We often go into a new year focused on the future. We set brand new goals, start fresh projects, and determine vision for the year ahead. But in order to create goals, projects, and vision that have substance, it’s important to reflect and take inventory of where we have been.
Reflection reminds us of the successes to be celebrated! Recognition and remembrance of what went well is an incredibly powerful way to keep us moving forward. A culture of recognizing success is so important, but we can’t stop there. While we would love to spend all day celebrating the wins, reflection can also cause us to remember what needed some improvement. Naming and assessing both the wins and losses give framework to create goals that hold weight and inspire real change.
A step back is sometimes all we need to help us move forward. Take time to do just that. Intentionally look back on the year. Whether through writing or speaking, make sure to put words around your reflection.
Ask – What went well? What didn’t go so well? What projects or work brought joy and ease? What projects or work brought tension and strain?
Take it a step further – Ask yourself ‘why’? What was it about the wins that made them wins? What was it about the losses that made them losses?
Now it’s time to take what you have discovered and put it to work. Identifying what went well and what didn’t brings clarity, but it’s what you do with the information that counts. Dream big, but think practically. Break it down into bitesize goals that can be taken one step at a time.
Ask – What stood out as the biggest success? How can that strength be made even stronger? What stood out as the biggest weakness? What steps can be taken to eliminate or alleviate that weakness?
Take it a step further – What specific steps need to be taken to accomplish your goals? What tools, people, skills, etc.. do you need to make these goals happen?
Now, take a deep breath and a well-deserved break. Countless research findings show that our brains need time to rest! In a culture that loves the hustle, it’s imperative that we take some time to slow down. The result is not wasted time, but rather renewed time. Our very best work is accomplished out of a posture of rest. As 2019 approaches, take time to reflect and plan, but also take time to celebrate and rest. If you do this, your new year is set up for success!
words by lindsay – project manager