Reflecting on This Year to Set Myself up for Success Next Year

Reflecting on This Year to Set Myself up for Success Next Year

As I wrap-up another year and begin to consider 2014, I thought it might be helpful to share some thoughts around how to make your goal planning and the realization of those goals, more successful in the coming year.


Review this year

What we’ve learned from successful CEOs, entrepreneurs, and executives, is that when they review their previous years goals, they tend to set more aggressive goals for the year coming up. The other thing I do is write an annual top ten list (it usually ends up being a top 20-25 list) of what made this year so successful in my Four Arenas. Even in some of my most difficult years in business and in my personal life, I’ve realized that when I reflect back on the successes that year is reframed in my mind in a positive light that gets me excited to plan for the year ahead:

  • Managing Self (gym, reading, sleep, health, etc.)
  • Developing Relationships (with my wife, daughter, family, friends, colleagues, customers, etc.)
  • Focusing on Career/Business (financial goals, metrics/KPI’s, milestones, etc.)
  • Sharing Resources (charity work, donations, sharing my talents and experience without compensation, etc.)

Match goals to values

When I set my goals for the upcoming year I use my personal core values as the framework. That way I know that when I achieve my goals they are in direct alignment with my top five core values:

  • Health
  • Relationship
  • Freedom
  • Wealth
  • Growth

Figure out what didn’t work and why

The other thing I do is consider what happened in the cases where I didn’t achieve one or more of the goals I set. This helps me avoid setting myself up for failure by either setting goals that are in conflict with each other, not leveraging opportunities to combine goals (spend more time with friends, cardio fitness, & skiing goals work well together), or being overly aggressive with my goals to the point where other goals that are more important to me suffer (hitting a work goal but burning myself out in the process or taking that extra time away from family time). My good friend and colleague, Co-Founder of McNeill Nakamoto Recruiting Firm, shares her thoughts and a great link to another blog post about why most New Years’ Resolutions fail and what you can do about it in her blog post


Mike Desjardins

Mike is a a graduate of UBC’s Sauder School of Business with a Bachelors of Commerce, Mike has spent the past 21 years transforming businesses.

  • nliddell2013
    Posted at 03:54h, 23 December Reply

    Hi Mike, I really liked your blog post about goal setting and past-year evaluation. You have always been very disciplined about your approach to the 4 areas.

    I wanted to suggest an extension of that post, for those not as disciplined as you. A method to reflect on what you are most proud of, and what didn’t go as well as it should as a look back. Then tie to goal setting for the coming year, and the link to values. It’s a way not to alienate your clients and readers who, well, slacked right off when it came to goal setting for 2013. 😉


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