lost your job, your business, or are simply struggling to keep your head above water.
I hope that all of us have a better year in 2021.
My goal-setting process for 2021
I am sharing the process I use for setting my annual goals. Hopefully, it helps you make 2021 a better year than in 2020.
This week I am going to talk about taking a look back before you begin your 2021 journey.
I believe it is important to learn from the past. Otherwise, you risk repeating the same stupid mistakes over and over.
At the end of each year, I assess how I did. I recommend you do something similar.
Most people spend more time planning a one-week vacation than they spend planning their life.
My three-step process for looking back at last year
There are many ways to look back. Here is what I do. Three-step process
- Think big picture about the year. Was it good overall, bad, or somewhere in-between year for you? What were the top 3–5 things you wanted to accomplish? How many of them were you able to achieve?
- Review all of my annual goals. Yes, I achieved it. Check. No, I did not. X. Don’t be an easy grader. Be honest — no need to lie to yourself.
- Identify your top memories, challenges, and lessons learned for 2020. No need to generate a long list. Five or less seems sufficient to me.
A few examples to help make this process real for your 2021 goals
First, I review my big picture results from last year. I use a visual tool to help me.
I create a slide with images of the top 3–5 goals I have for the year. Below you will find my top 4 for 2020.
My top goals were to start a new job, get engaged to Kim, buy a new house, and take a vacation to Europe.
I achieved three of the four which is good considering the year we had.
Second, I score my annual goals.
For example — I achieved my financial goal for last year. I actually did well in that goal.
I did not come close to achieving my fitness goal of staying under 200 pounds. In fact, I missed this goal by a lot.
As you can see in the chart below I used to track this goal — not even close. 2020 was not a good year for weight loss.
Third — I identify my top memories, challenges, and lessons learned.
I do this each year and post the results on Facebook. It is an easy way to create a digital archive.
Every year the memories function reminds me of the great things that happened in years past. My top memory for 2020 was marrying Kim.
My top challenge was losing my dad. The biggest lesson learned was that using one word to frame the year worked really well.
What is the key takeaway?
Look back before you move forward in 2021.
I believe the work is worth the effort and will help make 2021 a better year than 2020.
Caution — do not spend too much time looking back. You should spend the majority of your time looking forward, planning for the future, not obsessing about what happened in 2020 — a tough year for all of us.
Like this article — find more like it
I write a blog for my sons called Doug Keating Letter to Sons. I am sharing content from my blog here. I hope you enjoyed it. All feedback is welcome. Thanks for reading it.