Look Behind As You Look Ahead To The New Year
By Anne Gottlieb Angerman
Communiqué, January 2004

Now is a great time to look back on the past year and gain some perspective on what you've learned and accomplished over the last twelve months. Conducting a personal year-end review is a wonderful exercise if you make it significant and meaningful. To be worth your time, your review and the creation of a plan for next year have to touch on issues close to you and how you really want to live your life.

Seven Questions to Ask Yourself At the Start of the New Year

  1. How happy have I been with my job?
  2. How happy have I been with my personal life?
  3. How happy have I been with what I do for myself?
  4. Did I do something regularly that expresses my most strongly held values?
  5. If there was one thing that I could change about my job, what would it be?
  6. What did I leave out of my life that I wish was there?
  7. Who is a person whose life I admire?

What should your 2004 game plan look like?

A good goal has a positive end. It should be something you want, not something you hate or think you should do. "I am going to exercise more" is one of those goals that sounds nice, but will undoubtly end up on the back shelf. "I am going to find some kind of exercise that I enjoy. I will walk three times a week for 30 minutes."

A good strategy should move you toward something that you find enjoyable, fulfilling, productive and rewarding. What do you find especially fulfilling in your life? What do you do that makes you lose all sense of time? Increasing what you find meaningful in your life can have a significant positive benefit for you, and for people around you.

A good strategy should move you away from things and people you find unproductive, unfulfilling, meaningless or unrewarding. What do you hate doing? Who do you not enjoy talking on the phone with? What feels like a waste of time? Here is fertile ground for goals. Decreasing what you find unrewarding in your life can start giving you a sense of internal control over what happens to you.

Change is difficult. Take baby steps; you can accomplish those goals, and lead the life you so desire.

Anne Gottlieb Angerman, MS, the director of Career Matters is a career strategist and coach that helps people find satisfying careers. She can be reached at anneangerman@earthlink.net or 720-489-9409.