Reflect Back to Move Forward
Let's wrap up 2018 - the good, the bad and the ugly...
...and take the lessons we've learnt into the New Year.
Here's a process that I love to do and wanted to share it with you. Feel free to adapt it in any way you like to make it more fun. You can do it any time you like - at the end of the year, beginning of a new year or half way through if you like.
Why should we spend any time doing this process?
Reflecting on the year just past is a powerful exercise because most of us forget just how much has happened throughout the year and don't give ourselves enough credit for what we've learnt and how we've transformed. It's also really helpful to take any lessons learnt forward into the following year and a wonderful opportunity to feel gratitude for all that has happened (or at least some of it, even if it's gratitude that it's behind us ;) )
Step 1: Map out what happened throughout the year
Personally, I find that I forget so much unless I go back and review the year. This is especially true since having children! Life is just so BUSY.
So, I find it useful to look back through my calendar. I open up each month and look at what was going on at that time. If you don't keep a calendar or diary, you could go through your photos, or your social media feed, and if you keep a journal then this of course is perfect! Use whatever you can and then have a think about what you were doing and what happened during that month.
Jot down the main points of what was happening each month on a sheet of paper, or if you prefer typing then of course you use the computer instead. The idea is to get to a birds eye view of the year, month by month.
Step 2: Reflect on your Highs, Lows and Lessons Learned
Ask yourself these questions
- What was the overall Theme for the year? Use one word or a short sentence.
- What were my Challenges?
- What were the Successes / Wins?
- What Lessons did I learn?
- What are the Blessings?
I like to categorise my challenges and successes. Select whichever categories fit your life. I generally use:
- Family & Relationships
- Career / Business / Purpose
- Health & Wellness
- Personal Development
Then finish these 2 sentences
What I'm taking with me into next year is ...
What I'm leaving behind in last year is...
Step 3: Take an Inventory of the Present
Go through each area of your life and rate how happy you are with each of them on a scale of 0 to 10. This gives you a snapshot of where you're at right now and you can see which areas of your life need attention. You can use these ten areas of life or create your own:
- Overall Alignment / Quality of Life
If you want to go a step further, you can do the Wheel of Life exercise.
Step 4: Create a Vision for the Future
Start by imagining your life in three year's time. Imagine that there are no constraints - really allow yourself to DREAM BIG here. Ask yourself questions like:
- Who do I want to become?
- How do I want to spend my time?
- What does my career, love life, health, finances look like?
- How do I want to feel?
- What will my perfect day look like?
When you feel inspired and connected to a three year vision, start to envision your life in one year's time. On 31st December, 2019...
- What will my life be like?
- How do I want to feel?
- What will I have accomplished?
- How will people experience me?
- What is the most exciting thing in my life?
From here I do 2 things:
- Create a vision for 2019 and set some goals or intentions. I personally like to create a "Dream Board" with images and words that represent what I want to bring More Of into my life.
- Celebrate the future! Imagine that it's already happened. Imagine that it's 31st December and you're celebrating all those things that you want to bring in. This is really fun and helps you get into the mindset of having all those things you've intended. It's even more fun and powerful when you play this as a game with other people, and your friends or family are joining in the imaginary future.
This process is adapted from an article that goes into detail in how to do this. I strongly encourage you to do this, it’s a really great experience, especially when you do it together with other wonderful women. Let me know how you go!