It's that time of year, as 2017 comes to an end, we are celebrating, we are processing, we turned the page, we remained stuck, we have crushed our goals, we have missed our targets. We sealed the deal, we have unfinished business, we stumbled to the finish line, we finished strong.
Intuitively, we know that we learn from our mistakes, accomplishments and our experiences, without actively thinking about those experiences, and questioning ourselves about what they mean, learning doesn’t truly happen. What moves us from ‘experience’ to 'understanding’ is reflection. Often we forget this tangible step in our journey.
Reflection is the essential step necessary before creating your vision, goals, desired outcomes, and action plans for the New Year to come. Reflection can also be a powerful, zero-cost tool that helps us capture the small (and epic) victories, challenges, lessons learned, insights, as well as the setbacks.
For this blog post Look Back to Look Ahead, I share with you a few of my favorite powerful questions to help you get started with the reflection process. I built questions around four themes: HIGHLIGHTS, CHALLENGES, GO BIG, and MOTIVATE. For the responses, I try to focus on events that I had control over. If something did not go well that I couldn’t prevent or control, I don’t usually include it on my list. I like to pour myself a glass of wine, settle into a quiet space and write things out as this way feels more fluid and creative to me. Do whatever works best for you, the key is to do it and have fun with this.
What were your 3 biggest achievements, accomplishments or top wins?
What were your 3 best moments?
What are you most proud of?
What have you achieved that has surprised you?
How are you different between this year and last?
What or who are you especially grateful for this year?
What were your top 3 challenges?
What were the main takeaways you learned from those challenges?
How did you turn one of your challenges into an opportunity?
What have you held onto in 2017 that didn't serve you?
What were your top 3 greatest insights?
GO BIG 2018:
What is your mantra for the upcoming year?
What would you like more of in 2018?
What would you like less of in your life in 2018?
What are your 3 biggest priorities for the upcoming year?
What old habits, out dated goals from 2017 will not be carried forward into 2018?
What are you most excited about for the coming year?
After writing out your answers, take some time to let it all resonate with you. This is the part where the learning happens and allows you to celebrate all that you accomplished in 2017. It is also important to recognize the things that didn't go as planned or you didn't accomplish. Try to figure out why or what happened and what you could do different moving forward.
How do your reflection responses guide your goals for next year?
Sharing a few of my own 2017 reflections...
HIGHLIGHT: In 2017, I responded more whereas in 2016 I reacted more. I found several opportunities in some of my greatest challenges this past year.
HIGHLIGHT: In 2017, I let my inner mentor lead me through a challenging yet rewarding year whereas in 2016 my inner critic led me more.
CHALLENGE: In 2017, I stayed quieter than I would like to have been regarding my concerns on the current status of our Nation. I wanted to be effective not just loud about my worries. I will be working harder to to be effective in 2018 on issues that matter to me.
GREATEST INSIGHT 2017: It never gets easier, you just get stronger, GROW through what you GO through. Never forget your 'why'.
MOTIVATE 2018: If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it. Follow your passion (not paycheck) and your purpose will follow.
GO BIG 2018: What am I most excited for in 2018? The Warmi Project will be partnering with Rachel Joyce who is among the best Iron distance racers in the world and triathlon's leading professional advocate for gender equality and pro rights in triathlon. Together we will bring the transformative power of triathlon to help women explore much more than improving their cadence. We will swim, bike, and run in epic settings while exploring strategies to strengthen our leadership skills. More to come real soon!
In order to play big and and accomplish what you strive for, while maintaining a clean mental space, reflection and planning must become an integral part of our lives. Once a year is essential but not enough. My hopes are you find these exercises helpful and you carve out time to build reflection in as a daily or weekly practice.
Do what works for you, even five minutes to yourself at the end of your working day can help to put what you've done into context. It's easy to remember what's just happened so it’s a great opportunity set your intentions and plans for the following day; plan what you will continue to do that is working well for you, stop what isn't working, and start that will help you get closer to your goals.
Like what you've read? Imagine having someone to work with that is completely dedicated to help you set and achieve your goals? This is exactly what I do. Through my one-on-one coaching, workshops, trainings, and retreats, I support clients in identifying and cultivating their strengths, goal-setting, creating outcomes, and leading change.
I'd be happy to provide you with a complimentary 30' minute consult to learn more about your vision and goals, share more about my coach approach, co-active partnership, background, packages, training and retreats programs offered. Reach out to me if you'd like to explore more.
I will continue writing in 2018 around specific strategies to set, sustain and surpass your goals. If you'd like to receive those posts straight to your inbox, reach out to me and I shall deliver.
Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!