The end of the year symbolises a time to reflect and project. It encourages us to take a moment and pause, feeding our mind and spirits with motivational images, day-dreamed thoughts and aspirations, and sometimes a feeling of dread based on missed opportunities.
I tend to start my new year on the beach near our farm and jot down some notes on what I think the year might entail. It's generally filled with hopes for building an established morning routine, a thought to start some kind of crazy entrepreneurial venture that has been brewing in my mind and changing the lock screen on my phone to a successful person with a quote to try and keep me motivated.While this time of year encourages projection, it is the time for reflection that I believe is the most important.
Over the past few years I have struggled with recognising my own successes, instead, like many others, seeking externally recognised awards and opportunities as a way to build what I was doing and where I was heading. It started with working towards opportunities, then awards, and then when they felt no longer enough, I started purchasing things on top. It started with watches until I had too many, then moved to suits and other items. Eventually, enough was enough.
In my mentoring sessions and conversations with friends and family, I started working on recognising these achievements and the work I have done to get to this goal. I learnt to value what I was doing, every part of the journey and why each stage was important. Planting one tree or supporting an environmental cause became a significant part of the journey and what I was doing. Every step on the journey a victory for the bigger goal.
Yet, nothing quite made me realise these elements until I was able to reflect on 2016. Finally, I finally followed some advice and jotted down my journey for the year. It demonstrates the wins and the learnings, the effort that's gone into accomplishing goals and recognises what has come before and where you have built. It also encourages you to think big, and project better for the year ahead.
In reflecting on these positives and negatives, you are able to build the narrative for your hero's journey, seeking adventure and encouraging change for the new year.
I urge you all to dust off those calendars and diaries for 2016 one last time and spend 15 minutes sketching your year in review (as above). From there, decide what your journey should be for 2017, ensuring you build on your wins and learnings from the years before.
Write your own hero's journey- I look forward to hearing yours!
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