Time to Reflect on The Year That Was…
As the year draws near to an end, it is not uncommon for me to hear my clients lamenting the fact that another year is over and they still are not …..[fill in the blank: rich / happy/ thin / successful/ married …..]
As with other facets of life, we humans find it more natural to focus on what’s missing or ‘wrong’ rather than on what we have or what seems ‘right’. We must take responsibility for flipping our perspective and taking stock of the positives, rather than having the list of ‘negatives’ drag us down.
Although you may not have achieved all of the goals on your list for this year, and your long-forgotten New Year’s resolutions didn’t eventuate, you had to have done something to occupy the past 365-odd days; what was it?!
Throughout December, take some time to reflect on the past year. Rifle back through the pages of your diary to recall things you did / places you went / people you met. List other accomplishments of the year, despite these not being on the initial goal list. Write for yourself a ‘Balance Sheet’ for the year, including non-monetary and unquantifiable “wealth” you’ve gained this year. Include such things as new friends you’ve met, valuable connections you’ve made; things your children, family or friends have accomplished; places you’ve visited and experiences you’ve enjoyed; movies or music you’ve enjoyed, restaurants you’ve discovered; projects completed around your home. Be sure to include ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’, because through weathering the storms of life we build our resilience, and add tools to our toolkit for life….so incorporate the challenges you may have endured, or struggles you may still be working through, with the knowing that ‘this too shall pass’ and that we are only given the challenges which we can manage, and from these we gain skills and stamina, no matter how tough it may feel at times.
By listing all of your accomplishments over the past 12-months, no matter how great or small, and by turning the ‘bad and the ugly’ ones into a win of some sort, it enables us to close out the year feeling empowered, knowing that we’ve grown in some way this year, and that the time is not wasted if we’ve not achieved the exact goals we had hoped to.
This is also a great exercise for other family members to do, acknowledging their personal growth and successes, allowing the outcomes to feel like a triumph rather than a trial. It then sets us up for a great start to the upcoming New Year, armed with a list of goals and successes we’d like to aim for over the next 12 months.
So grab a pen and paper, and start now, listing all the things you can recall from this past year, and connecting each with a sense of growth or learning…. And see this year out with a blast of empowerment, no matter what!