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What is the one thing you should do before the new year begins? And how will this one thing help you as you move into the new year?

goals, new year, setting goals, goal setting

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Today we are kicking off a new series all about goal setting. Over the next several episodes together, Holly and I will be discussing various steps in the goal setting process. We believe the first essential step to setting goals is reflecting on the past year.

Why Reflect on the Past:

It’s easy to skip over this especially if you are future oriented and love getting started on new goals and ideas. But taking time to reflect is foundational to the goal setting process. It’s important to know where you’ve been before you can know where you’re going.

Reflecting will also:

  • Help you see how you’ve goal set in the past and how it’s worked for you (or not).
  • Look at how life circumstances affected your goals.
  • Helps you to plan for goals you can attain.
  • Gives you confidence in your future goals.
  • Help you to be smart moving forward.
  • Put you in the right mindset.


We are forgetful. We sometimes forget to take into account all the things we did accomplish over the past year.

Ways to Reflect:

Personality is going to affect how you go about the reflection process.

Ideas to help you reflect on your year:

  • PowerSheets – This tool will give you a lot of prompts and questions to answer. You can take an afternoon and simply jot down the answers at the beginning of the PowerSheets. This is a tool I’ve used and it’s been very helpful for me in slowing down.
  • Take a walk and think and process the past year.
  • Make a quick list, similar to a thankfulness list.
  • Talk to someone you are close to – a spouse, mentor, or friend. This is great if you are verbal processor or extrovert.

Our Words for the Year:

Some people choose a word for the year, and Holly and I both had done this at the start of 2018. We discuss what our words were and how they impacted our year. If you had a word for the year, this is a good starting point for your reflection.

Esther’s word: REFINE.

I picked my word by using the PowerSheets and going through the process outlined there. I thought about what was most important to me in the coming year. I also looked up the definitions of the words I was considering before I chose my word.

PowerSheets and other notebooks

My word gave me an anchor point to come back to throughout the year. Refine meant cutting out anything that wasn’t essential in my life. Going back to my word helped me in making decisions.

Holly’s word: BRAVE.

Holly picked her word very differently than I did. Holly had struggled in the past to choose just one word for the year. But this year, she knew it almost immediately and didn’t have to spend time reflecting. She believes God gave her the word.

Holly shares that her word was a reminder to follow God with a reckless abandon. She has learned to jump into the scary things, embrace her fear, and just keep moving through it. Holly feels her word was the perfect word for her year as she experienced many significant changes during the year.

Reflection Questions to Ask:

After thinking about your word for the year, you can answer the following questions. Holly and I each chat about our answers to these questions.

1. What worked in the past year?

  • Holly started a business!
  • I was able to hit my revenue goal for my business.
  • I also transitioned my website and started the podcast with Holly!

2. Were there any surprises?

  • Holly was surprised that she was able to start the podcast with me. This was not something she had as a goal at the start of the year.
  • I had 3 speaking engagements during the year.
God has bigger plans, and sometimes God throws something into your life that you never expected or anticipated.Click To Tweet

3. What didn’t work for the year?

  • I wanted to declutter my house, but it didn’t happen.
  • I had a goal to create more household and family routines, but this didn’t go as well as I had hoped.
  • Holly had planned to get done her job sooner than she was able to.
  • Holly shares that she was frustrated that she did not keep up with her weight loss progress in 2018.

4. Why didn’t I reach my goals?

It’s important to evaluate the goals that you did not reach and assess why.

It’s important to reflect on why you didn’t accomplish your goals, but also not to dwell on those failures.Click To Tweet

Assess the emotional gravity of the goals you are picking as well as what your capacity is for achieving those goals.

5. What’s next? What are you excited about in the coming year?

  • Holly is excited to see what happens with the podcast in the next year.
  • Holly is looking forward to growing her business in 2019.
  • I’m excited to be more focused, especially in my business.
  • I am also looking forward to making more time for fun.

Your Turn!

We want to encourage you take time to reflect for yourself. You can ask yourself the questions we listed above. We will be posting the questions in our Facebook group when this episode airs, so join us so that we can hear your answers!

You can also use the PowerSheets as we discussed, if you want to go even deeper into your reflection time.

Episode Sponsor: Audible

Today’s show is brought to you by Audible. Audible is offering our listeners a free audiobook with a 30-day trial membership. Just go to estherlittlefield.com/audible and browse the unmatched selection of audio programs – download a title free and start listening.

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goals, goal setting, setting goals, New Year