YEAR END REVIEW: ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
By Tania Tetrault Vrga
I promised myself I wouldn’t write about resolutions this year.
My gym isn’t particularly busy in January, it actually gets busier in February and March. I think that’s because when most new year’s resolutions fail, we begin to ask ourselves the right questions, the kind of questions that bring us closer to our true motivation.
What if you didn’t have to wait until February before you asked the right questions?
What if you used the new year, or the new decade for that matter, as an opportunity for course correction? You may already have completed a personal annual review or set some resolutions last week. In this exercise, we go beyond accomplishments and resolutions. We delve into what went wrong last year, and what we can learn from it. If you make the same resolutions every year, because you never actually reach your goal, this could be a nice twist on new year’s resolutions.
Here’s what you’re going to do.
Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle of the page. The left side of the page is for 2019 and the right side is for 2020.
In the 2019 column, you will answer 3 questions.
(1) What did you accomplish and what skills did you master in order to reach that goal? For example, if you lost weight, you probably had to learn how to prepare healthy foods. Try to get as specific as possible. In addition to learning to prep your food, probably schedule time weekly to do so. Write down the exact habits that changed the game for you.
(2) Next, what did you fail to accomplish and what skills or habits were you lacking? We all have failed resolutions, goals we never quite achieved. This part of the exercise isn’t meant to make you feel bad. We simply want to learn from it. We want to translate goals into skills, habits and behaviours. For example, if you wanted to get stronger, but didn’t because you were injured, perhaps the skill you lacked was proper weightlifting technique.
(3) Finally, at the bottom, describe the consequences of not accomplishing your goal. How does it make you feel? How does it affect your lifestyle? If you got injured, are you worried that it might affect your mobility or your ability to complete household chores?
On the 2020 side of the page, we have 3 more questions.
(1) What do you want to accomplish and what skills or habits will you need to master to get there? If your goal is similar to last year’s, have a look at the left side of the page and transfer over anything you think could apply for this year. The goal is to go one step further than setting the goal and actually map out what skills and daily habits you will need to get there. It should be easy to determine whether you’ve learned the skill or completed the habit on a regular basis. Be specific.
(2) What did you learn from last year’s resolutions? Next refer back to the second row in your 2019 column, what you failed to accomplish in 2019, and write down how you will avoid this mistake in 2020. How will you use what you learned from 2019 to be successful in 2020? More often than not, we think in terms of the end result, without translating realistically into daily habits. Look back on how you could have made those daily habits a bit easier.
(3) Finally, at the bottom right, describe the absolute worst that could happen if you risk it all to go for your goal? What if you fail? How will that feel? It’s ok to get emotional here. It’s important to look at the consequences of going for it and failing, vs. the consequences of not going after it. This is where the real insights are held.
This exercise has multiple benefits, it clarifies and deepens motivation with a cost/benefit analysis, and it helps you come up with actionable steps to help you reach your goals.
if you need a bit more help in the goal setting department, you’re in luck! Did you know that we offer goal setting to new and existing members.
Get in-depth goal setting and screening in our 90-minute personal training consultation, click here to grab your spot.
If you prefer to just have a look around and chat about your goals without an on-the-floor assessment, click here to book a No Sweat Intro.We know that walking into a new gym can be intimidating and that starting a new fitness plan can be daunting. But we are here to help. Everyone starts with a No-Sweat Intro. Schedule an appointment today and let’s discuss how we can help you achieve your full potential!