There are certain times of the year when it’s a great time to reflect, to assess what’s happened so far this year, to celebrate, commiserate, to congratulate yourself on your achievements, be thankful, and process all the change.
Right now as we approach the end of October, it’s a great time of the year to do that! I always find the holiday season and run up to Christmas quite busy as well as New Year’s. So taking a little head space before that crazy season, right now, will help you set up your priorities in your schedule for next year.
It’s a perfect time to evaluate how much you have achieved that you meant to, what surprised you and how you want to close off the next few months of this year. Taking a quick pit stop like this will help you to be more strategic with planning the year ahead. You can start setting up next year for success.
Reflecting on what has changed is a great way to take charge of the ship of your life that has a momentum of its own and will keep moving forward whether you choose to steer it or not. You will be able to ponder some of those bigger decisions. You will have time to weigh up and research important life decisions.
Here are some of the areas I assess when I do this. In fact I spent an hour just this last weekend looking at the first one of these.
Financial – How did your finances go this year? If you run your own business, take a look at what has been successful. What does income look like vs outgoings? Is it a healthy balance? Am I happy with it? What were you able to save? What were you able to invest in for the future? Then take a look at what you are building for the future. What finances do you need to enable your dreams to come true next year? Start thinking about what financial goals you can set up to achieve this.
Learning and Development – In what ways have you grown most so far this year? Have you intentionally grown your practical or vocational skills? What about your character? What personal areas have you worked on to move you towards becoming the person you aspire to be? What professional goals have you pursued to keep you moving forward towards your professional dreams? Do you have professional dreams? What would you like to do in the area of learning and development during 2014?
Relationships and Partnerships – What relationships have you really invested in this year? Did you get to know the people you wanted to? How well did you make time for your priority relationships or partnerships? Which relationships are of key importance for you next year? How do you want to spend time with those people next year? You can start scheduling in time now before your calendar gets full so these relationships don’t get missed.
And finally here’s just one more I want to challenge you on: –
Life Balance – How well did you manage your work/life balance so far this year? In what ways did priorities that were not yours overtake your schedule? How well did you do in consciously maintaining control over where your time got spent? Whether you are running a multi-national conglomerate or are a busy mum, the question is in what ways are you at choice as to where your time is being spent? And, how well did you do in taking time to smell the roses?
You may feel like there’s a lot of work right here to do. Do you? Often we are so busy we never take time to think about these things and year after year things continue and then after maybe a decade we realize we haven’t actually lived the life we wanted to. Imagine just taking an hour on each subject and thinking through the questions. This will really help you be more in touch with who you are, to be more in touch with your dreams and aspirations and from that place of clarity to focus your decisions and your schedule towards living a life with no regret!