It is simplistic and obvious and at the same time extraordinarily humbling to acknowledge that each moment of our lives occurs only once. Once passed, that moment is gone and the next one now stands at the front of the line, eagerly awaiting who we will be and how we will show up. As Tic-Tock the alligator in my ever favorite Peter Pan reminds us, time stops for no one which means that there is no greater responsibility in our lives than to determine how we will engage with this one resource we can never recover once it is gone.
I bring this forward for the obvious reason that the end of a year and the beginning of a new one is the perfect time to reflect upon the choices we have made – as well as the less obvious reason (to you anyway) that I have been spending a great deal of time considering what I have been giving my time and energy to, and what changes I intend to make. (There is A LOT more to come on that after January 1!) And yet, there is still more reflecting to do. So, below I offer you a framework that I am following myself to engage with the practice of reflecting back and looking forward.
I hope you find it worthwhile, and as always, I love to hear from you!
If you have any great aha moments or reflections that you would like me to bare witness to, please share them here. I am always so grateful to be invited into your heart and mind.
Warmest wishes for a New Year filled with health, happiness, and loving connection.
Looking Back and Planning Forward – Framework for Year-End Reflection
Begin this process by setting aside an hour or so of quiet time either alone with your journal or with someone who is eager to engage in the reflection process with you.
Take a few moments and set your intention to engage with the events, relationships and experiences of this past year in a curious way. Be clear that this reflection is not a time for guilt or judgment of any kind, but rather a time to be curious and seek the treasures of discovery that they reveal. If you are reflecting with another person, commit to each other that you will serve as witnesses to each other only and that neither of you will judge, fix or try to remove emotion from the recounting of the past.
Then begin the inquiry into the past year using some of the following questions as prompts:
- What things did I (or you, if working with a partner) give my time to over the course of the last year that feels good?
- What choices do I feel particularly good about?
- Which relationships blossomed in exciting ways over the course of the last year? What was unexpectedly exciting?
- Which choices or experiences felt more challenging?
- Which relationships felt strained and difficult?
- How did I grow this year in ways that feel important?
- How did I share my gifts in the world?
If working with another person, be sure to give each person time to reflect on some or all of the above questions before moving on.
Now, take some time to look ahead. Set the intention to listen deeply to your heart. When the heart speaks, it tells you what is true for you. When your head speaks, your voice can become hopelessly intermingled with those of many other people. Make the commitment to setting intentions that feel true for you and you are much more likely to see the results you desire.
Begin looking forward with the following question prompts:
- How do I feel ready to grow in the coming year? What are three things I would like to be able to acknowledge about my own growth at the end of 2016?
- What voice of doubt or fear would you like to work through so you can liberate yourself from its grip?
- What relationships would I like to deepen in the coming year? These may be relationships where there has been struggle or strain or they may be relationships where you see opportunity for greater connection.
- What are three things you will do to care well for yourself in the coming year?
- How will you be of service in making the world a healthier and brighter place in the coming year?
Adina T. Laver, MBA, M.Ed., CPC, is a Consciousness Coach who specializes in helping people develop consciousness mastery so they can achieve the goals and life they want. Adina is the founder of two companies, Divorce Essentials which specializes in working with individuals and couples who are considering or navigating divorce to have a healthy experience and Courage to be Curious, a company dedicated to cultivating consciousness mastery for those who are committed to the path of self-awareness in all matters of life, love and leadership.