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Reflect on the past year in order to spring into the new one

Would you like 2021 to be your best year yet?
If the answer is yes, then you may need to take some time over the festive season just for you and here is why…

It’s hard to decide what to focus on in the New Year when it comes to goals. One way to set yourself up for a successful year is through reflection, and this is where the YOU time comes in.
The practice of reflection is powerful because it gives you all the tools you need to figure out how you came to be where you are right now. It gives you “data” to evaluate the decisions you made and the whys and how’s of 2020. You can reflect on this past year to assist you in creating more realistic resolutions and goals for 2021.

Why is this important? Because your goals help to define what type of year 2021 will be.

TIP: When doing the below exercises, write down not only the answers but also what thoughts you have; this will assist you to refer to when setting next years goals.

We will focus on six facets in this article. Looking at the six facets of your life will give you a complete and balanced view of how your life as a whole progressed in the past year.
To help you reflect, there are some questions to ask yourself. By giving honest answers to them, you will be able to see whether or not you have progressed the way you wanted to in each facet.
For those questions to which your answer is no, you can ask WHY to further investigate. For example, the question: Did you achieve the desired net worth? If your answer is no, you can then ask: Why? The answer may be since you didn’t save enough, or there were unexpected expenses you weren’t prepared for.

1. Faith: your personal pursuit and ministry, charity and significance.
• Have you found your life mission?
• Did you feel fulfilled?
• Could you honestly say that you are happy?
• Have you built the necessary habits for spiritual growth?
• Have you contributed to the greater good, like being part of a charity?
• Have you made a significance towards society?

2. Family: your immediate and relations.
• Has your relationship with your spouse been as good as you wanted?
• Has your relationship with your family been as good as you wanted?
• Has your relationship with your children been as good as you wanted?

3. Fitness: your health, wellbeing, nutrition and exercise.
• Have you built the habit of exercising?
• Have you built the habit of consuming nutritious food?
• Have you had a good rest?
• Did you feel physically fit in doing your daily work?

4. Friends and Fun: social, hobbies, lifestyle, bucket list.
• Has your relationship with your friends been good?
• Did you make new friends?
• Did you get to know people from diverse backgrounds?
• Did you participate in some hobbies?
• Did you do something on your bucket list?
• Are you satisfied with your lifestyle?

5. Personal Development: your mental and emotional development.
• Have you learnt a new skill?
• Have you read a book?
• Have you attended a class?
• Has your internal dialog been mostly positive?
• Have your emotions been mostly positive?

6. Finances: job, career, profession, savings, investments.
• Did you achieve your desired net worth?
• Did you achieve your desired income level?
• Have you built the habit of spending less than you earn?
• Have you been able to eliminate debt?
• Have you built the habit of saving?
• Are you in the job you want?
• Are you in the profession you want?
• Have you invested in the right way?

Look at all your notes from the reflection and answer the below questions. Write down all your thoughts to these questions.
1. What went well?
If you had a great year, then this question will be fun to answer. If you had a tough year, this question will be essential! Noticing the good, especially in tough times, is a crucial skill for resilience, success and well-being. Since our brains are not wired to hold on to the good, we need to make the effort to bring the good back into our focus for a more balanced perspective.
2. Where in your life did you experience change and disruption, and how did you deal with this?
For good, better or worse, change is a constant factor in our lives. How did you deal with your changes this year? What did you do well and where do you see the need or opportunity to deal better with change?
3. What did this year teach you?
We are built with an innate capacity to learn and to grow, whether by explicit intention, or from the experiences that come our way. Often, the tough bits bring the greatest potential for learning and growth. Take stock of what the year taught you, and especially of how any of your challenges stretched you for the better.
4. What needs to go?
There comes a time when we are just ready to let some things go. What do you need to say good riddance to? Tough situations? Bad habits? Out-dated approaches? Clutter? Maybe some of this served you well for a while but not anymore. Time to clean out and let go to start fresh in the new year.
5. What made this year unique?
Sometimes it feels like the years pass and they are all the same. But when we pay attention, something stands out that can define a time in our life. Think about your year: What events, situations and experiences truly defined what 2020 was all about for you?

Now that you have written all these answers down to your reflection exercise and summing up your previous year, you can start to look at creating new goals for the new year.

If you are needing further help in ensuring that you write down the correct goals for YOU and what steps you need to put into place to achieve them, book a session with me, Kay Leslie or book for the What’s Your Purpose Workshop.

By Kay Leslie

Featured Image from Unsplash