It's here, it's here!
Come and gather near,
as we celebrate the Holiday's,
and reflect on our year.
What's more exciting than a year-end review? A poem about a year-end review, of course. For the past five Decembers, I've had two constants in my life: drinking copious amounts of Dutch Bros. Candy Cane Cold Brew, and conducting what I call my annual review, aka my year-end reflection.
I wrote about my review process last December and you can check that out here. If you're unsure as to why someone would take the time to conduct an annual review, feel free to read my reasoning in last week's Two for You post. This year, I'll offer up a few alternative methods to reflecting on your year with the goal that more people will choose to invest the time to reflect.
I divide my life into four core areas: Physical, Mental, Relational, and Spiritual. For each category, I answer three questions:
-What went well this year?
-What did not go well this year?
-What am I working towards?
I type my answers into a word document and share it with close friends and mentors in my life. This has led to rich conversations about my personal growth and helped me clarify both where I've been and where I need to go.
This method consists of making a list of events that occurred during this calendar year. Underneath each event, use symbols to reflect on the following for that specific event:
# to designate what you want to keep
- to designate what you want to cull
+ to designate what you want to improve
If you're the adventurous type, this method may prove most effective for you. The three P's are: People, Places, Progress.
In reflecting on the people in your life, be sure to reflect on the good and the bad. What people made your life better this year? What people didn't?
Places can be an ambiguous term. It doesn't necessarily have to be a physical place. What place were you in mentally? Are you at the place you thought you'd be in your life by now?
Progress may be the most important. Honesty is key here. We cannot improve what we haven't honestly measured.
There are numerous effective ways to reflect on your life. Use one, use all three, or use a combination. If you're the gift giving type, then give yourself the gift of reflection this year. Future you will agree it will be the best gift you could have received.
Go through each month of 2022 and make a list of the notable events on your calendar (if you don't keep a calendar, try your best to remember). This will be paramount to any reflection method you choose.
In what way have you grown the most this year? Is that surprising to you?
"By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest." - Confucius