I love this time of year.
Not only is Christmas a magical few days when everyone seems happier and more relaxed but you also get to spend quality time with your favorite people.
The holidays are traditionally a time when you’re forced to slow down, which is good news for a recovering workaholic like me!
But it’s not just about treating loved ones.
As Buddha reminds us, it includes you too.
You, yourself, more than anyone, deserve your love and affection.
It’s very easy to rush around taking care of everyone else’s needs but neglect yourself. You just end up resentful and burned out.
That’s why I have consciously stepped away from my computer and disconnected for a few days. I’ve spent time with family and friends, eaten good food, relaxed, caught up with my reading and gone for long walks in nature.
It’s been the perfect way to rest and recharge my batteries for 2015.
But I’ve also been doing a lot of inner work to reflect on the past year and map out what I want the next 12 months to look like.
To be honest, it’s been a challenging year for me.
Although my life has improved in many ways, I wasn’t able to grow my business as fast as I wanted. I’ve also had a few personal issues come up that have been pretty scary.
I won’t go into them but what I can tell you is that I’ve had to slow down and really take care of myself.
You see, I believe that life is always supporting us.
We never really make mistakes. Everything in life is a lesson – and a blessing – if you choose to see it that way.
Whenever we experience negative situations, it’s just the Universe inviting us to take responsibility and deal with that situation instead of sweeping it under the carpet.
To help me deal with these challenges, I have stepped up some of my daily rituals.
I’ve also been reviewing the past 12 months so I can continue inspiring you to live more in alignment with your values and create a passion business in the New Year.
In fact, I’m working on a brand new program that will help you follow your heart and find your true purpose in life.
I’ll be making a special announcement very soon so please watch out for that.
An Annual Review On New Year’s Eve
But going back to my New Year review, this involves creating a vision board but also getting very specific about the things I want to experience in every area of my life over the coming months.
Many people recommend you “go with the flow”, or just “let things happen”.
And I agree to a certain extent.
You can’t control everything in your life, no matter how hard you try.
Some situations are out of your hands.
But if you just sit back and wait for things to come to you in their own sweet time, you may end up waiting a very, very long time.
Only to find that nothing happens…
That’s why you must have a plan for the New Year that you can follow and implement to make things happen in your life.
I call this process my annual review.
But it’s actually a reflection of the past year AND a preview of the New Year.
I look back at the last 12 months, celebrate the wins no matter how small, and put the spotlight on each area of my life – relationships, family, business, health, lifestyle, personal growth and so on.
I then set intentions about the goals I want to accomplish in the coming year for each area.
This is a powerful way to bless the year that has passed with all its lessons and gifts, and usher in a more positive and productive New Year and New You.
Remember, this year is nearly over.
Before you go into the new year, it’s important to reflect on who you are now and how your experiences over the last 365 days have shaped you.
Even if 2014 was a difficult year for you, acknowledge that you have grown as a person.
Reflecting on this growth will help you take stock emotionally, personally, professionally, and financially and allow you to step more confidently into 2015 without any emotional baggage.
I’ve done this exercise every year for several years and always find it interesting to look through past journals and see how far I’ve come.
This is how to really move your life forward.
So today, I’d like to invite you to do an annual review with me.
All you need is a couple of hours of quiet time, a pen and a notebook or journal. You can also use your computer but I find you get a deeper connection when you write by hand.
I like to sit on my sofa with a cup of piping hot green tea and write my responses as a short phrase or a few bullet points.
If you want to write more though, feel free to express yourself.
Many people find it very cathartic to write their thoughts down in this way.
It not only helps you gain valuable insights but also process any emotions and experiences you’re holding onto like anger, hurt, regret, sadness etc.
Here are 20 reflection questions to help you take stock of the old year followed by another 10 questions to help you prepare yourself for 2015
20 Questions For New Year’s Eve
1. What was your biggest life lesson this year and what did you learn?
2. What did you accomplish this year that you are most proud of?
3. What is your biggest disappointment or regret this year?
4. What theme kept recurring for you this year?
5. Which significant relationship improved the most?
6. Which significant relationship did you neglect the most?
7. How did you grow emotionally this year?
8. What do you wish you had done more of this past year?
9. What do you wish you had done less of this past year?
10. What was the smartest decision you made this year?
11. What are you most grateful for this past year?
12. How did you manage your stress levels this year?
13. What was your best financial decision this year?
14. What was your worst financial decision this year?
15. What is one miracle you experienced this year?
16. What was the greatest, kindest service you performed this year?
17. What unfinished business do you have from this year?
18. What held you back this past year?
19. How did you spend your weekends this past year?
20. What do you want to stop doing in 2015?
Think deeply about these questions as you write. Reflect not only on the answers but how you can learn from these events to avoid repeating them again in the New Year.
Congratulations, you have just completed Part 1 of the process!
Now that you have looked back over the past year and got clear on what happened, both good and bad, it’s time to get intentional about your goals for 2015.
This is Part 2 of the New Year’s Eve Review – and Preview.
Every year, millions of people set resolutions as the New Year is welcomed in.
But well before the end of January most of these resolutions are broken. In fact, an estimated 25% of us break our New Year’s resolutions by the first week!
Why is this?
I think it’s because most of us are well-intentioned but we have deep-rooted conditioning and old habits that stop us from making the shifts in our lives we all want.
There’s just too much resistance to change so we give up.
The trick is to start small.
Take the different areas of your life and make just one small but significant change.
So if you want to get healthier, start having a green smoothie for breakfast or eating a salad with your lunch instead of trying to overhaul your diet.
If you want a better marriage or relationship with your partner, then commit to spending quality time with them in the evenings or arranging a date night once a month.
You get the picture.
Small changes can have a massive impact, especially if they’re done consistently. They can also help you make a fresh start if the past year didn’t quite go the way you hoped.
Here are 10 reflection questions for the New Year to help you dream and plan a bigger and brighter future.
You can call them New Year’s Resolutions if you want, or goals, dreams, intentions – whatever feels right for you.
Just be sure to spend some time reflecting on what you really want to achieve in the new year.
Use the reflection questions below to guide you. I’ve given some suggestions to start you off, but try to come up with a few of your own.
10 Questions To Plan Your New Year
1. What one thing will you do this year to improve your health and well-being?
~ Will you join the gym, eat a healthier breakfast, learn to meditate?
2. What one thing will you do this year to improve your family and home life?
~ Will you spend more time with your children, visit your elderly parents or do those odd jobs round the home to make it more comfortable?
3. What one thing will you do this year to improve your marriage, significant relationship or meet that special someone?
~ Will you be more considerate, help out around the home or actively start dating instead of just saying you will?
4. What one thing will you do this year to enhance your relationships with others?
~Will you judge others less, forgive more easily or simply make the effort to say yes when a friend invites you out?
5. What one thing will you do this year to increase your income and build wealth?
~ Will you save more, set up a debt management plan or look for ways to earn money through other sources?
6. What one thing will you do this year to improve your work life (job, career or business)?
~ Will you finally take action on your dream business, register that domain name or start blogging consistently?
7. What new experiences will you do this year to have more fun and enjoyment in your life?
~ Will you travel more, start a new hobby or pick up an old one you haven’t done for years?
8. What one thing will you do this year to improve your personal growth?
~ Will you get up an hour earlier, listen to personal development courses on your commute or read your Bible daily for inspiration?
9. What one thing will you do this year to increase your spirituality and deepen your connection to the Universe (God, your Creator, higher self etc)?
~ Will you pray more, work on your faith or practice being happy for no reason?
10. What one thing will you do to “give back” or be of service to your immediate community this year?
~ Will you volunteer your time to a needy project, support a charity or tithe 10% of your earnings?
Take a moment to reflect on your responses to all these questions and use them to set some goals for the New Year.
As you can see none of these things are hard, they just take a decision, a willing heart and some effort.
Over To You
What are your goals for the New Year? What dreams and plans do you want to see happen for you personally, for your business, your family, your friends, for the world even?
Please share your thoughts below.
I wish you and your family a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!