2017. Put a Period on it.
Reflect. Learn. Say Goodbye. Move On.
December marks the end of 2017. Nostalgia is a wonderful place to go, especially this time of year. Cinnamon, cloves, pine, brisk air, presents from the past – these are all memories we have. I won’t remember the details of my successes and failures, but I will remember my daughter’s mini-voice as it gets lower each year, how my son learned to walk, and would crack us all up with his arms waving to the sides as he stepped. I will remember that I got more efficient at grocery shopping. Take the time to reflect, and let go.
When you hold on to the baggage of last year, you do yourself a disservice. Whatever you need to learn, write it down, and let the rest go. It’s time to put a period on 2017 and absorb the important lessons to build upon.
Clean the slate so there’s room for your special pizazz to shine in 2018.
Although we will never get back the time, we have the gift to build upon the accomplishments, failures, and general learning. Take a moment now, and think to the general themes of your year. Themes come from the overtones of activity, behaviors, learning, and major challenges. These themes can surface on their own, or you can direct them from the first day of the year. Begin to think on the themes of your 2017. We start the process by reflecting on our goals to see if there’s an overarching theme.
In 2017, I cared for young children, increased my knowledge of Waldorf education, designed a home remodel, revamped my coaching business, and emphasized friendships more than ever before.
My specific goals were:
- to save in increments of $50 a month on food, by the end of the year, cutting costs by $600.
- to volunteer coach 1 time per month.
- to meditate 3 times a week.
- to laugh with my husband 3 times a week.
- to hang with friends 1-2 times a week.
- to spend 5 evenings a week playing and cooking with my children.
I assessed the level of success accomplished per goal. Overall, I give myself a B+, but that’s not the point. What did I learn? Here’s advice from my goal reflection:
- Make sure you can absolutely measure your goals. Notice that to laugh with my husband was a measure. The goal was more to keep my sense of humor, and the outcome was to laugh. When I look back, we nailed it. We laughed a lot, at least 3 times a week. Success!
- Although I completely failed to save up to $600 a month on food, I give myself some credit because I got a spreadsheet of major food category costs together from 5 local groceries. Keep written goals within an eyes reach. You will remember to make them important. To save money is very important to me, but I’m not there yet. It is a goal I will build on for next year. Next year’s goal is to use the spreadsheet to buy from the least expensive source. Sometimes we must take baby steps. This is a category for baby steps. What’s your most difficult category of life? Personal Growth? Finances? Career? Relationships? We all have our stuff to sift through, and we hope to improve each year. Start with a baby goal for 2018 in your difficult category.
- An easier goal I made was to make it a point to be with friends more often than I did in 2016. Once I made the goal, it was easy. I made the goal because it added to my creativity, expression, and communication. These three abilities are imperative to my effectiveness and happiness.
When you create a goal, you take time to consider what is important to you. Goals reflect your values, your challenge areas, and necessary activities which make you feel effective.
Overall themes for my life were Harmony, Fun, & Centeredness. Investigate the themes that showed up for you. Now it’s your turn. If you didn’t write your goals at the beginning of the year, make sure you do for next year. You’ll have material to work with at the end of the year. Reflect and see where you want to improve. While you notice certain goals were overzealous, notice and revamp. Then you can gather the overall themes to wrap up 2017, put a period on it, and healthily move on toward January 2018!
Let me know if you have questions. Let’s talk next week about celebrations and revelry!