The Art of Reflection for 2018 Success


While many Decatur CoWorks members have been overheard lamenting how quickly this year has passed, most are knee-deep in setting their 2018 goals. But don’t despair if you haven’t started yet. CoWorks member and business coach Wendy Watkins says you still have time.

“If you plan effectively for the upcoming year, you can greatly reduce the necessary time and effort needed to achieve your goals,” said Watkins. “Think of the plan as a map. When following a map, you can track your progress and know how much longer it will take to reach your destination…and your goals!”

To begin that journey, she recommends asking yourself the following questions:

What was your big vision for 2017?

What went well in 2017?

What kept you mentally inspired?

What were your good habits in 2017?

What were your bad habits in 2017?


Once a comprehensive reflection has taken place, it’s time to fold that input into a 2018 success plan, said Watkins.

“A success plan includes a clear vision of next year’s accomplishments, your unique definition of success, and the objectives and strategies that will help obtain your desired goals. We all have different destinations, but when goal-setting, remember everyone is striving simply for pleasantness in their experiences,” she said.


A few key components in your success plan might include the following:


Plan your work and work your plan – Before each week begins, create a habit of writing down what you want to accomplish. Be sure to include all the small steps that must be taken to complete the items on your list. Whenever possible, aim to check off everything on your weekly list by end-of-day Wednesday so you’ll have time in your schedule for last-minute items…and there are always last-minute items.

Activity Blocking – Shifting from one activity to another can be exhausting and time-consuming. Rather than bouncing from one fire to another, consider blocking certain times and days for specific activities. For example, if part of your job includes writing, choose a time and place each week where you will do nothing but devote yourself to that task. Strongly consider eliminating all distractions that do not support that goal like incoming phone calls, continuous email and the pull of social media. Resisting the urge to multi-task will help keep you on track and efficient.

Reflection – Year-end isn’t the only time for reflection. Whether you reflect daily, weekly or monthly, always think about how your specific actions supported your overall goals for the year. Was your time spent wisely or was it hijacked by every “emergency” that came along? Remember the 80/20 rule… Eighty percent of results generally result from 20 percent of the effort. What will you do tomorrow to boost that 20 percent? 


Regardless of your unique goals and visions, we’re all seeking pleasantness in our personal and professional experiences. By directing thoughts, emotions, body and energies toward delighfulness in all aspects of life, we increase the chances of turning our goals into next year’s reality.


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