Search This Blog

Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday Morning: Your Best Year Yet!

I spend a lot of time thinking about goal setting and achieving. In the past I identified Mondays as the time when I would focus on goals in particular for the week. I have experimented with many goal setting programs over the years, and there are a few that I return to year after year. In particular, I would like to discuss one of my favorite books over the years and recommend this book as a very useful tool for structuring your best year yet: Your Best Year Yet! by Jinny S. Ditzler (click here for the book).

The book was an outgrowth of an annual workshop of the same name. The book's basic premise is that we should spend about three hours each year answering 10 questions, the answers to which will provide us with the necessary framework to have our best year yet. I recommend reading this book, because it contains a lot of material to flesh out each question and answer any ancillary questions that might arise during the exercise, and the book provides additional goal setting techniques that I will not address in this article. What I write here is a small portion of a much bigger whole, and you will find this book quite useful.

Question 1 asks us to remember what we achieved last year. At the time I first wrote this article (1/3/2011) I had just completed my 2010 annual report for the university, I therefore knew exactly how to answer question one with what I achieved that year in terms of recitals, classes, creative works, and travel. I was pleased with my lengthy list, and I understood better why I felt so "busy" all that year.

Questions 2 and 3 ask us to look back at our disappointments and learn from them. We should think back to what our disappointments and frustrations were and see if we can glean a lesson from them that can be set up as a principle for 2011.

Question 4 asks us to examine our limiting beliefs and create ways to turn them around into statements that empower us. If we examine the excuses or justifications we make, we may discover that we set ourselves up for failure before we have even begun. One way to uncover these limiting beliefs is to examine closely those areas of our lives in which we do not do or get what we want and look closely at how we explain that failure to ourselves. Once we discover what limiting statements we cling to, we can then re-write that script into more positive statements that will empower us to achieve.

Question 5 asks us to examine what is most important to us in our lives. This question asks us to focus on the personal values that we think are the most central to our being and the way we live.

Questions 6, 7, and 8 ask us to focus on the various roles we play in our different life areas. My list looks something like: teacher, musician, writer, blogger, podcaster, speaker, violinist, pianist, faculty member, wife, step mom, dog owner, alpaca owner, donkey owner, daughter, sister, aunt, friend. As you can see, the list can be lengthy, but that is important to consider in our busy lives. Perhaps there is a role I need to let go, a new one I should add, or one where I should focus more of my time. After I factor in my personal values, I examine how my current life reflects my values in my various roles. Finally, I consider what goals I want to set for each of my roles.

Question 9 asks what my top ten goals are for the next year. The author sets out a method to prioritize this list and set up a Best Year Yet Plan to include all the material developed by the questions.

Question 10 asks us to examine how we can ensure that we achieve our top ten goals. The author suggests several useful tools to develop a system that will lead us forward toward progress and success.

The book and the 10 questions are set forth in a way that will help you answer the 10 questions and develop your list of goals and priorities. Even though I read this book every year, I find the book new and refreshing each time, and I never tire of the discoveries I make as I work through the question and answer process.

Happy Practicing!

----- Paula -----

© 2016 by Paula E. Bird

No comments:

Post a Comment