If I have learned one lesson this year, it’s that a year is simply not a long time. In fact, a year goes by in a flash these days, which is why taking a moment to stop and reflect on the year feels more important than ever.
Those of you who have followed me for a while might remember how I like to take time in December to look back on the year that’s passed. In our culture, we are too often onto the next! And we rarely stop to properly celebrate our successes or to work through what didn’t go so well.
As a result, we can get stuck. Stuck in the same patterns. Stuck with the same resolutions year in and year out, upset with ourselves for not accomplishing them.
We are quick to beat ourselves up for our ‘failures,’ but we rarely channel that energy into taking a look at why things didn’t go as planned and how we might approach it differently in the next round. But that is the key to actually creating change – review, adjust course, and keep going – all while giving ourselves the grace to be imperfect and not give up.
So this December, I invite you to spend some time reflecting on 2015, on what went well and what didn’t. Our goal is to create a “Take It / Leave It” list which will spell out the lessons learned that you want to carry forward and those old behaviors, thoughts, and ideas that you’d rather leave behind as you start the new year.
I’ll be breaking this exercise down into a few parts. This week we have Part 1 – taking a look at what actually happened this year.
*Find yourself a quiet spot; grab your journal, your calendar and some wine or tea.
*Go through 2015 month by month, noting the highlights, the accomplishments, the challenges and the struggles. What delighted you? What felt really hard?
*You may want to take a whole page to reflect on any particularly impactful experiences – starting a new job, having a baby, some work you did with a coach or therapist. Ask yourself what you learned from this experience. What went well, what you wish you’d done differently.
That’s it! If you'd like to see parts 2 and 3 to complete the exercise, you can sign up to receive the whole challenge for free right here.
To looking back & clearing out the old!