Anyone else scratching their head wondering how we got to the end of December so fast? It’s hard to believe we are about to say goodbye to another year! This is a clear sign that I’m getting older (another birthday is just around the corner), having way too much fun, or simply didn’t build in enough times throughout the year to reflect. Honestly, all of the above are true.
If you’re like me, this is the time of year I start to look at what I want to do next year. But before I can break out my colored pens for a brainstorming session with myself, reflection on this past year is crucial.
Without taking the time to reflect on the last 12 months I just might lose an entire year of important moments, celebrations and lessons that I definitely want to capture and integrate.
To start with your own year-end reflection, start with these questions:
1. What did I do, create, or experience this year that makes me proud?
We’re so critical of ourselves and often feel we didn’t do enough. Our brains have a natural tendency to focus on the negative stuff and brush over the good stuff. We need to actively amplify the positive events to build our happiness level. Take time out to reflect by going through your calendar, pictures on your phone, or chat with loved ones to mine the gold nuggets. Then celebrate and be proud!
2. What mistakes did I make that taught me something? What lessons did I learn that I can leverage?
Uggghhhh, FAILURE! Regardless if we know that failure is necessary to learn and succeed, it doesn’t mean it stinks any less, or is any less painful when it happens! It’s hard to see the lessons when we are still reeling in the pain. Then, often as soon as the pain dulls we want to try and forget the experience as soon as possible, saying we just “want to move forward.” Then we lose the opportunity to really learn from our mistakes (which means we are bound to repeat them). To learn the lessons, we need to dig for them. Something easier to do after some time and distance. So go back and dig deep by asking yourself “what can I learn from this?” and “what else can this mean?” Then learn the necessary lessons and don’t be afraid!
3. What am I willing to let go of?
Do you have projects or commitments that have been hanging over your head? Maybe it’s time to drop them because they aren’t that important, don’t align with your values (and don’t worry if you’re not sure of your values, you’ll get into this when you start my free goal crushing course!), or simply drain too much life- energy from you. Stop “shoulding” on yourself and let it go!
Is there a story you’re telling yourself that no longer serves you? What are you telling yourself that’s holding you back? What hurts, shames, or embarrasses you that you keep reliving that you want to let go of? For example, did you ever play a musical instrument as a kid? Did you get less than encouraging words and responses from others (an older sibling maybe)? Do you now have a story that you’re no good at playing musical instruments (even though you haven’t tried since you were a kid and obviously most people are not great without lots of practice)?
After your year-end reflection, it’s a great time to do some goal planning. If you want help setting goals that align with your values and what you really want, or a partner to obtain them, reach out I’m here for you.
Happy New Year!