I hope you’re coming back from a beautiful holiday celebration with your family and closest loved ones. I love Christmastime, and the week between Christmas Eve and New Year’s is my absolute favorite. I enjoy the peaceful reflection and all the unspoken love and gratitude that stirs in between the festivities. I hope you experience much of the same.
This annual review and reflection is my best series on the blog, and there’s no better time to conduct it than this sacred space between end-year holidays. I can hardly wait to reflect on a glorious 2014 and plan for a brilliant 12 months to come with you!
Here are some suggestions to get you started:
What You’ll Need:
I’m going to offer you journal prompts along with review and reflection exercises in the coming days. If you’ve never done a self-reflection exercise like this before, you’ll probably be a little surprised at how intense it can get and how many thoughts and feelings are waiting to spill out of you. Here are a few things you’ll need:
#1 Reflective prompts
A collection of reflective prompts, such as those offered in my annual planner, Your Best Year 2015: Productivity Workbook and Creative Business Planner. The workbook will compliment this 7-day series and provide calendars and printables for follow-through.
#2 At least one day planner
I run a multi-faceted creative business and two day planners help me separate the plans and goals I create. I keep a day planner for my blog (it serves as an editorial calendar and note-keeper) and another one that oversees my entire operation and schedule. I’ll explain this in more detail later in the series, but if you’re a planner-junkie like me, I just gave you a good reason to go shopping in the paper section!
#3 Giant drawing pad
While you’re there, pick up a children’s giant drawing pad. They’re typically 16×22″, and you can find them on the bottom shelf of the Crayola aisle at any chain store.
#4 Alone time
I choose to do my annual review and resolution-setting when I can find some solitude, over a period of about four days. I typically spend one to two hours in reflection, and I set the mood so that it is gentle, calm and sober. If that’s not possible for you, carve out a block of quiet time in one day (give yourself at least three hours).
I’ll take no excuses here: make this alone time happen. I’m a married mother of four, and I’m determined to honor this sacred practice. I’ll go to my bedroom and send the “do not disturb” message before I begin. Self-reflection is critical to your wellbeing. Once you start a session, you are not to be interrupted.
#5 Space to spread out
I prefer the living room floor, but any wide-open space will do. It’s always better to do planning + review exercises outside of your normal work space; it allows for fresh perspective and new ideas.
#6 Comfort items
Be sure to have ready a delicious ice water and/or hot drink, favorite pens, and any additional resources you plan on using. If possible, turn off electronic distractions.
For best results, I recommend using a fresh journal or notebook to collect your thoughts and feelings during our review and resolution-setting. When you follow the ruminations of the mind without pen and paper, you chase thoughts that are too scattered to truly connect.
With a notepad, your thoughts escape to the page where they can be reworked and shaped into successful ideas. After a few minutes of writing, a sense of clarity will begin to fall from pen to paper. Many-a-journal session has left me with new solutions, insight and understanding. I always walk away with a more peaceful perspective and a refreshed sense of self. If you’re already using a journal, I’m sure you would agree!
The 7-Day Annual Review Begins Sunday, December 28!
This year’s New Year for a New You is going to be EPIC. I’ve been creating prompts + review questions all year so that we can evaluate what’s been working (and what hasn’t) in your life and business, identify the most effective use of your time and energy, and plan how to finally make your big dreams happen already in 2015.
Here’s to your success,