Reflecting on This Year and Ringing in the New

In a little over a week we will be ringing in a new decade. In addition to enjoying the holidays, I love this week because many people take the week off providing time to clean out my to-do list and clear my head to reflect upon the past year and prepare for a running start in the new year. Here are a couple of tools I like to implement to cap off the year and prepare for the next:

Accomplishment Board: I like to start my reflection process by pulling together a visual representation of all that I accomplished during the year. As with many people, I often fall short on some of my loftier goals, but this visual board reminds me of tremendous progress, unexpected opportunities and special memories from the past year.

Vision Board: I create a new vision board each year which contains images for both short- and long-term goals. Items like a student loan bill image showing zero balance or once in a lifetime trip reappear as they will take me longer to realize. Other items like a visit to the Downton Abbey exhibit in Ashville, NC will be rewards that can be achieved in the short term.

Goal Reflection & Revision: I take time to reflect on my goals each quarter. My goals and word of the year are set not during the end of the year but on my birthday in September. I find setting goals with my birthday helps me to ward off the short shelf life of most New Year’s Resolutions. For me, the end of the year is timely since it marks the end of the first quarter and a chance for me to tweak goals and develop action plans for any roadblocks slowing my progress.

Developing these visuals take me between a half-day and two days depending on the year. This year, I am anticipating it will take me a full two days to complete since 2019 was filled with numerous milestones and memories including leaving Corporate America and a month-long trip out West. Focus will be important with big plans for 2020 with the launch of new workshops and coaching services.

Reflection and planning are great but can easily be forgotten when things pick up again in the New Year. Visual cues remind me of what I am capable, where I can go and how I will get there. I hope these tools may help you in your planning to make the coming decade your best one yet.

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