When the past makes the future
As the Summer equinox approaches on 21st of June 2017, our thoughts often turn to our progress through the year so far. Many of you will recognise the idea of reviewing targets and goals in a business environment, whether through a personal or project review. Even at school, there are tests to make sure learning is on track. For many, this might have been a negative experience with the focus being on what we weren’t doing well, where we needed to ‘try harder’. Looking at what we do wrong can turn learning into a training process and has sometimes been called learned helplessness as often we stop thinking for ourselves and simply wait to be told. In my work using positive psychology, clients find it much more effective to look at how their skills, knowledge and what they do well can help them solve problems and improve performance; using past experience to inform the present and future. This puts us in a much more powerful position, gives us independence and the freedom to make choices.
By using positive psychology, clients can find it much more effective to look at how their skills, knowledge and what they do well can help them solve problems and improve performance; using past experience to inform the present and future. This puts us in a much more powerful position, gives us independence and the freedom to make choices.
This doesn’t have to be a very involved process and a few questions can help focus. These might be a different version of the questions you might be used to!
First of all, make a note of what you thought you might do this year, where you might be at the end of it and how you might live your life. Then, look back over the first six months and consider;
- What did you enjoy most?
- How did you feel when you were at your best?
- What new ways did you think of to tackle problems?
- How have you taken others into account and valued their support in tackling your goals?
- How have you changed any ideas you had about your plans?
Then, thinking ahead to the next six months;
- Are your goals still the same or have they changed?
- Who will you involve to help you tackle your goals?
- What will you do more of?
- What will you do less of?
- How will you know what success looks like?
Of course, this process can be done as often as you like. As it’s so straight forward, you can review smaller ideas more frequently. And it doesn’t need to be written down – although having something to refer back is useful.
As you make this review part of your life, you’ll be surprised at how natural it will begin to feel and how effectively you make progress with whatever you plan and how much you’ll love your continued success.
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