Goal Setting Step One: Reflect

Posted on: Jan 07, 2014

Categories: Goal Setting

ReflectEvery year, my wife and I do a Goal Setting workshop together to help us assess where we’ve been, where we are, where we want to go, and what we need to do to get there. Taking part in an annual review of our finances, our family life, and our careers has been highly instrumental in helping us achieve our dreams.

That’s why I want to provide you, my faithful readers, with the chance to join us. Throughout the month of January, I have made my Goal Setting Workbook available as a FREE downloadable resource. I’ll also be blogging about the key elements of goal setting throughout the month, so make sure to stay tuned for my posts in the upcoming weeks.

Goal setting is the reason people achieve their dreams. You’re not going to move forward in your career, in your relationships, or in your personal development by accident. Goals orient your desires and turn your dreams into reality. The only difference between a dream and a goal is a deadline, and that’s what my Goal Setting Workbook is all about.

The first stage of Goal Setting is reflection. I’m a firm believer in the idea that unless you know your past, you’ll be destined to repeat it. But I don’t want you to reflect on just the negative things that happened this past year in order to decide what needs improvement. I also want you to reflect on the positive, on the surprise successes, and on the things that have worked well and the improvement that you’ve already begun.

Your rearview mirror is smaller than your windshield because you’re supposed to put more focus on what’s ahead of you than what’s behind you while you’re driving. But for the moment, I want you to put your energy into considering what you’ve already learned from your past experiences so that you can create the future you want.

This week:

  • You’ll need a journal, a pen, and time to yourself. A life worth living is a life worth recording, so take notes as you reflect.

  • Schedule a “phone call” to yourself. Find a quiet place three times this week and take 30 minutes to reflect on the last year. Add these times to your calendar the same way you would with an important conference call. Don’t begin Goal Setting until you’ve spent the hour and a half reflecting, because this is the first and one of the most important steps.

  • During your time of reflection, consider how you did financially this year, how you did with self-development, how you did in your relationships, whether your relationship with your significant other is in better or worse shape than this time last year, how you are progressing in your career, how fulfilling your work is, how you’re balancing your work with your life, whether you like the decisions you’ve made regarding food, health, and exercise, and whether you have or need to take a personal getaway or a family vacation. (This is just to get you started. There are many other areas you may wish to consider during your reflection.)

  • Do one of the hardest reflection exercises there is. Take five minutes and really look at yourself in the mirror. Say your name and your age out loud and think carefully about who you are today. Reflect on your reflection and decide who you want to see in the mirror next year.

Get your FREE download of my Goal Setting Workbook here.


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