Towards the end of the year I always find my mind wandering back to the year gone by. I look back on those things that have gone well, the things I’ve accomplished – how have I moved my life and career forward? – who have I connected with, and what could I learn from or do better?
I find this exercise invaluable because there was a couple of years in the past when I did this exercise and I found, to my disappointment, that I didn’t feel like I moved the dial at all. This realisation motivated me to take on a few big initiatives for the following year. The words of George Santayana strongly ring true for me around about this time, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” I’m sure you’ve heard this expression before but I’d like you to read it like this, “If I cannot remember the past I am condemned to repeat it.” If you’re interested in being better than you were last year, you can’t create the future without knowing what came before it.
I’m not sure what this might look like for you but I imagine if you spend 5 minutes answering these questions there’ll be a few things that will come up.
What am I most proud of in 2020? Think beyond your career.
What accomplishments have I achieved in 2020? Perhaps you completed a diploma or degree in an area of study you are interested in; perhaps you started one! Maybe you completed your first or twentieth half-marathon or full marathon! Maybe you got a promotion or successfully mentored someone to get a promotion. What did you accomplish this year?
Who have I connected with? This year, more than ever, people started to realise the importance of other people in our lives. Let’s not go back to taking one another for granted; who did you connect with or reconnect with this year?
Lastly, what could I learn from and improve on? No matter who you are there are always things you can do better. There are a couple of moments that stand out for me this year. I’ve already put strategies in place to ensure I build on these lessons (it’s an automatic habit now) but it’s always useful to take a moment to make sure we’re not repeating the same things that have been holding us back in life. Samuel Beckett, when reflecting on his own career intoned, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” Artfully said.
I hope you take a few moments to put this exercise into practice. If we’re always moving forward in life we tend to reduce the impact of those things that cause us pain and increase the impact of those things that lead to pleasure.
If there is any area of your life in which you feel stuck, why not set yourself up for a successful 2021 and talk to a coach? If you’d like to have a chat about how coaching might be able to help you, please feel free to sing out at any time. If 2021 is to be your year, what will you have to do to make that happen?
If you’d like to know more about how to achieve more in life or business, or if you’d like to explore how coaching can help you become a better leader (of others or yourself!), or even if you’re just generally curious about what professional coaching can offer you, please contact us at any time for a free consultation.
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