Usually at Christmas time I get a little melancholy. It’s not because of Christmas. It’s because it’s another year almost over and as I look back on the year that’s been I find it full of awesome experiences and opportunities, growth and challenges. At the same time I also realize there are personal goals and dreams that maybe I haven’t realized in the past year. Things I set out to achieve and either missed the target by a little bit or by a lot. When I look back on 2013 I see a year of stretching and growth. Of opportunities I couldn’t have foreseen. And challenges I never imagined. When I look at some of my goals I see me racing ahead in areas of professional goals around work and development and severely behind in personal goals of health and well being. Make no mistake I’m not critiquing myself and regretting what I haven’t achieved. Rather I’m spending the time reflecting on why I haven’t made progress in some of my personal goals (I'm good at hitting the work ones). I’m asking the tough questions - was it circumstances that prevented me, or was it me?
If I’m brutally honest with myself the reasons I haven’t achieved some of my personal goals is because I got in the way of them. The way I see it I’ve done one (or more) of 3 things.
- I let circumstances rule my behavior. I made excuses for not taking actions that would move me closer to my goal. I let my circumstances of being busy and traveling for work dictate my choices, my behavior and my actions. I chose to let others influence my life.
- I chose not to take action towards achieving my goals each day. To achieve a goal you have to break it down to many small actions and choices every day. If you don’t do this you’ll never make progress. More times than not I deliberately chose not to take actions that would move me towards my goals. Makes me wonder if they were really goals at all or just wishful thinking.
- Perhaps the most serious of all… I made a goal of something I really didn’t want to achieve and sabotaged it right from the start. Why would I work towards a fictitious goal. One I don’t really believe in deep down. I realised for a variety of reasons I set goals that I didn't really believe in or want. They were noble and good, but not something I really cared about deep down.
So what am I going to do differently in 2014. Well for starters I’m going to really think long and hard about what it is I what to achieve. I’m going to write it down. I’m going to make it actionable. I’m going to make sure that every day I can make decisions and actions that will take me closer to those goals. And most importantly I’m going to be mindful of what I’m trying to achieve and why. I’m not sure if I’ll succeed or not, but I think I’m finally ready to make some of my personal and private goals a priority in 2014.