Are you feeling the New Year vibes already, friend? It is almost here: 2020!
There are as many ways to celebrate New Year as there are people on this planet. Some of us state a few sentences like "It was a horrible year and I'm glad it's over!" or "What a great year! I don't even remember all the great things that happened, but all in all wow!". Some of us have a giant to-do list where we tick off every item we have done and carry over everything else into our new year's resolutions, hoping that the magic will happen next year. Some of us... well, just do not care; after all it's just a day like another. And then there are those who literally go through a full retreat to start the year with magic.
This is us adding a bit spice into your beginning year. This is a self-coaching version, somewhere between the full one-day retreat and doing nothing at all. Last year we published a mini online course for the new year, and here are some takes from the course on how to finalize your year like a pro. By reflecting and learning from the past you can plan your future so that you don’t repeat the same patterns and actually feel more in control of your own life as you go. (For you who wants to do a mini version of it all, feel free to jump straight to part 3 and the summary!)
Here we go. Find a comfortable and inspiring place, grab your notebook and take notes on anything that you find interesting for you. We suggest that you get rid of all possible distractions and be open to inspiration. Do a bit of meditation or anything else that helps you focus. You will need around 30 to 60 minutes for the next steps in total.
1. Expressing Gratitude
A growing body of work in psychology and social sciences has shown that gratitude improves our life satisfaction, resilience and many other areas in our life. Write down a list of things that you are grateful for this year. What can you be grateful for? What do you have in your life that you once wished for? Surprise yourself! I am sure that when you stop and look at it you’ve got plenty of things that you can be grateful for. Stay with that feeling for a while. So often we have the urge to getting a great life, getting somewhere, that we actually forget about having a great life already!
2. The Year in a Timeline
How was this year for you? What are the ups and the downs, the things that went well and the things that didn’t go so well? What’s your story of this year? To make it a bit easier, let’s look at it from a timeline perspective. In your notebook or a piece of paper, draw a long line in the middle. Make sure to leave enough space on both sides of it.
The line in the middle represents feeling rather neutral, on the upper side you were experiencing positive things and going through positive emotions, and on the downside were the lows and the negative emotions. Start from the beginning and try to backtrack what your life this year looked and felt like. Capture both the positive and negative shifts of your year, the highs and lows, as well as stable times. Tip: You can use your calendar if you find difficulties remembering what happened during the year.
3. Key Questions
Looking at your timeline (or just in general, if you skipped the previous part), reflect on the following questions. Write down your responses. Don’t think about them too much, just let the pen do the writing for you!
What did you succeed in? What worked? What were the highlights of your year?
What did you fail in? What did you struggle with? What was most painful?
What are your biggest learning points from the year?
What was most important for you this year? What did you spend the most time doing? Where did your energy go?
What - if anything - would you change or add, if you could?
How did you grow during the year? Who have you become?
Looking at all of it, what was the big theme of your year?
Extra: Pizza of Life
If you have participated in one of our workshops or courses (or perhaps done the New Year online course) you are familiar with the Pizza of Life. This would be the perfect moment to stop and reflect on your current satisfaction on those different life areas. On a scale from 0 to 10, how satisfied are you in your: Finances, Health, Work/Career, Relationships, Friends and Family, Contribution, Personal development, Hobbies and Social life, Peer group, Self-leadership, Life purpose, Meaning of life? Looking at your pizza, can you already recognize some areas that are calling for your attention for next year?
Summarizing and Paying Respects
Well done so far, friend! The pro vibes are definitely there.
Finally, turning our gaze towards 2020, what do you want to let go of? Just literally let go of it, burn a piece of paper with these things or do something else creative to let them go. Then, what do you want to take with you? What foundations have you laid for the year ahead? Pack a bag full of these things and put it on your back. Cause here we go!
Cheers to this year, see you again in 2020!