Personal Inventory: Setting Up for Success in the New Year and Decade

 In Human Resources

The end of the holiday season also marks the end of the previous year. This period makes it a great time to reflect and review our progress from the past year, and set ourselves up for a better one. This year-end was especially significant to us because it’s not just the end of a year—it’s the end of a decade. Not to mention the fact that 2020 was a year like none other, filled with ups and downs due to the global pandemic.

For some, it’s just the turning of the calendar, but for many of us, the new year is a fresh opportunity to reset on a major level. We’re not just thinking about what we want for 2021, we’re thinking about what we would like to accomplish this new decade, as well.

So, whatever your particular holiday traditions are, here at Roos Advisors, we’d like to encourage you to take a little time for some “personal inventory” between now and the end of the year. Plus, take stock of your situation and where you are with your own goals in preparation for the new year and decade. We call this “personal inventory.” 

A personal inventory is taking stock of where you are, what you have done, and what you want to do, so by the time the calendar turns, you’ve taken a deep breath and are mentally and emotionally prepared to jump into the next season head-first.

So, what does personal inventory look like? Here is a step-by-step guide that we’ve put together that can help you organize your goals and new year’s resolutions.

Take Stock of Your Goals from the Past Year

Hopefully, you’ve set at least a few goals or milestones for 2020. How many of them did you check off your list? Did you forget some of them altogether? Don’t judge yourself too hard, just simply give an honest accounting of how this past year played out for you, and what you were able to achieve. Specifically, try writing down the following:

  • List your successes from the past year. (You might be surprised at how many there are when you actually count them.)
  • List your disappointments. Again, without self-judgment, list the things that perhaps didn’t go your way last year. (Remember, this is just inventory—taking stock of your own assets and liabilities, so to speak.)
  • List your unmet goals from the year. Try to recount what happened in each situation. Did something go haywire? Did you lose focus? Did you not give yourself enough time for a specific goal?
  • Re-evaluate your goals. Are there any unmet goals you’d like to take into the new year? Are there any that are no longer important to you?

Put the Year to Rest

Once you’ve taken time to reflect on the past year, it’s time to close the chapter. Imagine yourself packing up all the events of the year—successes, as well as failures—into an imaginary box that represents 2029. As you do, we recommend taking the following steps in your mind:

    • Take a moment to savor the successes. (Go ahead—you deserve it!)
    • Take a moment to mourn the losses (including any failures). Give yourself permission to grieve, to feel sorry for yourself, just for a moment or two… then pack them in the “box” and move on. This is especially important if you’ve had a difficult year or faced some additional challenges and adversities.
    • Do you have any goals you want to carry over in 2021? Pull those out of the box for next year, and try to accomplish it this time around.
    • Close the box, lock it and put it away forever.

New Beginnings—Look to the Next Year

Now that you’ve put the past to rest, it’s time to look toward the future with a clean slate. Whatever goal-setting habits you have, it’s time to put those to use. Write down your goals, then set up some milestones and checkpoints through the year to track your progress. Just as you closed the box last year, you’re opening a new one.

Establish Successful Habits

Once you’ve identified your goals, you can begin making plans for how you’re going to stay on track during the next year and beyond. If you’re looking for some guidance on your journey and feel like you need help to fulfill your goals, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Here at Roos Advisors, we are committed to helping you grow professionally, while providing helpful tips through our coaching programs.

Whether you’ve had a good year or a disappointing one, if you take the time to conduct a personal inventory as we’ve described, we’re confident you can find at least a bit of internal closure so you can face the next year with hope and anticipation. 

If you’ve ended 2020 between jobs or careers and you want some help getting on track for 2021, we’re always here to help you reach those goals. Feel free to reach out to us to talk about your goals and challenges for 2021.

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