At first, reflecting about the year that was feels overwhelming for me. Seas of people’s faces are flashed before me. My mind meanders over the many and varied experiences I’ve had. But it’s all so quick, too fast for me to fully take in and appreciate the meaning of all that 2014 has brought me.
So I thought, how am I going to break this all down? Is there any residue from last year that needs my attention? What can I take into the New Year with me?
So I came up with a list that would focus my reflections on what had been highlights and what I’d learned from them. What lessons do I need to review? Here’s how I divided my list into questions I asked myself.
Reflection 1: Who touched my heart? There are people who touch your heart in a way that leaves an imprint on it. When I think back, there were many people who did that in such a variety of ways. What I noticed though, is that each person’s imprint was different and told me something unique.
Who were those people in your life? What did they tell you? How did you feel?
Reflection 2: What did I learn about myself? There were so many ‘firsts’ for me this year. For example, I never thought I’d be writing a blog, yet here I am! What was new for you? What decisions did you make which allowed you to achieve what you did? This leads into my next reflection.
Reflection 3: What were my strengths? During many of my firsts, I found that people would give me feedback about what I was doing. When I remember back to those comments, they were actually describing my strengths. Think back over the year and make a list of things people have said about you during the year.
Reflection 4: What didn’t work so well for me? It’s a fantasy to think that people go through life without something going wrong. I had my share this year, each with its own unique lesson. What were your lessons?
Reflection 5: What worked really well for me? It’s awesome when something goes right isn’t it? Phew! I made it! Big sigh! These are often indications of how important something was to you that you really wanted to achieve or say to someone. These moments are worth scrutinising to discover exactly what is was so that you can repeat it again with confidence and surety in your past success.
Reflecting on our lives is important so that we can grow, learn, explore, reason and feel. It helps us direct attention away from and towards what we most need in life. Even Socrates confirms this when he famously said “an unexamined life is not worth living”.
Let me know how you went. I’d love to hear what you discovered about the year you just had.