Make the Most of Your Year-End With These Six Questions
As the year comes to a close and year-end conversations with clients, colleagues and teams are a focus, this has been a challenging year for many.
Perhaps you’ve had your share of struggles and obstacles to overcome. That said, I bet you’ve also had some incredible and truly inspiring experiences as well. So today I’m going to share a short yet powerful year-end review process to set yourself up for new results in the year ahead.
While it’s tempting to fast forward our focus into the new year — and the new opportunities and goals that come with it — don’t underestimate the power of a little reflection and release first.
I’m willing to bet there’s wisdom to be gained from the past twelve months, if you’re willing to look. And… you’ve heard it before, but there’s a good reason scientists, sages and counselors alike speak to the value of letting go of the old in order to make room to bring in the new.
Tune in to this week’s video for the four key components to this short, powerful process:
For most of us, there are a few important — yet unrecognized or uncelebrated — milestones or accomplishments in any given year. Some clients are celebrating milestones in their business or getting some real traction on personal struggles that have previously held them back from stepping fully into their vision.
One recently shared how she’s literally transformed her workday for the better because of our work together and the adjustments she’s made over the past months. Another made a mindset shift that’s opened up a different, more centered way of showing up for her creative work, her family and her friends – and she’s getting much more of her most important work done for it. Several are celebrating incredible and very aligned opportunities in their business or jobs that have come their way seemingly out of the blue (yet I know and they know there was a lot of prep work for those fortunate opportunities).
And yes, along with the accomplishments, there are probably some tough lessons you’d be wise to take note of so as not to repeat. Perhaps there’s also an old story or some emotional weight that won’t serve you – or your vision and goals – if it’s carried forward into the new year. This is a powerful time for some reflection and release.
There is science behind the age-old philosophy of letting go of the old in order to make room to bring in the new – with more ease and clarity. Studies indicate that negative thoughts, feelings, words and behaviors affect our mental and physical health, which impacts the actions we take, which translates into the results we see, our success, even our self-worth.
And this is not about putting a band-aid over things to just think positively, that doesn’t work, at least not for long. If you’re looking for long-term, sustainable results, this process is about taking an intentional look at what’s not working, releasing what can be released and in so doing, making room for the new… room for more positive beliefs and behaviors that support your new actions and goals.
It’s difficult to create different outcomes and results when we’re holding onto old stories, emotionally-draining relationships or other limiting beliefs and behaviors that have outgrown their usefulness. Whether in our conscious awareness or, more often, our subconscious, it’s important to begin to unearth them. When we challenge those beliefs that are no longer serving us, we can create enough space from them to invite in new beliefs, new behaviors – and new results.
Your Year-End Review
The following questions will guide you through all of the above. And while many year-end rituals seem complex and time-consuming, you can do this one in 15 minutes or less (or give yourself the luxury of a longer reflection).
Whichever suits you, I encourage you to try this simple yet profound exercise to create space and perspective before you set big new goals, a vision or your resolutions for the next twelve months.
Take a few moments to acknowledge and release the old so that you create space to fully embrace the new – new possibilities, new experiences, new learnings and new growth.
These six simple questions help me clear the mental and emotional clutter from the past year so that I can look more clearly and honestly at what my priorities are – on all fronts – over the coming year.
- What were the most significant events of the past year? List 2 or 3 you most want to remember, acknowledge or appreciate.
- What’s one thing you accomplished this year that you’re truly proud of?
- What’s one mistake you made — and what did you learn from it?
- What did you complete or let go of this year – and what still feels incomplete?
- What’s one limiting belief or old story that you’re ready to let go of before the new year? Feel free to list more things you’re willing to release – and remember to have gratitude for what they’ve brought you in terms of learnings and usefulness.
- What’s one realization or insight you gained from this exercise?
Treat yourself to a few quiet moments to reflect upon what you did, how you felt, what you liked and didn’t like, what you learned.
You may find it helpful to write out your thoughts and feelings in a journal – or to talk this through with a trusted friend, colleague or coach. Personally, I work with a coach and I also keep a version of the Bullet Journal which provides a great way to review the year. You might flip through your own appointment calendar or review the pages of your journal as you consider these questions.
An important part of preparing for a new year is to review the past, reflect on it, release what needs to be released and intentionally create space for the new. In order to fully embrace the new, we must release the old that is no longer serving.
Once you’ve completed your year in review, you can look ahead more clearly – now with room for the new that you’re inviting in. And even better, once you’ve really acknowledged your lessons and accomplishments, you’ll have created the mental and emotional space to truly enjoy your holiday festivities. Now that’s something to celebrate!
If you’re beginning to see the power of some reflection and release in your life, then I’d like to make it even easier to stay on that journey for you ~ so that you’re getting more of the results you seek in the year ahead.
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