Can you believe that the year is coming to a close? Are you planning on taking some time to review your year before the new one begins? Hopefully, you have scheduled some time to pause and take a breath. And if you haven’t, make it your priority to find some time (even a couple of hours) to step back and take the time to reflect. Because regardless of how you feel about your year as a whole, the challenges that you have faced, and the successes that you have celebrated, are experiences that will impact your life in some way. By taking the time to review your year you give yourself the opportunity to make that impact beneficial.
The challenges that we face make us stronger and can hold valuable lessons. Our successes provide us with evidence of our own ability to achieve, and the skills and resources that can help us to continue to progress. Acknowledging successes, particularly if the close of this year is leaving you with a feeling of relief, can provide essential momentum and motivation to kick the new year off on a positive note.
Every experience holds an opportunity for learning, growth, and positive impact. Without taking the time to reflect, this can be hard to see. To help you reflect, here are 5 steps to review your year.
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1. Write Down Your Goals
First of all, think back to the start of the year – what were your goals? What were your hopes for the year? Were they clearly defined? What progress have you made? Write it down, no matter how small. Progress is progress, and should be celebrated
2. Identify The Challenges
What are the challenges that you faced this year? Write them down. Which of these challenges were out of your control, and which ones could you do something about?
Take the time to appreciate the difference between challenges that are within your control (at least partially), and ones that aren’t. Acknowledge and celebrate yourself for coming out the other side of any challenge. That in itself is an achievement.
In the areas where you can see a potential for improvement, acknowledge that without the judgement. Take this learning and store it away for the next time you are faced with a similar challenge.
3. Celebrate What Worked Well
What worked well for you this year? Which strategies helped you to overcome challenges? What achievements can you celebrate in all areas of your life: personal. Business, family, health, well-being? List your top 5 achievements and reflect on how you felt after each one. Give yourself permission to celebrate.
4. Identify What Didn’t Work So Well
Things rarely happen as we think they will, and may not play out effectively, and that is OK. Write down the things that didn’t work so well this year.
Why didn’t they work so well? What value can you take from this?
Identifying the strategies that don’t work so well for you holds immense value. This could save you time and resources in the future. It is difficult to know if something will work for us unless we try. If you tried something this year that didn’t work so well, congratulate yourself. You have now gained something – the knowledge that that strategy, that approach, or that action is not right for you.
Experiences that don’t go as expected can help you to discover strengths that you did not know you had and reaffirm your beliefs and values.
5. Be Proud
What are the things that you are proud of this year? Don’t limit yourself to achievements and successes – look at the relationships you have developed, values you have upheld, discoveries that you have made, the impact that you have had on your community, and the response you have had in times of challenge. Write down everything that you are proud of and take a moment to acknowledge yourself for each. Finally, allow yourself a moment to simply feel proud. Let go of the judgment and forget about the challenges. Just feel proud.
Review Your Year
Take some time in a quiet spot to review what you have written. How do they make you feel? Are there any patterns or trends? Take the time to really acknowledge how you have grown and developed this year.
Most of all, allow yourself to celebrate. What could you do for yourself to acknowledge and celebrate the progress that you have made? Allowing yourself to truly celebrate will cement the value you can take from your experiences this year, and provide the fresh energy and motivation to kick the new year off in the best possible way.
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What is one thing you are proud of from this year? Celebrate with us and share….