Looking Back to Move Forward

Here we are at the end of another year. For some of us it was a great year; for others, not so great; and for some, it may have been a disaster. Regardless of how 2017 may have been, at this moment you are looking at a new beginning.

As you look ahead to 2018, you may be thinking it is an opportunity for a new start. Perhaps you are anticipating a fresh start in business, family life, personal life, spiritual life or some important relationships you may have been neglecting. Whatever the possibilities, I offer a few observations that I hope will be helpful in how you approach 2018.

Do a review of 2017. Before you start planning and setting goals for 2018, it will be helpful to review the past year. A review is important for at least two reasons. One, you get to celebrate the success you had over the past year. Identifying and celebrating successes serves as motivation to pursue more success in 2018.
Secondly, review helps you identify the mistakes you made and (hopefully) lessons learned from those mistakes so you can avoid them going forward. Remember, mistakes should not be viewed as failures but as opportunities for learning and growth.

Evaluate your life. Look at the different areas of your life: health, spiritual, family, career, etc. Evaluate each on a scale of 1-10. Then take the highest score(s) and evaluate them asking the question: What did I do in those areas that resulted in a high score in this area? Commit to doing more of the same as you move forward.

Next, take the lowest score(s) and ask the question: What did I do or not do that lead to such a low score? Consider how to avoid those same pitfalls as you move forward.

Be intentional with the choices you make. Know what things are working to help you to become the person you want to be. Avoid those things – whether actions or attitudes – that are keeping you from becoming the person you want to become.

Prioritize what you want to work on in 2018. This is where many of us struggle or fall short when it comes to setting our goals. We know there are things we would like to achieve in the coming year; however, we have not prioritized by level of importance what needs to get done first. We end up attempting many things, spreading our resources too thin and, in the end, accomplishing little.
When you prioritize goals, you can better decide where to focus your resources and thus are more likely to achieve your goals. Remember the saying: “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” Prioritizing your goals gives you something to aim.

Get help. Very few of us achieve our goals by keeping to ourselves. We need the help of others if only for some accountability. We need to engage the help of those who spend the most time around us to hold us accountable for what we say we will do.

We need them to celebrate our successes and to provide support and encouragement when we encounter failure. With the human condition as it is, it is not a matter of if we will fail, but when we will fail. However, accountability and support can ensure that a “fail” is only a temporary setback. To accomplish our life’s goals, we need others to come alongside us.

As you start this new year with all its hopes and possibilities, take some time to reflect on 2017 and be intentional on what goals you are going to work on to make 2018 your best year yet.


If you would like help in achieving your goals as a leader or in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at errol@errolcarrim.com to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.