Well, December is here. This year has either raced by or gone at a snail’s pace; your perspective depends on what’s important to you and how things have gone. Regardless of what your organization’s fiscal year might be, the end of the calendar year is a time when many people take stock of what has happened and what they want to do differently in the coming year. We won’t go so far as to call these New Year’s resolutions, but many people still use this as an opportunity to pause and reflect.

(And yes, we realize there are various lunar calendars that lead to different New Year’s celebrations throughout Asia, but if you’re planning to party and shoot fireworks on December 31, then this still applies to you.)

Rather than just saying “I want to do things differently next year,” it helps to have some specific goals, and also understand why these are important to you. Identify your biggest priorities and ask yourself some hard questions. You don’t have to share them with anyone else, but fortunately for us a few people did share in some recent discussions, and here are some things they are reviewing:

Am I managing my time well? Am I finishing assignments on time? Am I constantly stressed about deadlines? Do I put aside whatever I am working on every time someone else asks for something? Do I spend too much time looking at other people’s lives on social media, and not enough time living my own?

Have I learned all that I wanted to learn this year? Did I meet my development goals at work? How about my employees…did I make sure they had development opportunities? Have I tried any new activities recommended by a friend? Have I gotten to know new people? When did I move the farthest out of my comfort zone…or did I ever?

Are my work and personal life well balanced? Am I always thinking about problems at work when I am at home? Am I always thinking about problems at home when I am at work? Did I take all my vacation days? Did I actually put work aside on those vacation days? Am I as healthy and fit as I want to be? Do I enjoy going to work or does it crush the life out of me?

Have I identified where I want to go next, and am I preparing for it? Do I want to go for a promotion, or a lateral move? Do I prefer to stay at this office or go to another office in the same company? Would I prefer that my next job be one level up, but somewhere else? What will it take to get that role? Is my LinkedIn profile up to date? Am I networking effectively?

Lots of questions here, and whether these are relevant to you or you are looking at other issues, you cannot worry about everything. Pick the areas that are most important to you and start with those. Remember, if everything is your top priority, then nothing is.

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