Where do you want to improve?

Each year, for the past decade, in an effort to improve my overall well-being, I carved out some time to consider areas where I wanted to improve. This exercise came about as a result of attending a former employer’s annual conference. The company Transitions Unlimited ran several workshops on improving overall performance. One session in particular stuck with me. Participants had to identify several areas to develop. After the meeting I decided my efforts would not be in vain. I kept my goals fresh in my mind, taking stock of my list on a regular basis. To ensure that I would achieve what I wanted to achieve, I routinely assessed the actions I took. I considered what worked and what did not work. I stayed focused and made strong advancements. This resulted in a good feeling, and good feelings are happily repeated!

Investing time to seriously consider what might be done to enhance the overall life experience is an endeavor worth taking. The good news is people do possess the power to change, grow, and evolve. It’s not easy, but it can be accomplished.

Start by asking yourself what you’d like to accomplish this year. Do you want to build on an existing strength, minimize a weakness, take a class, or reduce stress? Maybe you want to eat better, spend more time with family, begin to study a new language, or possibly meditate more often.

Without judgment, assess where you currently are versus where you’d like be.

Develop your list with a minimum of 5 objectives. Take a holistic approach, incorporate both professional and personal goals. While compiling your thoughts, push aside the word “wish”. Rather, be fair and honest with yourself about what you’d truly like to realize. Think about the necessary actions you’d have to take to safeguard positive results.

When developing your list, ensure you:

  • Set specific and measurable objectives. Ask yourself what you could accomplish by reasonably stretching yourself. Be straightforward and fair.
  • Consider building on an effort you previously worked on, but haven’t yet fully realized. Over the years, I’ve found that several topics have made an encore appearance on the list. This isn’t because progress wasn’t made, it’s because it was and I wanted to ensure continued improvement.
  • Look at doing something kind for yourself, explore your creative side, or make a professional change.
  • Think about and list which specific steps you’ll have to take in order to move forward.
  • Recognize appropriate time frames for each step in the process.
  • Hang the list where you’ll see it regularly. Check in as often as necessary in order to help yourself remain focused. No less than once a week, review the actions you’ve taken and couple them with the results of those actions.
  • Celebrate your successes, look for opportunities where you might do better, and recalibrate if necessary.
  • No judgement is allowed.
  • Keep in mind that reaching your goal is a process. It takes time but with each step you move closer towards your target. Embrace and respect your progress.
  • Learn from the all the challenges along the way. Find the value in each experience.
  • Do not lose sight of how much you improve during a particular year. As time moves quickly we sometimes dismiss or even forget the small gains. Acknowledging each footprint created to reach your intended end will encourage you. Results do not come overnight; success is part of a longer process.

Enriching yourself will not only enhance your own life, but you might find it may also enrich the lives of those around you.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Originally published at medium.com