Assessing the Year

by Julie Fuimano

Entering a brand New year is the perfect time to assess where you are and how far you've come. This is also an excellent time to take a wider view of your life to see if you are progressing the way you want: learning, growing, changing, and enjoying. Are you meeting the goals you intended this year? Where are you today as compared to last year at this time? Are you focusing your energies on the right things, the things that matter the most in your life?

This is also a great time to celebrate - after all, this is your life! And life is a journey. Learning to navigate your journey is how you bring about the results and the happiness you want.

Take an Inventory

The first step is to take a simple inventory of where you are right now. Assess the different areas of your life - finances, work, relationships with spouse/children/family/friends, your body/health, your personal development, and your environment. Evaluate your level of fulfillment and your effectiveness on a scale of one to ten in each of these areas.

The more aware you are about where you are now and where you want to be, the easier it will be for you to take constructive actions, monitor your growth, and reach your goals.

Life can involve intentional and purposeful actions or you can live your life by default, wishing and hoping for things to happen to you. It is up to you to decide what is important to you and focus on taking actions towards living according to your values and achieving your goals. You must envision what you want and accept responsibility taking the necessary steps to get there.

It starts with identifying where you are now in each area of your life.

A Look Back

Looking back to last year at this time, in what ways have you grown and changed? How are things different now from this time last year?

Look at the things you have accomplished in the past year. What are some of the things you've done and experienced? What have you learned? Simply making a list of things you did and learned will help you to see how much is possible to do in a year. Often, we have unrealistic expectations for what we can actually accomplish in a year and sometimes. More often then not, people don't give themselves enough credit for the things they've done or take time to celebrate their accomplishments.

Are things progressing the way you want? Are the things that have changed what you wanted and what you expected? The idea is to start looking at the beginning of each year as a significant moment on your life journey. It is a time to make conscious choices about what you want to focus on, set goals, and take the necessary steps to move forward in the direction you want to go.

Focus and perspective are crucial. By taking yourself out of the day-to-day minutia and examining your life over the course of a year, you can see how to use your time more effectively in order to bring about the results you want. This is very empowering.

Celebrate Your Progress

Any progress you've made deserves your attention and acknowledgment. You took a vacation this past year or attended a conference. Wonderful! You managed to save a few thousand dollars in the bank. Congratulations! You spent more quality time with your family or friends this past year. Great! Give yourself credit for the things you have done - whatever they are. All too often we take these things for granted or we don't give them the due recognition.

It is important to cultivate a grateful attitude. That also means learning to be grateful for the small steps you have made; over time, those small steps add up to big leaps. Learn to give yourself some kudos for your hard work. This doesn't mean spend all of that money you saved on a new flat screen TV. It simply means that you acknowledge your efforts, appreciate the results you created; then build upon this year's efforts by setting bigger goals for next year.

A Focus for the New Year

As you take an inventory of your life as it is today, what would you like to see different or changed by next year at this time? As you look ahead to the future, you can create a vision for your life and set some goals for year. You don't need to set goals for every area of your life; choose a couple of areas that you want to focus on improving.

If you have results from this year that you'd like to build upon, then keep the momentum going and think bigger. The only way to create bigger and better things in life is to envision what you want, take one step at a time, and assess your progress along the way.


Julie Fuimano, MBA, BSN, RN is a Personal & Career Coach working with people who want be more of what they are capable of becoming. She's the author of "The Journey Called 'You'", due for release May 2005. Learn how to unleash the greatness within you! *Now accepting new clients!* Call to explore how coaching would work for you (484) 530-5024. Sign up for our e-newsletter at or write to

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