Reflect to move forward

Category: Article or Blog Published: Wednesday, 28 February 2018 Written by Sarah PJ White

New Year inevitably brings with it a feeling of hope and expectation. We all want to start the year on a high and, if at all possible, end it on an even higher one! But in our eagerness to welcome the year ahead, we often forget to take the time to reflect on the year we’re just finishing – meaning we’re potentially missing out on information that can help us move forward, faster.

Looking back

No matter how good or bad your year has been, there are lessons to be learned. Whether it’s things to avoid or actions to include, looking back can be one of the most useful tools for enabling you to move forward.

The key to looking back over your past year is to be gentle with yourself! This isn’t a blaming and shaming exercise. It isn’t a tool to beat yourself up with – it’s simply a case of evaluating, without judgement, the things you’ve achieved or delayed on throughout the year. You can kick-start the process by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What was my biggest achievement this year?
  • What lessons did I learn?
  • Who did I need to be, in order to reach these achievements?
  • What skills have I learnt this year?
  • Who has been my biggest ally?
  • What connections and friendships best served me?
  • How did I nurture my relationship with others?
  • What did I avoid this year – and how has this helped me? (This is great for uncovering hidden benefits of staying stuck and not moving forward)
  • What worked for me this year?
  • What skills did I wish I had to help me out this year?

Once you’ve assessed how your year went, you can start using the information to help plan your year ahead.

Looking forward

When it comes to looking forward, we’re great at it – especially when it comes to making plans as resolutions. The problem is, those resolutions often fall by the wayside during the first month!

By taking the lessons learnt in the previous year, you can make firm plans and goals for the year ahead. Using your previous answers as a guide, ask yourself the following:

  • What do I want to achieve this year?
  • How can the lessons learnt in the previous year, help me?
  • What qualities and traits will I be implementing this year?
  • What skills and qualities do I have, that can help me reach my new goals?
  • What relationships will I be nurturing – and which will I be cooling?
  • Who do I want to get to know better?
  • How can I better serve my colleagues and myself?
  • What negative traits and habits do I need to watch out for – and what are my plans for cutting them out of my life?
  • What qualities do I have that I’d like to expand – and which do I want to change?
  • What do I want to learn this year?

By assessing your previous year in a non-judgemental way, you can easily glean hidden negative habits and thoughts that need working on – and ensure your year ahead is even better than the previous one!

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Image courtesy of bahrialtay/Dollar Photo Club

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