On Reflection …. Another New Year…

Posted: 20th December 2016

Jane Batty Photo

By: Jane Batty

On Reflection …. Another New Year…

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes” – Carl Jung

As the start of another year begins – what will you do?

Will you start by looking back in your ‘rear view mirror’ and focus in on all the things you failed to achieve… because time ran away with you, other priorities took over or you were simply just too unrealistic in setting your goals?


Will you smile (ever so slightly smugly) and feel that warm glow of satisfaction that 2016 was a GREAT year that moved you forward to where you want to be?

As the calendars roll over from December to January and the slate is again wiped clean, we are reminded everywhere how we can ‘start again’. Start that diet, that fitness regime, give up smoking, visit your family more …. Whatever it may be – we always all start with good intentions.

In business publications, we see an abundance of articles and statistics stating how much more successful goals are (and the likelihood of achieving them) if they are clearly articulated. Who hasn’t come across (and felt a bit of pain when creating) S.M.A.R.T. goals?

I don’t dispute that they need to be articulated … it is more a question of the HOW?

Personally, I believe that as complex human beings, we are all SMART and need look no further than this quote by Swiss Psychologist, Carl Jung, to understand how REALLY successful goal setting can be achieved…..  Yes, ones that actually stick around for a bit longer than a couple of months!

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes”

Surely the answer has to lie within us?

It is through our own self-awareness and truly understanding who we are, that we can discover what our individual motivators and drivers are – and surely if we know what these are, we can hang our goals on this framework?

Ask yourself this simple question, if you have to choose, which one of these is most important to you:

  • Accuracy?
  • Achievement?
  • Security?
  • Popularity?

This may give us a clue about what is important in our lives…..Once we have identified this we can articulate our goals in this way.

For me, my driver is ‘achievement’, so I need something visual that I can clearly imagine myself reaching in the future and goal setting is absolutely a visual process and one that has to allow my creative approach and intuition to come out to play.

2016’s was a large poster on my office wall, drawn freehand and in a ‘yellow brick road style’ with some visual milestones and markers along the way – created from nothing more fancy than white paper and some coloured markers.

Creating it (and sticking to it) was not a chore, far from it, but an interactive process that involved different coloured ‘sticky notes’ and drawn symbols added along the journey, as the year progressed … and it certainly evolved and morphed as the year continued, to reflect the changes and opportunities that undoubtedly came along.

So, for all those years in worlds where I was forced to comply with a ‘goal setting process’ that had small restrictive square boxes that had to be populated with a set number of words, in a spreadsheet, on a cyclical basis – I knew in my heart of hearts that I was just ‘going through the motions’ and could never buy into that approach.

It just didn’t suit my style.

As I now prepare to take down my 2016 poster and reach for the marker pens once again, maybe you could stop and reflect for a moment. Hold up that mirror. Take a look within.

What truly motivates you?

What do you really want to achieve in 2017?

And more importantly, HOW will you make your goal setting personal and not just another process?