Reflections on 2007

Today is the last day of 2007. Many people are busy setting New Years Resolutions like “I will lose 20lbs”, “I will stop smoking”, “I will go to the gym twice a week”. The sort of resolutions/targets/goals – whatever you want to call them – that have often fizzled out by the end of January.

Two posts I wrote recently (Do you have passion or desire?, are goals necessary?) have highlighted my uncertainties about goal setting. Its something I have been studying – partly because I have seldom got it right myself. I’ll come back to this in the next posts. But there are two things I have always got right.

One, January 1st isn’t the only day you can start new goals. In many ways its a poor day. Many set goals, like those above, based on consuming less – be it food, smoke, alcohol, money. This reflects a holiday season of excess rather than any real motivation to change.

The second thing I feel I do get right is reflecting on the previous year. The process of reflection is something I (and many others) have had to embrace professionally. For example if I do any training or study I ask myself questions afterwards – what have I learned from this experience? how will this improve my practice? what do I need to change or do when I return to work?

Reflective questions generally start with Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. They shouldn’t be answerable with a simple “yes” or “no”! To reflect on a whole year you can approach from different directions, perhaps looking at it chronologically or looking at different aspects of your life, such as family, work, spiritual. But it may be easiest to start off selecting a few of the questions below and writing out some thoughts. Don’t over complicate!

What is good about my life?

What were the significant events of the year? What gave me joy or happiness?

What were the fun events of 2007?

What have been my successes?

What hasn’t gone so well?

What did I learn this year?What would I repeat?

What do I want to change?

What were my accomplishments?

What places did I visit?

What worked – why?

What didn’t work – why?

Who am I closest to?

Who are the important people in my life?

What significant reading did I do?

What was the biggest problem I solved in 2007?

What cultural events did I attend?

In what ways did I grow?

What in my life is improving?

What in my life is declining?

What world events do I had an impact on me?

What was the best day of 2007?

Knowing what I know now, what would I do differently next year? Most of the questions are worded to focus on the positives (as you’d probably expect from me!) – even when things haven’t gone so well. Refection should be a process of learning and building – not beating yourself up. If you have thought about or started a self confidence portfolio, this would be an ideal time to pick out things to act as an ongoing reminder of what you have achieved.

Don’t feel you have to answer all the questions, some cover similar ground. But have a go. If you do want to set goals or resolutions you’ll be better placed to know what is important and what motivates you. Either way – I hope 2008 is a great year for you.

mark mcclure January 2, 2008 at 3:30 am

Hello David,
Here are 12 I am sharing publicly. They are in no particular order but peace-of-mind is a true #1 for me. Without it, the others tend to become mirages.

1-What is good about my life?
Peace of mind

2-What were the significant events of the year?What gave me joy or happiness?
Starting my business
Seeing my daughter being able to lift and hold her dog for the first time.

3-What were the fun events of 2007?
Making giant soap bubbles!

4-What have been my successes?
Weight loss from 82 to 78 Kg (reduce chocolate, beer and eat last meal by 8pm)

5-What did I learn this year?What would I repeat?
An employee mindset is dependent.
Breaking my employee mindset 🙂

6-Who am I closest to?
My family.

7-Who are the important people in my life?
My family.

8-What significant reading did I do?
Read “The Goal” by Eliyahu M. Goldratt (all about the Theory of Constraints)
Re-read “The Inner Games of Tennis” by Tim Gallwey (a beautiful life affirming book)

9-What was the biggest problem I solved in 2007?
Unshackling my employee mindset.

10-What in my life is improving?
Self-belief in what I have to offer the world. (in the humblest yet boldest sense possible)

11-What in my life is declining?
My ability to out sprint my daughter! Gasp…

12-Knowing what I know now, what would I do differently next year?
Get stuck in! (old rugby union mantra from my school days)

Monika@The Writers Manifesto January 2, 2008 at 8:02 am

Hi David,

Last year was a turner for me in many ways and even though I’m too lazy (sorry) to point out my pointers here like Marc so nicely did, I can honestly say that finding my passion for writing and now for niche marketing has been the two major events for me.

Being passionate about what we do is in my eyes the pinnacle of daily happiness and eventual success.

Sorry I haven’t stopped by lately, I haven’t forgotten you and will aim to do better this year. (there is one resolution)

I wish you all the best for 2008 David and may all your drems come true.

David Rogers January 2, 2008 at 12:13 pm

Thank you both for starting my day (and effectively year!) with such positive comments. monika – I will follow your journey into niche marketing with interest, as finding you was one of the bonus’s of starting my blog last year.
Mark – Michael was correct – whilst I’m a bit unsure how those real estate sites will help, you and your site have been a great delight to have found.
Best wishes to you both for 2008

Monika@The Writers Manifesto January 3, 2008 at 3:00 pm


You are too kind with your words but thank you for the nice compliment. 🙂 I intend to write about my niche experiences on the blog since it can help others take the next step.

So do keep posted.

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