December has arrived, and as we are nearing the end of 2021 it seems like a good time to do an end-of-the-year evaluation. Rather than setting goals already for the next year let’s spend a chunk of time on taking audit of the past year first: what worked, what didn’t work, and what needs our time and focus in 2022.
As you may know I’m all about reflection & introspection. What I find important though when it comes to assessing our lives, is taking a positive approach towards it. Dwelling on the past will get us nowhere but learning from all that has been good and challenging will.
So what about dedicating some time to reflect on what’s working for us and what’s not to make sure we’re entering the new year with intention. For this newsletter I want to share with you my process of evaluating 2021 and challenge you to do it too :D
Last Sunday I set aside some intentional time for about three to four hours. I got myself a roll of sketch paper and made a BIG outline of the past year. For every month, I started writing down all the things I am proud of and all the moments I have really enjoyed. To help my memory I used my phone gallery to bring up these highlights. After I wrote down my ‘wins’ (for lack of a better word) for the last eleven months, I did the same for my ‘pain points’: things I would have done differently or not at all if I had known. At this point what stood out to me most was that many of the things that I had achieved in the past months, I'd already forgotten about by now. So I poured myself a drink and took some time to celebrate and enjoy these ‘wins’! I really feel we don’t do that enough in life. After I was done celebrating I took a closer look at the ‘pain points’ I had written down and started a little brainstorm on how to improve them in the next year to come. I am really dedicated to stop getting in my own way, so a brainstorm like this helps a lot. As a wrap up, I wrote down some goals for the coming year to make sure I am committed to act upon my ‘pain points’.
The best part of doing an evaluation like this is that you’ll become really aware of the things you want more of in your life. I found that a lot of my ‘wins’ included something creative. I always get flutters in my tummy when I am creating something artsy and it always makes me wonder why I don’t do it more often! Now I know for sure these moments need more of my focus.
On a professional level, this has been a transformative year for me since I have made the move to become a business owner. On a daily basis it’s quite hard for me to see what I have accomplished so far. Living in times in which everything is measurable is pretty discouraging when you’re just starting out. It’s so easy to conclude you suck when it comes to reading the ‘stats’. But zooming out and taking a bird's-eye view puts everything in perspective. I am actually doing pretty all right!
So, my challenge to you: dedicate some time to reflect on your personal and professional endeavours of 2021 before the new year arrives. Could you name some things you’ve accomplished so far or parts you want to improve upon? What are things you put off that you wished you had spent more time on? Who are the people that you enjoyed sharing your time with most? This all may sound like a lot of work, which it is ;-], but I guarantee it will be worth the effort! After working through this personal inventory you will have so much clarity about what you need from your life and career to feel good & ready in the new year. Maybe you can even persuade your partner to join you? Mine needed the extra kick in the butt to join me, but he had to admit it was way more enjoyable than he’d expected! You got it. Good luck and have fun!