One of my pet hates is a door, which isn’t closed properly, and keeps banging every time the wind blows. I think this can be likened to many of our lives and the transition from one year to the next. In the mad rush at the end the year, we often forget the importance of reflection, and thus go into the New Year setting goals which in many ways resemble the past years goals, as we forget to mark the progress we made the year prior. AKA – Closing the door behind you.
Another year has flown by, and wow what a year it has been. In the past few weeks, I’ve both uttered & heard “it was a good year, busy year or hectic year”, I feel it worth sharing an exercise I recently did which got me to extend my little reflective vocabulary of 2014.
December, while being a month of celebration, friends, family and plenty indulging is also a time to reflect on a year passed. While there is so much joy, sometimes relief (and definitely benefit) in planning for the year to come; a powerful ending makes a new beginning even sweeter.
It solidifies new learning
While we know we have learnt a lot about life, ourselves and others; refection takes this knowledge one step further and helps us to take stock of all that we learnt in the past year, what it did for us, and what we will take forward from it.
It empowers us
Self-reflection involves us coming face-to-face with reality, which isn’t always easy, but is oh-so-necessary. Admitting where we’re at, in life, relationships, our career, health, the works, may be a daunting task but it is also hugely empowering. Taking ownership of where we’re at is the starting point of moving forward, and a great time to do just that is at the end of the year.
It allows for ‘letting go’
While the year may have held many successes, happiness, amazing insights and fond memories, there is likely to have been some ugly ‘stuff’ in amidst all that too. While ignoring things prolongs having to deal with them, it also results in denial, and denial gets us nowhere fast. A simple acknowledgement of what was/took place & what we learnt about ourselves or life in the process, is a great way of closing doors, which could otherwise threaten to swing open every few months.
My encouragement to you as many of us go into our final weekend before our final week of work for the year, is to spend an hour or so reflecting on the past year (perhaps answering a few of the questions below} & ultimately allowing for 2014 to end on a intentional, reflective high.
Reflecting on 2014…
If you could sum up your year in one word what would it be?
What did you learn about yourself this year that you perhaps didn’t know before?
What was your absolute highlight of the year?
What are you happy to leave behind in 2014?
What has been the most meaningful learning from this year that you will take with you into 2015?