Look Back To Move Forward`

Want to start something new?  Make progress on a project?  Develop a different approach to something?

We often come to the beginning of the year with great intentions of starting with a clean slate and re-organizing our lives into some fresh version of perfection.

I want to encourage you to start in a different place this year:  before looking ahead, look back.

Look back over the last year and notice the progress you have made.

·        How far have you come?

·        Where did you begin 2017, and where are you ending it?

·        What new things have you learned?

·        What projects and people have you led and what was the outcome?

I find that when people add the “Review” phase to their planning process, they end up with a more accurate picture of what is possible.

Here are 4 questions to take into your Review Process:

1.      Where did I start last year, and where am I today?

                      In my relationships?  My work?  My personal growth?

2.      What contributed to my successes?

3.      What obstructed my progress on the things I wanted to accomplish?

4.      Based on what I have accomplished, what can I realistically expect to accomplish in 2018?

With these pieces of information, you can step back and reflect on how you handle, plan and prepare for change, and decide what needs to be done differently in the coming year as you approach a new set of Desired Outcomes.

What I like about this process is that we can see clearly that we are capable of change.  We can also get a grasp on our approach to change.  Is there something about the way we approach a new challenge that we could shift in order to get a better outcome in the future?  We notice how we get in our own way.  More importantly, we notice how much we have accomplished.

The next thing to do is celebrate your successes!

Yes, really!  Celebrate!

Take a moment, sit back and smile.  You moved through a lot of complex problems.  You learned a slew of new things.  You handled a number of unexpected obstacles successfully.  You arrive at this New Year with a new set of skills and talents.

Cement the things you learned by writing them down.

This is your “What I learned and accomplished in 2017” list.

Take a moment to savor your success.  You deserve to begin your New Year from a place of strength and achievement, and a sense of possibility ahead.   


Happy New Year! Wow, 2016 flew by and now it is 2017. It is a year that has been on my mind for many years. My oldest daughter graduates high school and will start college this fall. It is both an exciting year and a bit sad that our first child will not be here daily in the fall. However, this is the desired outcome that we hoped for and planned for since she was a baby. Thus, we are going to have multiple celebrations this year for this accomplishment.

I hope you had a great holiday!  I know many of you are debating whether you should set resolutions this year.  Many of us find resolutions so hard to stick to and we come away from the process feeling worse about ourselves. Thus, I would recommend that we do it a bit differently. First, let’s take a moment to look at 2016.  Here are a few questions for you to ponder. It is okay to go away for a while and answer these questions. I will still be here when you get back!

What were your greatest successes in 2016?

What are you most proud of from 2016?

What did you learn the most about yourself in 2016?

What goal did you not accomplish in 2016?

If you could have a do over in 2016, what would you have done differently?

Okay, hopefully you had some interesting insights and maybe took a few notes on 2016. Now, I would like to do an assessment with you called The Wheel of Life. 



The above diagram is one of my favorite tools to use with my coaching clients.  Feel free to add or subtract categories—you might not care about physical environment and you might really care about spirituality. It is your wheel so create it to meet your needs.  Write a score from 0 (low; need to do a ton of work in this area) to 10 (high; things are about perfect here.) Now, notice your scores. Are you pleased with your scores? What stands out for you?

This is where we move to desired outcomes. Given your scores, what would you like your wheel to look like at the end of 2017? Here are some thoughts for developing your desired outcomes.

What are 1-2 areas you would like to focus on in 2017?

Set some specific outcomes (SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely).

What barriers do you anticipate facing that may keep you from hitting your outcomes?

What strengths do you have to help you overcome your barriers?

Who can be your accountability partner?

How will you celebrate each of your desired outcomes?

I am curious about your thinking. Are you excited about 2017? Nervous? Optimistic? All are possible and probably appropriate. My hope for you is that you are intentional and plan out some of the year for yourself. I think the danger of resolutions can be that you either achieve the resolution or you do not. I believe desired outcomes leave more gray area and more possibilities while leveraging your strengths. I wish you the best of luck, patience and joy for 2017. Let us know how you are doing and if we can help you in any way. Here’s to an awesome 2017 filled with many amazing outcomes!