December 31 is an important date for many – a time to finalize those New Year’s resolutions. But is there a better way to wrap up the end of the year? How about taking a personal inventory? Where have you been in the last year and where are you going in the next? A detailed personal inventory will tell you exactly where you stand and help you make those New Year’s resolutions if you must.
From sports commentators to business CEOs to major and local TV news networks to political pundits, the end of the year is a time of review – a balancing of the books of sorts – a time to look back with a critical eye and 20-20 hindsight in preparation for the next 12 months. Wouldn’t it be beneficial to reflect and assess ourselves like that, asking ourselves how we’ve done in the past year – spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially, etc.? A personal inventory will help.
A good way to begin a personal inventory is by making a list of everything you’ve accomplished in the past year. What are the things you feel particularly proud of or good about? What have you accomplished that was really worthwhile? What improvements have you made? Where do you stand in those really important areas of your life? How are your family relationships? What improvements have you made in your emotional, spiritual, physical and financial health?
Next, write down those things or areas you want to work on or do. A personal inventory doesn’t mean limiting your list to those areas where you’ve fallen short. Consider those areas that are going in the direction you want but can still be improved upon. It’s not necessarily important to make resolutions, per se, but it is important to be able to have a written personal inventory you can review and reflect upon throughout the year.
An advantage of a personal inventory is that there is some flexibility. Just like in the business or sports world, changes and adjustments can always be made if a review of your personal inventory and objectives reveal that changes need to be made.
Just like a ‘to-do’ list, write down those things that you absolutely must deal with or resolve in the coming year. If you must make New Year’s resolutions to feel complete, use this part of your personal inventory to do just that. If appropriate, share this part of your personal inventory with a support system, whether that be a family member, friend, support group or professional.
After you’ve completed a thorough personal inventory and developed a healthy plan for the upcoming year, sit back and relax. Personal inventories can take the stress and anxiety out of making New Year’s resolutions that most of us dread, knowing the chances are good we’ll drop them within the first few months of the new year.