As the end of December quickly approaches, many of us are doing what we do every year – creating New Year’s resolutions. Most of the time, these are the same old resolutions we promise ourselves we will work on every single year, but as the saying goes, history often repeats itself. Since 2019 is almost here, and we have all had our fair share of up’s and down’s, it is important to reflect on where we have been, where we have ended up, where we want to go, and what steps need to be taken to get there. In the end, whether your resolutions revolve around building your business or simply improving your personal, physical, and mental health – which in turn helps you improve and grow your business – we all have inventories, resolutions, and action plans that need to be well-thought out before the end of the year.

Putting Emphasis on the Areas You Did Succeed in This Year

To start a solid, well-founded, and positive evaluation process of the previous year, it is important to start with where you succeeded. What areas of your life are you proud of that you have worked on and seen growth in throughout 2018? In what ways did you work hard on these areas? What aspects of your life, business, and mental health do you see success in? What personal qualities of yourself do you feel have grown in the past year that you could bring forward into 2019? By reflecting on your personal strengths from the past year that have allowed you to reach any short-term and long-term goals, you can start to understand the areas that will benefit you, your business, and any other goals you may have going into 2019.

What About the “Failures” of 2018?

It is important to address the use of the term “failure”. Negative talk through connotative words such as “failure” do not help anybody. Throughout the course of year, however, many of us may have felt like failures, or that we failed at a certain situation or business opportunity. However, when reflecting on any previous failures throughout 2018, it is important to examine the context surrounding the entire situation from a more objective perspective. It is difficult to remain objective in the moment of a tense situation, or even a few months after. By taking the time to reevaluate your life in the past year, there has been enough time to distance yourself from the emotionally tense situation, which can lead to clearer objectivity.

So – think of a situation from 2018 where you felt like you failed. Maybe you feel like you failed because you did not stick to last year’s New Year’s resolution. Or maybe you feel like you failed at reaching all of the business and spiritual goals you had. While these situations can become difficult, every situation leads to growth of some sort. After reflecting on a particular “failed” situation you experienced this year, think back on how those situations played out. Did that situation allow you to learn from your mistakes? Were you able to grow in any way from a tough situation? What were the snowball effects of that “failure” – such as did it lead to other positive learning experiences or areas of growth? Or did it lead to more difficulties that pushed you to your mental, physical, and spiritual limits? Through objective exploration of the different experiences you have had throughout this year, you can start to take inventory, reflect on what worked and what did not work, and move forward into your plan for 2019.

Planning for the New Year

You have reflected on successes, failures, areas of growth, and areas that you could spend more time focusing on going into the New Year. Now, you must start working towards evaluating the ways in which you want to see more growth and/or continue to hone new skills you have acquired throughout the year. This personal inventory then allows you to start setting viable intentions and goals for 2019. However, it is important to stress that this entire inventory process is about discovering realistic and attainable goals. As many of you have seen through your personal inventories, there were many goals that were set for ourselves last year that did not pan out – that we did not stick to. In hopes of avoiding goals that we will never really focus on because they are simply unattainable – like trying to lose fifty pounds right away – it is vital to focus on what we can do through an objective reflection into 2017.

Once there is a clear list or outline of the areas of your life and business that you would like to see growth in throughout 2019, start planning short-term and long-term goals for 2019. In doing so, there is a tangible way throughout the year for you to keep on track with your goals. Having long-term goals is always essential to growth, but without the short-term, attainable goals, there is no realistic way to achieve any long-term goal. Through serious, objective reflection, setting short-term and long-term intentions and goals for 2019 can help you find success while improving your ability to commit to the intentions you set for yourself.