Look Back For Resolution Success

As 2018 winds down, you may be planning your 2019 resolutions. The beginning of a new year seems like a natural time to set goals and start planning for the future, but you should also look back on the year before jumping into your resolutions! Looking back at previous resolutions and goals can be a great step towards achieving success in the year to come.

If you’ve ever made a resolution or simply set a goal to exercise more, eat better, stress less, improve your finances, or any other aspirations (all goals count!), look back on those efforts to learn about the goals you set for yourself and the ways you have tried to reach them. Then write responses to the following questions for each goal or resolution:

  1. Was it successful? This isn’t a yes or no question ! Maybe you made some progress, but not as much as you were hoping to make. If your goal was to exercise more, taking even one walk is a small success!
  2. What steps did you take? This could include making a plan, tracking your behavior, working with a professional, getting help from your friends and family, etc.
  3. Did anyone in particular help you: a medical professional, family member, friend, coworker, even a furry friend?
Journal writing_Unsplash-598934-ana-tavares
Looking at past successes and failures can help you identify what does and doesn’t work for achieving your goals. (Photo by Ana Tavares)

After you have some things written down about how you did with your previous goals, check out what you have written. Was there a common theme for goals you were able to reach or almost reach? You may find that when you use a specific strategy, you have more success. You may also find that when you use certain strategies, you are rarely successful! The most important thing is taking the time to think about what works for you.

When you put into words all you have done to achieve your goals, you may think about those steps in a new way. For example, if you write down a goal, but can’t think of any steps you took to achieve that goal, you may realize that the goal hadn’t been that important or seemed too big to take on. By reviewing how you have set your goals and the steps you took (or didn’t take) to achieve them, you can get a good idea of what strategies will most likely to lead to your success!

As you charge into a new year, think about any changes you would like to make in your life and use your best strategies to make them happen! By reviewing the past, you can plan even better for the future!

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