Looking forward or backwards

If you don’t reflect on what has gone right last year, how can you look forward to 2018, Catherine Rutland questions.

Should we look forward or back in January?

I wonder if it depends on the year you are leaving or potentially what you know is coming ahead?

Some people are resolute on only looking forwards, what has been has been after all.

As I write, I wonder what I will do?

How did 2017 go?

Last year was a pretty tough year, professionally and personally, so do I want to focus on the future or analyse the past?

However, you could argue that if you don’t reflect on what has gone right and what has gone wrong, how can you know what you need to do next?

Certainly, as far as the GDC is concerned, this now has to be our way forward with any CPD we undertake.

But personally, I think in order to be successful professionally we need to do this in all areas of our work, not just to fulfil CPD requirements, but to make sure that we are working as we should be.

What do I mean by ‘should be’?

This is going to be very personal but I think many of us would agree that would mean ethically, professionally and financially viable for starters.

The financially viable part is probably the easiest part to measure accurately, with good accounts and systems this shouldn’t just be a once a year process, monitoring where you are throughout the year will make sure you are on the track you want to be on.

Leaving it to once a year, in my opinion, is a dangerous risk.

If you are going off track, you could be hurtling off towards a ravine within a year.


If you don’t know where you are currently financially, how can you possibly look forward and decide what to do?

Ethics and professionalism may be a bit more challenging to ascertain.

Insight at this point is key as well as honesty.

It can be difficult to question ourselves and the tendency is to focus on the areas of our lives that are easy to measure.

But as with the financial measures, if we don’t challenge our ethics and professionalism, we could be hurtling towards a ravine with all the ramifications of that.

Certainly for me, I will try and be honest with myself, look at 2017 and see where I choose to go in 2018, knowing full well that there will be many things beyond my control that will play a part in that direction.

Happy New Year!

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