“In retrospect we can only be thankful to all the mistakes that we made and to all the lessons that we learned from them!”
Dear Future Self,
Yesterday at work you had an agile retrospective with your team to discuss a project from last year that didn’t go as expected. The meeting was held to reflect on what went well during a project, what didn’t go so well and identifies actions for improvement going forward. This inspired you to have a retrospective with yourself on the goals you had set for 2017.
But, before we start this process I want you to remember 3 things:
- This is a safe space for you – You created this blog as an outlet for honest reflection and discussion. So make sure you always do that.
- This is about learning from your past – Your goals and how well you achieved or didn’t achieve them are for you to judge and no one else.
- This is about improving your future – You shouldn’t focus too much on what you didn’t achieve. Instead, focus more on what you should do differently next time
You got it? Good!
Now let’s begin our 2017 retrospective.
After reading through your 2017 goals, I grouped them into the following categories – Blogging, Finance, Travelling, Beauty and Self Development. Clearly you got more organised in 2018. Ok, here we go.
Spend 2 hours a day on my blog
Increase traffic using 1 social media
Master and utilise 1 social media platform
Have 1000 followers
FINANCE & CAREER
Save 40% of all income
Get a pay rise
Visit at least 2 countries
Grow my hair to bra strap length
Feel confident going out without make-up
Get ready for work in 1 hour
Follow a schedule
Play the piano at church
Cook at least 2 different Kenyan dishes
Get a flat stomach
Strengthen my relationship with God
Leave everything to God
And there you have it, your goals for 2017. So, how did you do?
Let’s start with what went well.
Getting a pay rise
In 2017 you had not one but two pay rises. Amazing, right? The first was expected since you were approaching your first year at the company but the second came as a surprise. A very good surprise. One of the main reasons you wanted a pay rise (apart from more money), was because it meant you could save more. This nicely lead to you reaching (and probably exceeding) your other goal which was to save up 40% of your income.
Saving for the future
With more money coming in, you had no reason not to. It took a while to understand how to save and budget but the more you got to know yourself the easier it become. Also, thank you to a colleague who introduced you to The Barefoot Investor, you found some confidence and purpose for your money without feeling restricted or cut off from enjoying it.
Travelling to at least 2 other countries
Well, technically you travelled to 3 countries in 2017 but Kenya doesn’t count since you’ve been there before. The other two countries you visited in 2017 were Italy and Bulgaria. Although you didn’t share a lot about your experience in Bulgaria since you were there for a company trip, you did have a lot of time to really think about who you are and who you want to be. It was there that your journey to Finding Your Voice really experienced some growth. You asked yourself a lot of questions and gained the confidence to continue finding those answers even when you returned back to London. Italy however was a different trip. In June, you and K decided to celebrate your two-year anniversary by taking a “bacation” to Venice. You can read all about that here.
Loving your skin
For many years you’ve struggled with loving your skin but when an unfortunate incident occurred, you were kind of forced to. There’s nothing worse than wishing for something you had before, all because you didn’t appreciate it until it was gone. Sure there were times your skin did whatever it wanted without your consent but you weren’t afraid of it anymore. Aside from filling in your eyebrows and a little mascara, your face was free from make-up and guess what? Nothing changed. People didn’t treat you differently, K didn’t love you any less and your skin (and bank account) was a lot more grateful for it. Your skin could finally breath and so could your confidence.
Growing your hair
With less energy spent on worrying about your skin, you focused on looking after your hair. Healthy hair was the goal for 2017 and your hair certainly came through. To be honest I don’t know how it happened but your hair grew like never before, reaching bra strap length and looking thinker than a sneaker. Worrying less about the length and more about the health of your hair made it possible for it to blossom into the hair you’ve always wanted. You’ve always wondered if your hair would ever get passed your shoulders and now you know it’s possible.
Strengthen your relationship with God
Last year, the more you tried to find yourself the more you felt lost. It’s like you were being pulled in two different directions – the old you verses the new you. It was a battle that only by leaning on God for guidance did you (the new Lydia) come out victorious. Granted there were times where you stumbled, fell and wanted to give up but you kept going. That wasn’t you, that was God picking you up and letting you know that the battle is not over. He has you and he will keep fighting for you when you feel like you cannot. The more you trusted in God the more you started to see changes in yourself. Changes which you know you wanted but never thought you could do them, but you did.
Leave everything to God and trust his timing
This last goal is somewhere in between. You trusted God in some things but leaned on your own understanding at times. Your desire to begin living the life you were purposed to live meant that sometimes you were inpatient with life. In other words you became inpatient with God. You wanted to jump straight to the end of the story without reading the first chapter. Though you trusted God in the driving seat, you still wanted to take the wheel or have control of the gas. You left some things to God but not everything.
Now, what didn’t go so well?
It seems the areas that didn’t go so well were your blogging and self-development – the areas you set the most goals for.
1000 followers in a year? Very ambitious don’t you think? Granted, you were suffering from liquor courage when you set that goal so let’s just gloss over that number. You had a desire to grow your blog following and although you didn’t hit that 1000 mark (just yet) you defiantly have more followers than you started with. That is something to be proud of. Blogging was completely new to you and you put down goals without really understanding what would be required of you. You allowed the pressure of the internet to make you feel as though you needed to be everywhere and doing what everyone else was doing to grow your blog. You were trying to run before you’d even learned how to walk
Not understanding your capabilities, your limits and what was important to you meant you were setting yourself up to fail. I could describe one by one why each of your self-development goals weren’t achieved but the bottom line is you had no plan or real reason to achieve those goals. Those goals were nice-to-have but were never a must-have for you. Nice to haves goals means there’s no real pressure from yourself to plan how you will achieve them. A lot of those self-development goals were created as a result of liquor courage and new year excitement.
With ever success comes some failures. Most of the time it’s not what we expected but it happens and there is nothing wrong with that. You set a goal, you do what you can and if you don’t succeed, be grateful that you have another year to try and get it right next time. And that’s what counts, trying. I know it sounds cliché but that really is the most important part. Though in retrospect, your “failures” outweigh your “successes”, that doesn’t mean you failed, it simply means you found what doesn’t work for you. That’s how we learn who we are, what is important to us and what direction we want to go. I’ll be honest with you, some of those goals I didn’t meet because they were someone else’s goal disguised as my own. I don’t want that for you. This year I want you to set goals which are designed for your good and with your purpose in mind. If you feel like you are forcing a gal then perhaps it’s not for you or you’re not ready to face it yet. Either way, I want you to remember that you come first and you need to start working for you.
Stay tuned for the next post where I’ll be sharing with you what I learned from 2017 in hopes that you will set better more achievable goals for 2018. Until then, I’ll leave you with this quote from Winston Churchill:
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”