Amidst the joyful celebrations of the holidays, we are moving into the winter of the year, when life in the outer world becomes quiet and still. The snowing storms of the winter and chilly weather often force us to stay put, slowing the hustle and bustle of our day-to-day lives.
This is a welcome relief for many of us, because we typically move through life quickly, shifting from one thing to another so fast that there is little time to absorb one experience before hastily moving onto the next.
There is a lot of gift giving and exchanging during this time of year and don’t forget that it’s important to give yourself a gift as well. Take time to reflect so that you can take stock of what has occurred throughout the year.
Coaches call this process "getting complete" with the way things are and are not in one's life. It's a way to rekindle in order to keep your energy high, your optimism flowing, and your focus on the way you want your life to be.
One of the ways to get complete with the closing of the year is to do a "year-end" review. This exercise provides a wonderful opportunity to look back on the past 12 months and summarize the progress, gains, and setbacks you might have encountered along the way.
During your time of reflection, you can answer the following questions and take any actions that come out of the writing exercise as you move toward the New Year.
• What did I accomplish this year? This is my personal favorite! You may amaze yourself with this one.
• What did I intend to accomplish that I did not? This is not as much fun, but it’s good to notice what you've lost track of through the year.
• Do I want to take any action toward the thing(s) I did not accomplish? As you look at what things you intended to accomplish yet did not, you have the opportunity to either recommit, or simply recognize you truly have no intention of making that specific task or action happen. Anything else is simply causing your own suffering or "should-ing" on yourself.
• What unexpected events occurred this year? There are both joyful and sorrowful that sometimes come our way unexpectedly, which I call "life coming at you." Is there anything you want to clear about any these events in order to be complete with them?
• Are there any relationships that have left me feeling incomplete? Being incomplete with a relationship can mean that you either have lower energy feelings left about something (you may be upset, resentful, angry, or sad) or that you did not communicate a higher energy emotion to someone (such as gratitude, acknowledgment, or love). Either way, you want to be sure that you're maintaining your relationships in such a way that you are settled and satisfied with the way the relationship exists in your life. If you notice an area of incompletion, determine what action needs to occur and then do it.
• In what ways did I grow? Did you let go of any limiting beliefs or self-defeating behaviors? Did you increase your level of patience and acceptance of others, or lighten up in the face of life?
Once you have fully reflected upon the year and determined what you need to be complete with as the closing of the year comes upon us, what you then have is an open clearing inside of which you can begin visioning for the New Year. In that clearing you can dream, create goals and action plans, and move forward with confidence, clarity and power. Try it, and you'll see wonderful things unfold.