Failing to examine and address the challenges of the past is choosing to repeat your challenges and failures throughout the rest of your life. The past also includes some pretty great things. Failing to identify these things is an obstacle to enjoying similar success in the future.
While answering the following questions, consider all areas of your life:
- ‣ Physical/health‣
- . Finances
- ‣ Relationships
- ‣ Work
- ‣ Hobbies
- ‣ Spiritual/religious activities
- ‣ Family
- Reviewing the past is a critical component of creating the future:
- What were the highlights from last year? Create a list of at least five positive experiences from the last year. Go with your gut. Anything that fills you with positive emotions can be a highlight. It might have been something as simple as spending a perfect afternoon at the park with your child.
‣ Avoid relying on society’s values when defining your own success. It’s a success if it feels like a success. That may or may not align with conventional measures of success. Decide for yourself.
- What were the low points and how could they have been avoided? It wasn’t all good. There had to be a few days or experiences you don’t want to repeat. Make a list of them and consider how these experiences could have been avoided. Minimizing the low-points in life is as crucial to your happiness as adding high points.
- ‣ Should you have been able to foresee the occurrence of these experiences?
- ‣ How can you prevent a future reoccurrence?
- What were the best decisions you made over the last year? You undoubtedly made some shrewd decisions last year. What were they? How can you apply this information in the future?
- What were the worst decision from the last year? Everyone makes mistakes. What were yours? When you look even further into the past, have you made similar bad decisions? Why?
- What are five positive habits you’d like to add this year? Consider the long-reaching characteristics of habits. What are a few habits you can add that will make a big difference over the long haul?
‣ Diet, exercise, financial, and relationship habits can alter your future considerably.
What are five habits you’d like to eliminate this year? Bad habits can ruin your life. Which of your negative habits would enhance your life the most if you were able to eliminate them.
What are the most important relationships in your life and why? We’re all limited by our personal resources. Good relationships require time and mental effort. It only makes sense to spend those resources on the most important relationships. Also think about past relationships you’d like to renew.
‣ It’s also useful to determine why those relationships are important. Why do you receive from these relationships that makes them important?
Which relationships should you consider ending or minimizing? Just as you’ve accumulated possessions that now clutter your life, you have relationships that need decluttering, too.
- ‣ Consider all of your relationships, personal and professional. Which of these no longer serve you?
‣ Relationships are never static. It’s common for a relationship to change significantly over time. Are you aware of your past? Take advantage of your past experiences. Examine your past and apply that information to the future. You’ll find that it’s common to make the same mistakes over and over. End the cycle by thoroughly reviewing your past.