These last few weeks of the year, I try to put my feet up and take a breath so I can look back on what has been accomplished and get motivated for what lies ahead. I’ll admit this habit is easily ignored, especially if you arrive at the end of the year worn out or feeling frustrated, but worth the effort.
I’m probably not unique when I say my year had real lows and amazing highs. The Lows are where I typically focus (I’m told this is human nature so don’t feel too bad if you do this too). Though I don’t enjoy them, the Lows are helpful tools if we reflect on them, adjusting our thinking and actions to move forward in new ways. If you aren’t willing to use them like this – then they just suck.
Here’s my approach, maybe you’ll find it useful in tackling your year-end review: begin by Journaling or adding a Thought on those Lows – what where they? Why were they awful? What would have made them better? What can you do differently? Don’t dwell here. Pick the big, impactful stuff, mull it over for their usefulness and move on.
Next, the High points. We seem to gloss over these (human nature again) but really work at identifying them. I use my calendar, and in a pinch my email, to help spark my thinking. Odds are your list of Highs is smaller than the Lows to start. After a little thoughtful examination, they often are more in sync then you might expect. Don’t just list these, contemplate these as well. What did you do that enabled the success? How can you build on that? After that you have the makings of a road map for how to approach your new goals.
Whichever goals you chose, research shows you’ll have a higher success rate if you formalize it verses just winging it. Write them down. Share your intentions with other people. (Yes, I Maple mine, with a Reminder to come back to them. It helps me stay focused.) Finally, I consider why I am setting that goal (another great Journaling exercise). This connects it to a passion or a personal value and generates energy and excitement around it.
For me introducing Maple was an incredible High Point and the new year is all about building on what we have and bringing it to people who will benefit from it. The building part is a challenge because we need to balance a lot of big ideas with the realities of the cost to build them. Getting the word out is a challenge of a different kind, because I am stretching out of my comfort zone. At the same time, I’m thrilled about the benefits of getting Maple into more people’s hands. Reality tells me, with this agenda, there will be Highs and there will be Lows in 2018. I simply need to prepare and roll with them.
Speaking of what’s coming in 2018, there is a lot in store for Maple. A bigger sneak peek is coming in the near future, but for now here are a few tidbits. Scott blogged about the Maple Insider app getting an enhancement to select notifications. If you are using the Maple app, you’ll see similar capabilities soon there too. (How awesome to get your Maple reminders on your phone!) There will also be new capability for Thought Partners, Goals and Trackers. (You wanted to create your own and we are working to bring that to you.)
So, as I look back there is an awful lot to be grateful for and proud of. And as I look forward, despite being appropriately fearful of those big goals, there is an awful lot to be excited about.
The Maple journey continues. Onward!
Have a safe and happy New Year!
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