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Letter to Stakeholder

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One of the most creative…and practical …approaches I’ve seen for setting goals for a new year was a client’s “Letter to Stakeholder“. 

Every year, on her birthday rather than on New Year’s Day, she writes herself a letter, as the major stakeholder of “Me Inc.”, showcasing her past year and planning her next year.  She typically addresses questions like:

  • Which of last year’s goals did you achieve?  
  • What 2-3 things went extremely well? 
  • What do you see as your 2-3 signature strengths?
  • Which key coaches and/or mentors supported you along the way?
  • What 1-2 things didn’t go as well as planned?  
  • How did you grow from those less successful experiences?  
  • How well were you able to balance ”work” and “life”?
  • In what shorter term skills training or longer term professional development did you engage?  How were you able to translate the learning into your day to day life?
  • What techniques did you use to ensure wellness and self care (e.g. fitness, nutrition, rest and relaxation)?
  • What were your favourite moments with family and friends?
  • How were you inspired to be more creative through culture (e.g. art, music, drama, etc.)?
  • How did you engage in the environment? 
  • How did you volunteer in your local or the international community?
  • What big hairy audacious goals do you plan to achieve next year?
  • What do you need to do to ensure that your life is purposeful and meaningful?

This makes much more sense to me than a list of the same-old new year’s resolutions.  Hopefully this approach will resonate with you too.  Happy 2013!