Plan Basics

Look Back to Look Ahead

Now's a good time to reflect on the past year (or more) so you can plan for your success in 2017!
Published December 22, 2016

As you'll see in your Weekly, you can learn a lot about yourself by taking a good look at what's behind you. But do it without judgment or blame—the idea is to gather feedback so you can continue your progress. How did your choices affect your outcomes, for better or perhaps not so much? You might use the idea of a behaviour chain to trace your thoughts and choices back to the start of an event in your life. That can help you see how one thing (or one thought or one action) leads to another. If you're unhappy with what happened, this stepping-stone process can help you spot the "weak link" in the chain. Conversely, of course, if you're glad about the outcome, you can see where you made the right choice.

Let's say you wish you had gotten to the gym more often. Think about what stopped you. Did you wind up working too late most nights? How did that happen? If you realize that, say, you didn't keep track of time well, could you add an appointment in your calendar that pops up to remind you to finish up in time? Or maybe it wasn't so much about working too late as it was—being honest, now—that you didn't really want to go to the gym. What made you feel that way? Did it seem like a hassle to get there? Or you felt uncomfortable and didn't know what to do? What is the step before those thoughts? Maybe it takes 20 minutes to drive to the gym. Maybe you are unfamiliar with the equipment.

Keep going, tracing your thoughts, feelings, and actions all the way back to "I should go to the gym tonight." Along the way you'll be able to spot where your intentions and your actions diverged. And then, even more important, you'll be able to solve for those moments and bring yourself back on track, so you can set realistic, achievable goals going forward. Maybe, for instance, you'll plan to switch your gym sessions to the morning, or switch to a closer gym.

In the same way, you can use the behaviour chain process to see how your steps led to a successful outcome so you can duplicate it elsewhere in your life. If you need some inspiration, check out our Member Success Stories, each packed with inspiration and realistic, how-I-did-it advice.

Set your course for a happy new year of living fully and succeeding!


A New Year's Day Brunch

Why not start off 2017 with some fresh flavours?