I love this time of year for many reasons, not least the opportunity to reflect upon your year. For the past year, I have been part of a group following the 12 Week Year approach. It’s been so helpful to me for keeping me (mostly) on track and reflecting in the moment. One of my colleagues in the group, Helen Lindop, a CRM Consultant for Small Businesses has been doing the 12 week year alongside a book called ‘Your Best Year Yet’ by Jenny Ditzler. Having heard so much about it, I took the plunge this week and bought a copy.
5 steps to reflect upon your year
I have chosen 5 steps from the book to help you reflect on this year. Why is it important to reflect? Because the knowledge we gain enables us to take a lead in our own lives. We can be astonished by our own achievements and see how we’ve grown. So find somewhere quiet, grab a pen and paper and let’s get started. We have covered the questions of how you’ve made a difference and your accomplishments in other posts.
- What did I learn? In reviewing what you’re proud of, what lessons do you see? What worked and why? What didn’t work and why? What’s the lesson and have you learnt it yet? Be kind to yourself, if you think you have learned a lesson – you have.
- How do I limit myself? We all limit ourselves. In order to grow, we need to understand how we limit ourselves and take responsibility for it. This is going to be easy if you are self-critical! It’s time to list all the things you do e.g procrastinate, can’t say no, don’t stand up for myself…Now ask yourself, are you willing to stop those things? Finally, remember that what you focus on is what you get so… focus on what you want.
- What are my personal values? When we understand our values we understand what motivates us. I am not talking about material things or goals like ‘I want to be fitter’ – they are driven by feelings of power or of taking care of ourselves. Think about what gets you out of bed in the morning, what drives you to do the things you want to do.
- What roles do I play in my life? This question helps you get a grasp of all the roles and responsibilities you take across your life as a whole. It can help you find direction, (re)define who you are as a person, connects the roles and allows you to create balance. Once you understand what roles you play and how you’re accountable you can review them and your intentions for each.
- Which role is my major focus for the year ahead? Imagine you have a bird’s eye view of yourself with all your roles and responsibilities. Allow yourself to view it as a neutral observer, what do you see? What’s missing? What is getting too much attention? Choose one role as your major focus and remember you can’t do everything…if you try then you will lose focus and everything suffers.
Setting powerful goals
Finally, I want to offer a bonus question as you reflect upon your year to date: What goals will I set for the year ahead? When we have (achievable) defined goals we see results. Better still, if we align those goals with our values we get satisfaction and fulfilment in addition to results and who wouldn’t want that?!
When you are setting goals it’s time to get specific. Here are some examples from my own goals…before and after I got specific:
- Spend more time with the kids vs Spend 2 hours a week as a family, doing an activity that is stimulating, keeps us fit and healthy and is fun
- Drink more water vs drink 1800ml of water daily
- Connect with more people vs attend 1 networking meeting a month
- Find balance in my life vs take 15 mins a day to refill my cup through meditation, yoga or getting outside
You can set big goals e.g. run a marathon and then break it down into smaller monthly, weekly or daily goals that you can measure. The key is to create actions that will lead you to your end goal and to review them regularly.