Take Time To Reflect

Do you feel accomplished in 2018? Were there goals you set for yourself that you met? Were there goals you set for yourself but upon reflection you came up short?

It’s December. And while you’re probably busy with holiday parties, unused vacation time, writing Christmas cards, gift wrapping, and a million other things, it’s important to take a pause. This is your invitation to do so.

Oftentimes we get so overwhelmed by the to-dos of the holiday season we forget to take time to reflect on the previous year. Before you know it, it’s March and you haven’t considered any goals or intentions for the New Year, or you’ve already forgotten them. It’s hard to set those goals and intentions if you don’t take proper time to reflect on the last twelve months and how they lived up to your expectations. So let’s do that right now, together.

First, I want you to take time to think about what’s most important to you. Look at the key categories: Family, Work, Health, Spiritual/Personal Development, and Relationships. What are the things that you’ve felt truly engaged in over the last year? And from those things, what goals did you accomplish? These can be goals you set or goals that were unexpected.

Did you take time to celebrate your accomplishments this year? So often we’re focused on the achievement, but we forget to pat ourselves on the back when we get there. We’re too focused on hitting the next milestone. If you didn’t allow yourself to celebrate all of the good that you experienced in 2018, set aside time to do that before the year is up. Is that a pattern in your behavior?

Now, I want you to take some time to think about the goals you may have set for 2018 that you didn’t accomplish. Why did this happen? Maybe unforeseen circumstances arose or perhaps you decided to take your goal in a new direction. Maybe you simply decided you didn’t want it anymore or that you wanted to push it a year. This part is harder than the previous one. But in order to grasp where we want to go, we must first reflect on where we’ve been—even if it’s difficult or painful to do so.

Finally, I want you to consider the following question: What does 2019 look like for you? What intentions do you want to create? By aligning your mind, heart, and soul you’ll be able to begin working toward them in the New Year. Again, I invite you to look at the five key categories I stated earlier. You don’t need multiple goals in each category. Perhaps there is one category really calling for your focus in the upcoming year. Maybe there is a category that you didn’t feel very engaged in, in 2018 and you need to make a change.

This is an activity that you should take time to first do on your own. And if you’re a leader or a manager, consider also bringing this activity to your team. No one can accomplish amazing feats in business alone. You must help each other. But to do that, everyone needs to be clear on what his or her goals are in the coming months. Also, since you are with family, do this with your partner or kids.

Don’t ring in 2019 without first taking time to reflect on 2018. I know it’s a busy time for you. But you owe it to yourself to start thinking about the year ahead. Remember: Nothing needs to be firm or perfect. The act of thinking about it, talking to your family or friends about it, and reflecting on it is often enough to help us clarify where we want to go.

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