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If your year could talk, what would it say?

Review your year, close a chapter and be ready for 2022

Here’s a confession. I’m a personal development junkie.

It all started back in 2008 when I studied Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). Books, courses, quotes, podcasts – you name it. I devour them. Not endlessly. I need time for reflection and digestion in between. I’m the one who buys a recommended book, especially if the title resonates with me (Flourish by Martin Seligman is an example).

Always game for a suggested exercise or quiz and intrigued by personality tests. And forever interested in learning something new about my own personality and psychology in general.

Life is a journey and not a destination. Sometimes we have to make pit stops to refuel, change course, ignore a compass and decide whether to take a road less travelled. Life is also one big learning opportunity.

And that’s why I believe it’s important to wrap up your year before you can be totally ready for the next one. The only person you should benchmark yourself against is you, your growth, your desires, your goals, and your achievements.

Why? Comparison is the thief of joy.

I’ve spent too much time setting and reviewing goals for work! And being measured against a goal that didn’t make sense or add value.

Who I am and what I’ve become is more and more important to me as I grow older. I don’t feel ready for the year ahead before I have reviewed the current year and noted what I’m proud of, reflected on all that has happened and noted it in my journal.

There’s something symbolic about wrapping up a year by reviewing it holistically too. And not just in terms of outcomes and achievements. While these are important, they are not the only indicators of growth, learning and effort.

Effort is totally underrated. Disciplined consistent action every day has more power than you know. What matters most is, you are in motion. And if you’re a writer like me, you know, that you need to write every day to improve.

Reviewing your year can help you be at peace with the things that didn’t happen; find another strategy to approach a long-term goal, as well as reframe failures into learnings. And most importantly, it’s an opportunity to celebrate achievements, however small.

Your outer life might not look that different, but your inner life could be very different. The end of the year is a great opportunity to close a chapter, create a Wow! list and pat yourself on the back. And create new goals and priorities that relate to all areas of your life.

Here’s an excuse to put pen to paper. I invite you to find some solo time during December to ponder your year and hear what it has to say. Grab a pen and answer the following:

Summarize your year in:

  • three words
  • an image
  • a metaphor

Choose an area of your life you would like to review

For example, work, family life, social life, finances, your business. Feel free to review one area at a time or do a general review. Now answer the following:

  • What are you mega proud of?
  • What have you created that has made a difference? (to whom?)
  • When did you step outside your comfort zone?
  • What happened as a result?
  • What superpowers have you (further) developed this year?
  • Who has helped you and been there for you?
  • Who have you helped and been there for?
  • How have you become more resilient?

Emotionally

  • What achievement(s) make you feel fabulous?
  • What didn’t go according to plan?
  • What did you learn from this experience(s)?

 Physically

  • How have you prioritized your health and wellbeing this year?
  • What is on your ‘at my best’ minimum list?
  • What would you like to do more of?

 Personal growth and competence development

What have you learned this year? List your new professional, personal and social skills.

Practically (tangible results)

  • What results have you tracked in terms of numbers?
  • What measurements are significant to your (business) growth?
  • How have you increased your visibility?

How have you spent your time?

Time is man’s most precious commodity. And one we never have enough of. Create your own headings that resonate with you. Your list will help you define how you would like to spend your time in the new year.

What story are you telling about 2021?

On life’s journey, we encounter endless transitions. Sometimes we choose them (marriage, new job, new country). Sometimes we don’t (illness, redundancy, pandemics!). Each transition creates a new story. Your story can support you in reaching your goals. But it can also keep you stuck.

What story are you telling about 2021?

I invite you keep this exercise. It can be fun and help you when you review 2022.

When you review your year, you not only close a chapter but also become clearer about what you want in the year which follows.

Good luck!

Image credits  to green-chameleon-21532-unsplash

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