What would you celebrate about 2021?
If that sounds odd to you, it’s perfectly understandable.
This year has probably been a challenging one for all of us.
Most folks have helplessly watched family, friends, colleagues, and others battle the virus in this second consecutive pandemic year.
During coaching conversations, I have also heard my clients speak about it.
I am aware and ask you that question again because if you were to reflect on the last five or ten years of your life, you would realize that every year has had some good and not so good things happen to you.
Cycle of life
Life is a heady mix of ups and downs, celebrations and suffering, things to look forward to and things we wish to forget.
Granted, 2021 may look like it has seen more downs than ups. However, at a time like this, looking for things to celebrate can support you in two ways:
- Help you maintain an objective perspective of the year
- Remind you to cherish the little things you may have seen go well
You probably have had a hectic year packed with meetings, calls, and a never-ending flow of emails and notifications.
I invite you to take some time to reflect and understand how you showed up this year. Then, as you step into the new year, you will be surprised by what comes up and how useful that can be.
Reflect, not ruminate
Before you begin, it’s essential to ensure you focus on the former and not the latter.
- Objectively reviewing the year that went by.
- Observing in a non-judgemental manner.
- Seeking insights
- Allowing new awareness to emerge.
On the other hand, rumination will have you repeatedly turn over negative situations in your mind, making you feel trapped and helpless.
Quiet reflection has the power to bring you a new awareness, insights and learnings.
Here are seven questions worth reflecting on:
1.What did I do well this year?
Like most people, You will focus on your mistakes, failures, and disappointments while completely missing out on what you have done well.
However, if you reflect sufficiently, you will find things that you have done well,
Maybe even things that you have done exceptionally.
You may end up surprising yourself with how many of them come up.
Focus on your accomplishments, on things you have done well this year, however minor they appear to be, because you are then thinking from a place of strength and enabling a balanced view of the year.
2.How did that benefit me, others?
The human mind is known to benefit from feeling useful.
List down the impact of all things you did well and notice the effect it has had on you and those around you.
Focusing on the benefits can also help shift the energy within, bring you a sense of motivation to go after your goals, to serve yourself and others.
3.Where did I place my time and energy the most this year?
As I have said many times before, time is the most precious yet most wasted resource.
Think about where you chose to place your time and energy the most this year
Aimless surfing, endless hours scrolling through social media, binge-watching entertainment programs, and checking every notification?
Exercise, meditation, well-being, hobbies, learning, time for self, family, friends?
It does not have to be only the latter; we all need some fun and entertainment in our lives to relax, rejuvenate and refresh ourselves.
Pay attention to the ratios; notice the patterns and stories that emerge.
Channelizing your time, energy towards things that matter gets you faster to your goals.
4.What could I have done better?
We are “work in progress” all through our lives and getting better at something bit by bit is the only way to mastery.
Identifying missed opportunities and things you could have done better gives you insights into how you can spend your time and energy in the new year.
Be kind and accepting of yourself as you reflect here; the idea is not to find reasons to criticize yourself.
5.If I could re-live this year, what would I do differently?
Extending the logic from the previous question, you might find more insights into your dreams, desires, aspirations by attempting this question.
Maybe you would have managed your anger better, been more productive, had more fun, and learnt something new.
Do notice what comes up as you work through this critical question.
6.What am I grateful for this year?
Gratitude is powerful
Studies continue to show how important it is for our well being.
By listing down everything you are grateful for, you are learning to shift your focus onto things that really deserve your attention.
7.How can I use these learnings in the new year?
You are walking into a brand new year
365 days of incredible opportunities, potential waiting to be harnessed
Arm yourself with learnings and think about how you can use them in the new year
Then go after your goals, things that matter, live fully and make it your best year yet.
Albert Camus said, “Life is the sum of all your choices.”
You can choose to answer the above seven questions, to use the learnings, to act on them and make the most of the new year,
You can choose to repeat your past habitual tendencies and experience the same or similar outcomes in the new year.
Both choices have consequences; please choose wisely.
As an Executive Coach, I understand how hard it may seem for you to break through the chains of habit and bring about change.
I am also aware of your incredible potential, resilience and sincerely believe your best is yet to come.
So go ahead, capture your learnings, make a plan for the new year, take consistent action, and unleash your greatness!
I wish you a peaceful close to this year and a warm welcome into the new one.