Back to the future is not just a fun movie but also a necessary step in the process of realizing your potential. Looking back to see just how far you’ve come is reason to celebrate. Reviewing the past helps you make adjustments toward your future. This time of year is the opportune time to look back, evaluate, and identify the areas of your life where you desire the most growth. Rear view mirrors helps us see where we’ve come from, what might be coming up behind us, and how we can continue to move forward.
Year-end evaluations are common for employers and employees alike. Annual reviews are also a key component for those who desire to be successful in the future. It’s an opportunity to step away from the busyness – especially during the holiday season – and ponder, consider, and take time to review and plan ahead. Looking backward helps us move forward by determining the areas in which we’ve done well and those that still need work. This is an intentional exercise that will lead to intentional consequences, your desired consequences and outcomes.
We are not going to dwell on the past but only evaluate it in terms of our desired goals, mission, purpose, and vision. We’re seeking to find balance as well as those areas where we need improvement. Taking the time to consider and evaluate each of these life areas will help us to move forward – back to the future.
Areas to Evaluate
What areas should we be looking at?
- Spiritual Life – Where do I stand in my relationship with the Lord? Am I growing deeper?
- Ministry/Service/Church – Am I involved and engaged with a church family? Do I have a church home? Am I serving and growing?
- Personal Fitness – Am I taking care of myself physically?
- Mental/Emotional/Thinking Health – Am I healthy mentally? Am I aware of the connection between my spiritual health, physical health, and emotional health?
- Personal Relationships/Marriage – Am I growing in my closest relationships? How can I improve?
- Children/Grandchildren – How healthy are these relationships? What can I do to improve them?
- Family – Is my family growing closer? How am I doing as a family leader?
- Career/Vocation – Am I growing and moving forward as I should and have been called?
- Finances – Am I stable, balanced, and generous? What is the difference between my wants and my needs?
- Social Life – How are my friendships?
- Recreation – Am I taking enough time off? How and when do I make time to renew and refresh?
All of these areas, and a couple others, need to be evaluated and brought into alignment with my vision, purpose, mission, and goals. You can evaluate these areas by rating them on a scale from 1 to 10. One means I’m not remotely close to where God calls me to be in this area. Ten means I am exactly where God wants me to be in this area. Most all of us are going to fall in between these extremes. Some areas may apply while others do not. The idea of the exercise is to take the time to be intentional about looking back to move forward. As Tony Horton often asks, “How can you know where you are if you don’t know where you’ve been?”