Are you working this week? If you have an office job, most likely it’s going to be fairly quiet in the office because many of your colleagues are on vacation. That makes it a perfect time to finish those things you never seem to get around to doing—like filing your expense reports or cleaning off your desktop.
Beyond the nitty-gritty clean up stuff, I asked my colleagues what they do to wrap up this year and prepare for a solid start to the New Year. They had some great ideas and agreed to share them with you. And, I’ve added my two cents’ worth with a reflection question at the end of each featured section.
The “Not to Do” List
Much of the advice for getting ready for the New Year centers on things to “do.” Jon Mertz of the Thin Difference blog has a different take. He writes, “We need to identify what we will stop doing in the new year ahead. Our lives get so cluttered with everything we should do that we never do what we are called to do. We need to clear our minds, our path, and our way forward to do what really matters.”
Before you decide what you want to “do” for next year, what’s going to come off your plate to make space for that goal or aspiration?
Create a Space for Reflection
My friend and co-author Chery Gegelman, of Giana Consulting has a structured approach to wrapping up the year. Chery says that since she was a teen, she has set aside time at the end of each year to go off by herself for a few hours. “I listen to music, pray, reflect and plan,” says Chery. Then, she does two things:
First she looks back and asks:
• What were the big events?
• What were the small events?
• Who and what am I thankful for?
• What moments created joy?
• What moments caused stress?
• Did I meet my goals?
• What have I learned?
• How have I grown?
Then she thinks about the coming year:
• What do I want more of?
• What do I want less of?
• What are my personal goals for next year?
• How will I invest in the relationships with my family and friends next year?
• What are my professional goals for next year?
• Is there any part of my thinking or behavior that needs to change?
Then, Chery completes the process by “wrapping all those thoughts in more prayer and then goals are set. And I start the New Year feeling focused and hopeful!”
How could you carve out a bit of time (even just an hour) to quietly reflect on your year so that you will feel more hopeful about what’s to come?
Set Yourself Up to Dream
Does “goal-setting” leave you cold? Then perhaps Carrie Koens’ practice will resonate with you. Carrie is a freelance writer and the Book Launch Director with Weaving Influence.
First, Carrie says, “I take a look at what I did in the last year – financial goals, life goals, work related goals – and take some time to focus on what I accomplished, not on what I failed to mark off from my Goal List. Sometimes seeing it written down in one place helps you realize how much happened over the last 12 months.” For example, Carries says she feels as if she gets to the end of the year, looks at her finances and thinks, “where did the money go?” She finds that by writing down what took place (trips, car repairs, home renovations, saving for bigger goals), she feels better about what her family did, and it gives her a better sense of the goals she would like to set for the following year.
Carrie says she in addition to reviewing specific goals, “I [also] select dreams. I didn’t fulfill all of my dreams this year, but I did follow through on some of them, and take big steps towards others… and along the way, I found dreams I didn’t know I had.” You can read more about Carrie’s experience with the interplay of goals and dreams here.
Have you created space in your life to dream?
My thanks to Jon, Chery and Carrie for the sharing their tips on how to wrap up the year. And I wish all of you success as you wrap up this year and look towards next year.
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