For me, December is a great month for reflection. We have 11 months behind us and are about to have 12 new ones ahead of us. It is important to set aside a little time to review both the previous year and the coming year to ensure we are living in alignment with our desires, values, and priorities. Let’s begin with a brief review of 2016.
Do you remember what you most wanted this year? Did you set some intentions last year around this time about how you wanted 2016 to go? Did you create a vision board for your year? Even if you didn’t do either of these things, think back to the end of 2015/early 2016. Where were you? What were your hopes and dreams a year ago? What did you desire to overcome or accomplish?
Now look back over 2016. What were the first three months like? What were you focusing on then? For me, I was focused on preparing to teach one of my favorite courses at the University of Denver. I was also struggling with a lingering sickness that lasted the first few months of the year. Now think back to the second quarter of the year – April, May, and June. What are the themes from that period of the year? As we moved into the second half of 2016 into July, August, and September – did you start to shift things? Did your priorities change? For me, this was when I turned up the heat on my coaching business. I enrolled in a high-end coaching program to learn marketing tools and systems to support the growth of my business. Then as we headed into the last quarter to October, November, and December, where did you focus your time and energy? What were your priorities during this period?
As you review the year as a whole, what themes stand out? What were your big projects? Did you have some things that you knew you wanted to complete in 2016? What is their current status? What still needs to be done to complete these last tasks? What would help you feel complete with this year?
Did you notice as the year went on that your priorities shifted? As you clarified your priorities, did this make it easier to stay on track to complete your main goals for the year? Take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate 2016 for all its challenges, lessons, accomplishments, trials and triumphs.
Life is a journey. When we can be grateful for its twists and turns and how they have shaped us into who we are, we bring reverence for our journey. When we honor where we have been, where we are, and where we are going, we sharpen our vision, we refine our desires, and we clarify our priorities. This helps ensure we have the elements we most desire in our lives (loving, supportive relationships, meaningful, well-paid work, optimal health, a rich spiritual life, exciting, new experiences and opportunities and a deep sense of satisfaction with our lives) as we continue on our journey.
As you look to the year ahead, what three overarching themes would you like to frame your year? Think about how you most desire to feel this year, how you most want to show up, the impact you would like to have, and your values and priorities.
Use these three themes as your guiding forces for the year ahead. You can use them as your screen saver, as a tool to help you make decisions, and as a way to check in with yourself to see if you are still aligned with how you desire to be, feel, and show up in the world.
Sending you deep appreciation for your journey and keen insight for the adventures that lie ahead,