Its hard to believe that a year has passed. It feels like a nano-moment since the last year-end. Its true that with the current socioeconomic system our lives, work & society move at an unprecedented pace. Time flies!
See how simple the above line is! That is a Reflection :) Reflecting on your life, self and state makes you more mindful about you physical, mental and spiritual well being. It makes you well connected to yourself, better grounded, self aware and consistent in whatever your journey is. If you ask me is it enough to reflect only once a year i'd tell you NO. But the end of the year is a good time to reflect, take stock of the year past, and plan for the year ahead.
To make it a simple process I'm sharing today some questions that will help define a reasonable scope of what you’re good at, what do you need to work on and what kind of challenges you may face so that you prepare for them.
THE YEAR BEHIND
1) What went well?
Don't you ever bypass the wins & the good that comes within any year. When working hard, fast, and often in challenging contexts, our brains tend to erase the positive as we focus on the loads and pressures at hand. But the good gives us internal resources to step up to the challenges. Take stock of what went well this year and know that nothing is too small to own, celebrate and bring forward as positive fuel for the days and year ahead.
It can also be useful to acknowledge what might not have gone so well -- especially if you can learn from those circumstances and/or at least be grateful for having worked through them. The next few questions might help you mine for meaning from those tougher moments of 2017.
2) What surprised you?
Well aside of the political madness we witness in 2017 life is always full of surprises. Reflect on the surprises that came your way - and then on how you responded. What do you notice about your ability to adapt and pivot within the unexpected? Those who are nimble and quick are better primed to seize opportunities and work with change. Resistors insisting on certainty and/or the same way of doing things can find themselves stressed out and side-lined.
3) What did this year teach you?
Every experience for better or worse can be a 'teacher' if we use it well. How did you grow from your year? What insights, knowledge, skills were gained or reinforced? Consider those beyond just the technical skills and reflect on those related to self awareness, trust, adaptability, resourcefulness, resilience. These core internal skills are critical today and will stead you well in the year(s) ahead.
4) What are you noticing or even having hunches about?
Sometimes if feels like change comes out of the blue. But often there are early signs and/or hints abound. Think about the year past and the year ahead. What signs or even inklings of change need to be heeded? Where might the opportunities come from? What are you ignoring that can put you at risk? Paying attention with an open mind and some self trust can prepare you better for even the seemingly unknown.
5) What needs to be left behind?
Old ideas, poor habits, and self-limiting behaviours - ahh, who doesn't have at least a few of these? When life and work pressures demand the best of us it is a good idea to take stock of what's no longer working and might be holding us back. Is it time to let some doors close this year and shift your energy to new areas of opportunity? Where do you need to discard ideas, strategies, and ways of doing things that aren't working despite best efforts? Perhaps there might even be relationships that need to be let go or less heavily invested in?
5) Wrap up your year with a name that fits:
Complete this phrase: "2017 was the year of ___.
THE YEAR AHEAD
7) So Where will you go next?
Here you should think about the changes showing up (internally and externally).
What's next for you both professionally and personally? Even if you don't have precise answers yet, staying in this question will keep you on your toes so that you can plan and pivot to get opportunities more easily. So hang in there, don't give up.
To paraphrase the famous words conveyed by Wayne Gretzky, 'focus on where the puck is headed and skate towards there.'
8) How will you evolve in the year ahead?
While you can't predict the whole picture, do take time to get intentional with your development and identify new skills, experiences and knowledge that will help you grow. Visualize yourself at the end of 2018 and ask in what ways will you have grown? This is your chance to reflect and make plans for this to happen.
9) What are your top goals?
Now get specific and concrete. Forget resolutions - they don't work. But goals - if meaningful, relevant and backed up with a plan -- can provide focus, direction, a sense of purpose, and energize you with new motivation.As I always say, DO Write Down Your Goals!
10) Who's part of your support system? Who will you connect with?
Don't wait for sudden change to test the strength of your network and relationships - invest now. Take stock and make a commitment to connect meaningfully, authentically with those important to you. Expand and/or deepen your professional and personal network and find ways to show reciprocity by giving back to others.
11) How will you navigate ambiguity and uncertainty?
How do you cope (thrive) in the unknown which often comes with disruptive change? Those who do well tend to foster flexible, resilient, hearty mindsets - along with other skills. If these are not yet natural strengths, know that we can all tap into our deep-rooted capacities to adapt, learn, and find heartiness even in challenging conditions. Start by setting the intention and then commit. Then don't be afraid to seek support in developing these skills.
12) What's your mantra:
What stands out for you that marks your intentions for 2018? Create a mantra to hold on to this by completing this phrase: 2018 will be the year of _____.
Happy New Year :)