New year, same me? How to self-evaluate and determine where you can grow.

As a proud and simultaneously recovering Enneagram one, I revel in self-reflection. No one notices my own flaws more than me, which isn’t always a great thing for my self-esteem and overall confidence. However, it does qualify me to provide you tips on *healthy* self-evaluation. 

I’m not a New Year’s resolution fan. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a resolution. But I believe you can start a new fitness routine on a Wednesday or decide to pick up a new hobby on a Friday. Still, I recognize the cathartic nature of starting something new when the year is fresh. If nothing else, it’s helpful for progress tracking! So, if your goal for 2021 is to grow personally and professionally, you should start with self-evaluation. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when getting started. 

What are the things you do that make you immediately cringe?

What is the one thing you do that you immediately regret every time you do it? Maybe it’s interrupting someone because you’re super eager to tell your story. Or it might be oversharing after a few glasses of wine. If you’re Taylor Jolley, it might be your unabashed willingness to admit your own shortcomings in a blog post for your company. Regardless! That gut feeling you get is a sign that this could be an area for growth! Write down those things you do that make you feel icky and choose two or three action steps to help you turn that behavior around. For example, in 2021, I will try to listen fully without preparing my next story, and I’ll choose to ask my conversation partner questions rather than sharing my own experiences. 

What are the behaviors or actions that your dearest companions point out repeatedly?

Some of us approach life with less emotion, and as a result, our partners might point out on occasion that they wish we would empathize and share our feelings. WOOF. But that expressed feeling is a great opportunity for self-reflection and adjustment. What you hear from the people you love might be different, and it can sometimes be subtle. Do you hear that your family wishes you’d spend more quality time with them? How about your friends casually hinting that they wish you’d text them back with more regularity? These sometimes small suggestions can lead to meaningful changes that will strengthen your relationships. It might be against your nature to sit and “visit” or to enter into a long text conversation, but making these adjustments to meet the needs of the people you love could make your 2021 much brighter. 

What have you heard in work reviews that you’ve been reluctant to admit?

Have you recently reviewed notes from your last workplace evaluation? Most of us don’t revel in the opportunity to revisit meetings that immediately make our palms sweat. But reviewing this information can point out excellent opportunities to make small, but impactful, changes. Think back on the meeting as you review the notes. What points did your supervisor point out most ardently or first? Prioritize those adjustments and make a list of clear action steps to help you improve in those areas. This will not only make you feel more confident in your role, but it will also demonstrate to your leadership team that you’re able to acknowledge areas of weakness and work to improve upon them. 

Self-evaluation isn’t about self-deprecation. It’s about recognizing patterns that might negatively impact your relationship with yourself, your loved ones and your career. Once you recognize those behaviors, you can create action steps to help you strengthen those relationships! If that’s not a great way to start the year, then I don’t know what is!