In Step One of the goal setting process, we took a close look at what is going well in our personal lives and business, and we created a list of our accomplishments this last year.

What did we achieve this past year? What challenges did we take on?

Once the list of accomplishments was created, we reviewed it and asked ourselves how we felt about all these successes; how we felt about everything we did right this past year. It was an energizing and empowering exercise.

In Step Two of the goal setting process, we are going to review our list again and look for certain patterns of success and lessons learned from our accomplishments. This new exercise will give us tremendous insight into our strengths.

For instance, if I look at part of my list of things I did right last year, I can learn a great deal. I can ascertain what qualities I have that will propel me faster toward my goals.

My list included "extended my running up to 5 miles a day". What does this say about me? It tells me that I have determination and perseverance. How can I apply that to some goals I might create for 2009?

Another item was I "had a wonderful vacation with my family". This item tells me that I have balance in my life, that I love my children and take the time to relax and spend quality time with them. I value this family time. How will I honor this value in my goals for next year?

Look at your own list of accomplishments and feel the energy of everything you did right this past year. What personal qualities were necessary for you to accomplish what you did in 2008? How will you capitalize on this for next year? What lessons do you learn about yourself, what values did you honor,  and  what strengths did you identify that will make whatever goals you create going forward achievable?

You may discover that you are:

  1. Resourceful in overcoming obstacles
  2. Creative
  3. Persistent and determined
  4. Motivated
  5. Purposeful

Once we identify our strengths, whatever they are, we know that these qualities will continue as our "success patterns" in the future and we can rely on these strengths to assist us in 2009 and beyond.

You may also discover that you have some shortcomings. Maybe not everything went exactly as planned. That's just reality and it is a good exercise to recognize these as well. However, the most empowering activity you can do is to focus on the strong qualities you have that have led to your accomplishments and write them down in a purposeful way.

These are YOUR STRENGTHS! These qualities have helped you be successful and will continue to help you to be successful. As we move forward to the next step in goal setting, be mindful and realistic about your strengths. Your focus on these strengths will continue to assist you in meeting your goals.