Reflection and Review: a time to reconsider where you’re headed, and create a vision and new plan for your path for the year ahead:
Somehow December is upon us. And that means 2015 is coming to an end. This is the perfect time for reflection, and reviewing where you’re been, where you’re headed, and what you want to create for the year ahead.
Whether it’s a hectic or quieter time of the year for you–I have an assignment for you that will take as little as a day – but give you an infinite return of insight and clarity on the year ahead.
I recommend carving out a day so that you dedicate yourself to this reflection and visioning exercise fully. Of course, if you have the next few weeks to reflect, review and re-envision the direction of your work and life, than that’s pretty fantastic too!
For this reflection assignment you’ll need 12 sheets of paper:
Take a look at the last 12 months, starting January 2015. Get out a fresh sheet of paper for each month. Go one month at a time.
At the top of the page write the month, then complete the exercises below:
- Give yourself some time to reflect upon what took up the most focus that month. You might want to get out your day-timer/calendar to help refresh your memory.
What took up your time?
- Where did the bulk of your income come from – and is this where you want the bulk of your income to come from?
If you found yourself stuck in a job you hate – ask yourself: are you ready to start making changes? And if you are, what kind of changes are you ready to make?
You see–there’s micro and macro changes. A macro-change is quit your job with zero backup or ideas of what you’ll do moving forward. A micro-change would be start researching new study or work opportunities, and start getting focused on what kind of side-project you’d like to start to fulfill your inner creative-fire.
If you found yourself loving a lot of what you did for work, but felt a little stuck, or like you aren’t quite where you want to be, then give yourself some time to visualize The Unrealistic Potential:
Here’s what I mean: If you can suspend your belief of “reality” and allow yourself to dream infinitely large–ask yourself: if you could choose: where would your income be coming from?
Write out as many streams of income as you want.
For example you might want it all to come from 1-on-1 client work, or you might wish that you had a book, online course, workshop or retreat that was bringing in income too. Perhaps you wish you could travel more for your work, or that you could make money from sheer royalties. Get clear on where you’d like Love your income to come from.
- Next: If you can remember: note any fun trips, excursions, activities, classes, or workshops you attended. Note what you did for your own professional and personal development, and your self care. Which things were actually enjoyable and which things felt more like “you should” do them.
Perhaps you attended a “Grow your inner-psychic conference” that sounded ludicrous but was the most enjoyable weekend of your year…and perhaps there was a “Turn your passion into profit 6-figure success weekend workshop” that was a total hoax, wasting your money, time, and energy. Note the things that were truly helpful, and which things you’d never do again.
Make sure you add more pleasurable things in 2016!
Stop doing the things that are on the “I should” list. Instead, invite everything for 2016 to be on a “I Want” list.
- Next – Make note of any month that was particularly challenging and what exactly was the root of that challenge. Reflect.
- Give yourself 5-10 minutes to breathe, visualize, and meditate on each month, and make any notes or reflections that arise as you do this.
Do the above exercises and reflections for each month of 2015.
At the end of each month see if there is a major takeaway, or if after the last 11-months if there’s a theme: such as “Not enough time playing” or “Spent too much time in social activities I didn’t actually enjoy”
- What was Excellent in 2015?
- What was so-so?
- What was (pretty) crappy (or downright terrible)?
With everything you’ve gathered now, make a new vision for the year ahead.
You’ve gathered tons of great insight of what went right, where you over- or under- extended yourself. Use this information to your advantage–as a vehicle for growth for the year ahead.
Next: Planning a New Vision:
Get out 12 more sheets of paper, or 1-big bristol board divided into 12 squares and write out a vision for each month.
Note your priorities, including things you want to create and bring to life in 2016.
Set personal goals too: including travel, personal and professional development, and self-care practices that you plan to make part of your daily, weekly and monthly practice.
Remember as Bruce Lee said:
“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”
So, aim high, with clear focus, and a vision built on your intelligence, reality, and a dose of un-reality. Because sometimes we need to dream bigger than we think we can achieve in order to push our bounds into places we never thought we could reach. We’re often capable of so much more than we think we are.
Remember to be
Gentle with yourself
Most things take longer than we think. So I do NOT recommend writing for January 2016 that you’ll run a marathon, train for Ironman, become a raw-vegan, finish your manuscript, and see 7 clients a week on top of blogging, taking care of family, meditating for an hour a day, and starting a sculpture class…..
Basically–do not be over-ambitious on your own behalf….Because that’s really self-sabotage in disguise.
Instead, base your goals and visions based on what you truly value, want, and based on reflections and insights you gleamed about yourself after reviewing and reflecting on 2015…..It’s being realistic while allowing yourself to dream big at the same time. Yup – theses 2 things can coexist even if it sounds like a paradox.
Trust your gut, heart and head to come to a happy place in deciding where that fine line is.
And above all: remember plans are there as a vision to aim at…..You are free to re-organize the plans as 2016 comes to meet you…But for now, set your vision, and craft a plan for the year ahead, and you’ll be on your way to achieving your dreams.
And right now – at the very least, write down in your calendar, the day (or even half-day) that you’ll set aside for this reflection and visioning process.
Giving yourself the time to vision and dream, makes all the difference!
p.s a Bonus resource to help with your visioning and visualization: click here
Need help creating a vision for the year ahead? Book a breakthrough session with me and together we’ll create a clear vision for your year ahead.