I've created a vision board every year since I've been self employed. I love the process of sorting through magazines and allowing myself time to dream about what I want for the year ahead. It's also fun to CREATE a visual reminder of these dreams and wishes.
In addition to making my vision board, I also do some journaling around specific goals and intentions for the year.
As fun as visioning about the future is, it's equally (if not MORE) important to also reflect on the past.
The past holds a lot of information for us - things we've experienced, lessons learned and challenges faced. It can be easy to skip over the reflection part, especially if where we're coming from doesn't feel good.
And even if we have accomplished our goals, as a society we place a heavy value on achievement and forward motion, so jumping right into the next goal is more natural for us than taking a moment to look back and reflect.
This week I'm challenging myself to take the time to reflect. I'll be sharing more about how to create a vision board for yourself next week (including a special opportunity to make one WITH me!!) but for now, I encourage you to do the same.
Whether you're traveling or with family, or already back to work, carve out some time in your schedule to look back on 2018. It can be just 20 minutes or perhaps you want to devote an afternoon to reflection.
Your reflection time doesn't have to be you seated in mediation: Sure, you can spend some time with a journal in your home, or you can take yourself to the spa (I do a LOT of great reflection during my weekly acupuncture treatments and whenever I do manage to book a massage), or go for a hike, or put yourself in another scenario that allows you to be with your thoughts.
Whatever you can make time for, I do strongly recommend putting a pen to paper and writing out at least some of your thoughts.
Here are some prompts to meditate or journal on:
What am I proud of myself for doing (or not doing) in 2018?
What goals did I accomplish? How did this feel for me?
What didn't I accomplish? Why?
List out some moments where you felt JOY, passionate or fully alive. What made these moments so special?
List out some moments that felt really crappy. What was it about these moments that didn't feel good?
Are there any WORDS or FEELINGS that sum up a lot of my experience this year?
If you did set specific goals or make a vision board, make sure you look back on them at some point during your reflection.
These are the action items that I created with my vision for 2018:
Ha, look at that second to last to do!
Honestly, if I hadn't looked back on these, I may have focused more on what I didn't achieve, instead of reflecting and seeing what I DID do. And while taking a look at what you didn't do or where you felt you fell short is an important part of the reflection process (see prompts above!), it's often over emphasized.
My challenge myself is for you too: make time to reflect this week. Right now look at your calendar and see when you can fit it in. Shuffle commitments around or great creative - a flight or long car ride can be an awesome opportunity to look back and go in. Just make sure you take a photo of your prior year goals or visions, and a screen shot of the prompts above so that you have what you need to do so.
Next week we'll get into the fun stuff - the visioning and goal setting for 2019! Stay tuned :)