Is this a time of reflection?
Are you gearing up for something great?
Dreaming of tomorrow?
As soon as Thanksgiving hit, I noticed the buzz around me focusing in on 2014.
With still all of December ahead, a mood of reflection has already set in:
“What was 2013 all about and what’s next?”
If you’re ready to take stock of this last year and begin creating your vision for 2014 save a copy of the following exercise and start tinkering. This was inspired by writing from the playful and rocking Thea Sommer. Don’t get stuck on what’s “right” or “wrong”, just let your mind flow freely: reflect, dream and write.
PART 1 — CLEARING THE SLATE
put closure to this past year
as you position yourself for what’s next:
- What happened this year? What did I accomplish? Examine all aspects of your life:
CAREER — your job, your business relationships, your income and relationship with money
FAMILY — your romantic life, home, and children
COMMUNITY — your community / civic involvement and your service to others, your friendships, your communication skills
SELF— your hobbies and creativity, your vices, ethics, integrity and personal character, your ability to take risks and further develop your values, your relationship with yourself and your sense of confidence, your own understanding of your personal character
(Even if you may not have accomplished your full goal in an area, be sure to take stock of the small victories along the way.)
- Without judgment or self-recrimination, what did I fail to accomplish that I had hoped to achieve?
- In what ways did I grow?
- What beginnings did I make this year and how am I doing with these ventures?
PART 2 — INVENTING WHAT’S NEXT
- What am I hungry for in this coming year?
(Include all of the parts of your life that are important to you: see above)
- What relationships do I want to create, develop or enhance?
- We all know Edison’s adage: “there is no substitute for hard work”. What specific disciplines and actions (physical, mental, spiritual, emotional) will support me in the fulfillment of my desires?
- What conversations am I in with myself that may keep me from fulfilling my vision. Which of my own actions might be standing in my way? (Distinguish these and address how they might be overcome/avoided)
- What nagging issues have I been avoiding and what am I ready to do about that?
- What is this year going to encompass for me? Give yourself a 2014 tagline, ie A year of connection, a year of learning, a year of balance, etc…
PART 3 — BEWARE
despite good intentions, ideas disappear
if you don’t create a solid framework to hold them together.
- Share this task with someone who plays an important and trustworthy role in your life. Read your 2013 summary to them out loud as an affirmation of its completion. Share your 2014 wishlist with them, share your progress and use this person as an accountability partner.
- Print out your 2014 manifesto, noodle with it a few times, save it someplace special, and put a few dates in your 2014 calendar (yes, really, now) to review this with yourself.
If this feels like an interesting idea, don’t just let it slide into the email abyss.
Print out a copy for yourself (or just mark the email as unread for now) and tuck it someplace smart as a first step to a proactive 2014. Make a date in your calendar and some time in your busy life for this nurturing, brainstorming exercise.
And if you feel so inclined, email me a copy of your plan: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear what you’ve come up with!