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Complete Your Year with Passion & Purpose

December 17th, 2009 · No Comments · Personal Leadership

Season’s Greetings! As December comes to a close, and business winds down for many of us, I encourage you to develop a “ritual” for reviewing, reflecting and celebrating the richness of your year. Here are a few of the best questions I’ve found to help you savor your highlights, release what’s unneeded and open to gratitude.

“A result is not an accomplishment until it’s recognized.”Joe Dominquez

Our lives are amazing journeys! Challenges, creative pursuits and dark corridors leading to new light. You’ve probably taken many creative risks in relationships, creative projects and in challenging yourself to grow in this past year.

000036You deserve to take time to review your journey and savor what you’ve accomplished. Elite athletes take time at the end of a game to replay video footage, review the plays, debrief what worked and pinpoint the next areas of growth. We can empower ourselves by doing the same with our lives.

Start by setting aside some time just for you. Go to a quiet, inspiring place and think back to where you were at in your life this time last year. Take a mental snapshot of what was happening in your life — your dreams, your main concerns and deepest desires.

Then, simply review the key events of last year, as if you’re viewing a movie. Allow the high points, challenges and unexpected miracles to come to mind and make a note of them in your journal. Write as little or as much as you want. This opens us to the deeper currents at play in our life. What was the tone of the past year? If you could capture the feeling of the year in a metaphor/image, what would it be?

Next, take stock of what was most important, delightful and meaningful to you. Here are seven of the best questions I’ve found to guide you in becoming complete with last year.

1. What did I accomplish that I feel pleased about? What are the highlights, the best things in last year? ? What brought me the most joy?

Feel free to list as many accomplishments — either tangible results, or personal growth — as you can think of. I challenge you to come up with at least 25 heart-warming accomplishments! A few areas to consider are…

• How have I improved my self-care? What one change have I made to take better care of my body?
• How have I stood up for my life? What risks have I taken? What fears have I faced?
• How has my environment changed? Cleaned up? Created order? Beautified?
• What have I done to help others improve the quality of their lives?
• How have I treated myself in a more loving, kind and gentle way?

2. What intentions are unfulfilled? What didn’t happen that I wanted to?

Sometimes, when we begin to review our year, what we think of first is everything that DIDN’T happen, the intentions that we haven’t fulfilled. While it can be challenging to be honest about the “half empty cup” it’s a pivotal element in empowering ourselves.

There’s a difference between becoming complete, and being perfectly finished. Finished is an outer state of being done. Complete is an inner feeling of peace, resolution, closure and fulfillment. We can achieve a state of being complete, whatever the outcome of a project, situation or goal.

Probably, many of our intentions from last year are fully realized; others may not have reached the stage of success we’d intended. They aren’t “finished,” however it’s possible and highly beneficial for us to become complete with every intention and goal we had last year. Becoming complete allows us to gain the learnings, be firmly planted in our current reality and have a fresh, clear canvas on which to create our coming year.

Simply acknowledging that we didn’t achieve what we’d wanted in an area seems to cause a release of energy, and open up new options.

3. What do I want to leave behind? Release? What do I want to forgive?

This could be a goal/project, person, situation, pattern of behaviour, or belief system. On the emotional level, are there hurts, resentments, and grudges you’re carrying that it’s time to be free of?

4. What unexpected good came into my life?

5. What am I most grateful for?

6. How have I grown as a person? What qualities have I strengthened or developed? Who have I become?

7. What were my top three accomplishments last year? How are they a reflection of my true values?

Recent studies in positive psychology confirm that insufficient appreciation and savoring of the good events in our past and overemphasis of the bad ones undermines serenity, contentment and satisfaction. Gratitude amplifies our good feelings, and forgiveness loosens the power of bad events to embitter.

I invite you this holiday season, to make time to honour yourself, and your life journey.

“By taking time to do this reflecting in writing you send a powerful message to yourself that you are worth the time and energy. And when your self worth increases, the world responds accordingly. You become a magnet for better life experiences.”
Cheryl Richardson

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