The turn of the new year is a time to review and renew – and it’s no accident. We wrap up more than just gifts as Q4 comes to a close, including finances, work goals, staff reviews and strategic projections. And in our personal lives, we complete the streak of holidays that added a LOT of activity to our already full plates. Once any travel, guests, entertaining, volunteering, gifts, cooking, eating and cleaning are behind us, there’s a relative (and welcome) lull. For a few days or weeks after the clock strikes midnight on New Years Eve, that lull creates perfect conditions to reflect on the year that just ended and start the new with fresh focus.
I’m not suggesting an exercise in making New Year’s resolutions, though it can result in some. I’m encouraging you to take advantage of this opportunity to assess various areas of your work and personal life, and set goals or intentions. There is literally no down side. Here’s a few ways to reap those riches:
REFLECT AND REVIEW
It’s incredibly helpful for projecting to review the 12 months you just completed. And it’s actually not that hard to do. Simply take them one by one. It’s amazing how much we forget, so definitely use your calendar and anything else like photos, journals, emails that can help you remember things like trips, accomplishments, visits, even house repair! Depending on how deeply you want to dive, even your invoices and credit card statements can jog memories!
A few things to ask yourself: What’s coming up for you as you do this? Jot a few notes on it. What’s most important to you? What did you accomplish? Where did some unexpected twists, turns or joys come in? What did you hope for that might not have come through? That last one serves to discern things you may want to revisit in the coming year.
ASSESS BY CATEGORY
What areas of your life will be your focus? It can be enlightening to look at each area one by one: Health and fitness, family, financial, work, spiritual, physical, community, etc..If you are having trouble putting your finger on it, my blog on identifying your priorities can help!
SET GOALS AND INTENTIONS
Don’t be afraid to set them! Just stay realistic. There may be two areas of most focus this year. Or, having one big goal in each area might be best for you. If you can only see so far set goals by the quarter. Get specific: ie: financial goals. What did you achieve last year, and what are you looking to achieve this year to build on that success?
Don’t overlook the power in setting intentions! They help with the overall inspiration and vision you carry with you as you go forward.
An intention is very different than resolutions you check off on a goal list. It is more about choosing an overall tone as you set out to achieve them. They are more feeling or vibe based, and are always positive. For example, an intention can be to come at challenges with curiosity rather than anger or stress, to be more creative (which then can apply to a project at work or your home, not just when at play), to feel fulfillment or satisfaction in what you set out to do, rather than to accomplish X Y and Z.
WHAT TO LET GO
What might you need to let go of? This is a really helpful aspect that’s often overlooked when we review and renew. Do you need to do less of what’s really not important in order to create more time and energy for what is? Are there people in your life who might be tapping your energy, effort and time? See your home and office with new eyes in terms of possessions. Would having less, even in terms of daily clutter, free you up? Assess the way you have yourself scheduled – what could be shifted to better help you accomplish things or create more free space going forward?
THE ELEMENT OF LIFE STAGE
A word about the stage of life you are in. Are you approaching an age or a year that is significant to you? It might be a decade turner year. How does that sit with you? You may be starting or completing an educational endeavor. You may be moving, beginning a new position or marriage, having kids, readying to retire or solidly in mid-life. All of this figures into making realistic plans and goals. I will add, if you attach anything negative to where you are in the span of life, look for how to spin your perspective for the better. Every day has something good in it, and each challenge has lessons of value.
Hope that you will appreciate yourself for all you’ve done, and rest easy, knowing you did your best. The past is behind you now, and wherever you find yourself today holds promise, no matter the circumstances. If you are finding it difficult to see your way to that, or if you’d like to book a few private sessions to review and renew, please CONTACT ME. I would love to partner with you and help!