Answer These 5 Questions to Reflect on 2016
Well here we are, 6 days into 2017. Some of you may be in full attack mode, making 2017 yours, and some of you may be easing into the year, still in reflection of last year. No matter where you’re at on this day, and no matter whether 2016 was a great year for you, just an ok year, or was a complete dumpster fire…Reflection is probably the most important thing you can do at the end of it. Reflection is how we learn and progress. Ask yourself a few questions:
- What were the top 10 moments of the year for me? One isn’t enough. If you really think about it, 10 should be easy. Most of us live a very good life. I am not saying it went exactly as you wanted (always appreciative, never satisfied), I am just saying you have at least 10 moments that you can be thankful for. In fact, once you really think about it, I hope you can write many, many more. In fact, this year, take on creating a gratitude jar, and drop in notes each week on something you’re grateful for, something good that happened, that brought you joy. Then next year on New Year’s Eve, read them and remember how truly amazing life is.
- What was my biggest learning experience this year? What is an instance that if faced with again, you might choose a different path? Why? Getting clear on this is growth. Don’t dwell on the past, decide to make a different future if given the chance again!
- Who is in my circle? Who are my closest advisors? Do they add to my life or suck it out? A speaker I was listening to said that “you are the sum of the 5 people closest to you”. In other words, if you surround yourself with good, bright, energetic people, you will be that. If you choose the opposite, you will be that. Did I add anyone to my circle this year? Do they lift my average or hurt it? What type of people would I like to add to my circle this year? Who would make my life better? This is like the old speed dial on our phones. If you only have a few slots, who are the ones you should have?
- What did I want to accomplish this past year? What were my goals? Where is that little piece of paper you wrote those “resolutions” on..Or did you forget to even write them…Most people stick with a resolution for less than a few weeks. Are you most people? Really assess whether you hit any targets. People aim at nothing and hit it with amazing accuracy…
- What would make this year a success for me? What could I accomplish that would make me and therefore my life more fulfilled? This is the one that really helps if you have a good person to help you sort through the wishes and get to the dreams. Wishes depend on someone else to make it happen for you usually. Dreams are yours. If it was your last year to live, what would you want to do? Would it be to invest more time with your family? Would it be to write that book? Would it be to see Italy? Write it down and then schedule time each week to think on it. In the book “Think and Grow Rich,” the main concept of the book is the manifestation of your thoughts. What you think about will eventually happen if you put enough time and effort into it. So do you spend your time thinking or investing in it? Do you expect a return off of your thoughts or just let time pass you by? This is one of the main differentiators I see between successful (by many different definitions) people and those that wish they were. Where you put your thoughts and therefore time is where you will go…
Once you have all of these answered, don’t put them away… Put them somewhere prominent that you have to look at ALL of the answers on a regular basis. Challenge yourself to see last year’s successes, last year’s learning experiences, who your circle is and should be, what accomplishments you missed last year, and finally, what you want to accomplish this year. As you develop these thoughts and invest time on them, plans will form, procrastination becomes difficult as it is right there in front of you all of the time. Ask people in your circle to ask you about your plans and how they are developing. The reward will be immense as you not only get it done, but feel the satisfaction of completing the task. The best way to get something done is to begin…
Now take a little time to reflect…Then take some time to start…Then go make it happen!
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