This has always been a reflective time of the year for me. I like to look at my year to see how I did at things such as living my truth and walking my talk. I cannot remember a time in my life when I have not done this to some degree.
Nearly 17 years ago, at this time of the year (12/30/1995), my mom died. Since then, my end of the year reflection has always included her and it has made it much more powerful. Since my PLS (my ninth end of the year so far), I reflect more throughout the year, but continue to find this end of the year review necessary.
These reviews are wonderful opportunities to see how far I have come, to uncover behavioral patterns, and to see just how well I have stayed true to my priorities and goals for the year. It is also great to see what hasn’t worked for me and allows me the opportunity to choose to do something differently in the year ahead.
I tend to notice themes as a result, and establish a theme for making it different as a new year rolls in. For example, I have shared in previous blogs that 2010 was the year that I would better manage the bullies in my life. This came from my end of 2009 review.
2011 was the year of self-care (year of the double I’s) since I found myself compromising this quite a bit in 2010’s life review. Since 2011 was spent recuperating from pump surgeries, 2012 was more healing and figuring out how to adjust with the limitations and changes from the surgeries.
My process involves asking myself some simple questions and journaling my answers. I want to share some of my annual review questions, so that you can initiate your own.
- What priorities/goals did I have for the year?
- How did my daily life choices get me closer to meeting/reaching these goals?
- What blocks did I run into? Were these self-generated (my perception, not letting go, blaming others, playing the victim) or external (things and situations totally out of my control)?
- How could I have better coped with the blocks and how can I choose differently when similar blocks appear again?
- What thinking, feeling, believing and behaving patterns do I see after reflecting/writing about #’s 1-4? Are these patterns serving me?
- Am I willing to change one small thing to change these patterns for the coming year?
- In one sentence or less, what will my theme for 2013 be?
Of course, these are just to get you started. How the process of reflection evolves is very personal. There is no right or wrong way to do it (unless you use it to berate yourself).
I would love to hear about your reflection process, and about the growth that awaits you in 2013. I will certainly be sharing mine in the days, weeks and months to come.