January is an excellent opportunity to reflect on the previous year and plan for a successful 2014. Effective executives understand the importance of self-reflection and planning, so we’ve provided you with 10 questions to help you build on the lessons you learned last year and develop goals that will ensure that 2014 is your best year yet.
There is a physiological reason to write down goals for the year. That’s because with each success, our brain releases a chemical called dopamine. When dopamine flows into the brain’s reward pathway (the part responsible for pleasure, learning and motivation), we not only feel greater concentration but are inspired to re-experience the activity that caused the chemical release in the first place.
It’s important that you focus on setting realistic and achievable goals. When noting your goals, it’s important to remember that setting the bar too high with goals can actually be counterproductive. Each time we fail, the brain is drained of dopamine making it not only hard to concentrate but also difficult to learn from what went wrong.
The questions are taken from the book; “Your Best Year Yet! 10 Questions to Change Your Life Forever” by Jinny S. Ditzler. The book has been translated into 12 languages, in its 19th printing in the UK and has been motivating and inspiring people for over 17 years.
The questions are all about looking honestly at your life, seeing clearly what works and what doesn’t, then setting clear and specific goals in different areas over the next 12 months.
- What did I Accomplish?
- What Were My Biggest Disappointments?
- What Did I Learn?
- How Do I Limit Myself and How Can I Stop?
- What Are My Personal Values?
- What Roles Do I Play In My Life? (manager, team member, father, wife, teacher, student, friend and so on)
- Which Role Is My Major Focus for the Next Year?
- What Are My Goals For Each Role?
- What Are My Top 10 Goals for the Next Year?
- How Can I Make Sure I Achieve My Top Ten Goals?
They may seem like simple easy questions at first. However, if you take the time to complete the questions it can provide you with a fresh approach, clarity and a strong focus for the year ahead.
If you want to take the questions further, then each chapter of the book is dedicated to each of the 10 questions.
Once you have set your direction, stick to your guns and navigate through rough and rocky waters during the coming year. Feel free to share your answers with us. We’d love to hear from you! Good luck!