Tomorrow is Samhain, for some, the Witches’ New Year. This is the time when I review my previous year’s goals, reflect on what I have accomplished, and those that remain incomplete. It has been an extremely good year, with many of my goals checked off. Still, there were a couple that remained unmet. Those goals were glaring at me, lurking on my list without the thick, black strikethrough shouting “done” However, I didn’t fret or berate myself. No, instead I gave myself some slack. Because I know that last year’s goals easily become this year’s challenge.
I must admit, this has been a process for me. There was a time when I would become upset if my goals or “to do” list had anything remaining beyond the time I’d allotted for completion. When I didn’t get things done I would become angry with myself and then create another more stringent list and timeline to get it accomplished. Then the cycle would repeat itself – that is until I got a little older and wiser.
It took some self-analysis and reflection to realize I was setting myself up for failure. Not only was I giving myself unreasonable time frames, I wasn’t allowing for that thing called Life, which loved to throw a wrench into my perfectly allotted time schedule. For a short while I even stopped creating goals for myself. My reasoning? If I could only accomplish one or two things out of 10, why have any goals at all. Then I realized that instead of looking at my list as being incomplete and feeling like a failure, I should focus on what was finished. Yep, that simple. Guilt and regret vanished. In its place grew a renewed sense of triumph and purpose. As I’ve often told my students, change your attitude, change your life. About time I remembered it!
Changing Last Year’s Goals into a Challenge
After giving yourself a good pat on the back for all that you did accomplish this past year, it’s time to move on to the new. Changing your last year’s unmet goals into this year’s challenge is easier than starting a new list from scratch. For example, the image above is my list from last year. I had two items remaining on the page – finish my book and place classes online. Both were, and are, extremely lofty and time consuming goals. While I have worked on both of these items, I fell short of my goal of completion.
For my goals this year, I am adding in the challenge of finishing the two items from the previous year. So, right on top of this year’s list will be “finish book” and “place classes online”. Will I get these done before any others on my list? Maybe. Maybe not. Can they be accomplished within the new timeframe? I believe they can be. But now they are not only a goal, they are a challenge. I don’t know about you but I love a good challenge.
Today, as you evaluate your unfinished goals from last year, remember this: No longer are the goals left remaining to be seen as failures. Instead, they are new challenges to be accepted and won. So, grab your notebook and pen. Add those challenges to this year’s list. Place them smack dab at the very top. Then, when your list is completed, remember to have faith in yourself and know that you can accomplish those challenges and any other goals you wish to attain.