Happy New Year’s!!
While part of me is still in shock that it’s actually 2016 (where did 2015 go, seriously?), the other part of me is thrilled to be in such a perfect place for new beginnings and fresh starts. I’m a big believer in setting goals and intentions year-round, and I think we need to figure out what drives us (both externally and internally but with a strong focus on the latter) so that we maintain momentum and accountability to ourselves past that dreaded mid-February mark where most people fall off the resolution bandwagon.
But I also relish any time when we have a tabula rasa, a blank slate from which we can truly rewrite our story in a way that serves us.
One of my favorite things to do during this time of year is to spend some time reflecting back over the past year, a process I take on with all of my 1:1 clients that I call our “Annual Review”. Like many of the exercises that I do with clients, this is an exercise that absolutely must be completed either written down or spoken aloud to another person. Some information our brain is able to process on its own quite well, while other types of information is better processed in written form or spoken out loud.
For example, writing by hand (NOT typing) activates the Reticular Activating System in the brain which allows you to better tune out external stimuli, which means you can more easily focus on what you are thinking/writing about. This is even more so the case for something that has an emotional component to it, and when you are doing an annual review, you are reflecting back over your life experiences over the past year – and we typically see that both very good and very negative life experiences carry the most emotional charge. Thus, writing down your answers or speaking them aloud to someone else will allow you to get better clarity as you reflect back.
So, grab a buddy or grab a pen and paper, and get started!
There are dozens of other great questions that I use with my clients to help them more deeply reflect on the past year, but these are some good ones to get started:
- How would you describe the past year in three words?
- What were you most thankful for this year?
- What would you have said last year that would be the #1 most important thing this year?
- What went well in the following areas:
- Living environment
- What didn’t go well in the following areas:
- Living environment
- How could you have planned better?
- When were you most proud ?
- When did you feel like you were your most authentic self? At what times/what situations did you NOT feel like your authentic self?
- What would your future self say looking back about the past year?
- Do you have any regrets looking back? Any disappointments?
- What risks do you wish you would have taken?
- If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself on January 1 of last year?
- How much were your core values represented?
- If this was the last year of your life, would you have regrets?
- If you are in the same place next year, how would that feel?
- What were the biggest lessons you learned?
Wishing you endless happiness in 2016!!
P.S. Don’t forget to grab your membership into Carpe Diem Academy, an 8 week online course + Facebook group that is sure to jumpstart your new year right. It’s jam packed with A TON of the great material, exercises, challenges, and resources that I share with my 1:1 clients but at a fraction of the investment. The price is still marked down from $300 to only $97 and there’s no better time than today to make a choice to seize the day!!