Tools to Reflect on Your Year and Plan for the One Ahead

by | Dec 20, 2019 | Executive Coaching

As we wrap up this year, I encourage you to take some time to reflect on the year that has passed and dream about the year ahead. Consider reflecting on your experiences and growth more often next year! Here are some tools you can leverage for your end of year reflection. Followed by high-level steps I take every year to reflect and plan.

For Everyone:
Rich Litvin
Tegan’s Meditation to welcome the new year

For Entrepreneurs:
The Zen Founder’s Guide to Founders Retreats

Tegan’s End of Year Reflection & Planning Steps

  • Plan ahead to talk at least a half or full-day. Turn off all distractions. Turn on your out of office message.
    [I take three days because I also do my annual business planning during this time.]

  • Do something to get centered and still: meditate, pray, exercise. Repeat throughout the day as you like.

  • Set your intention which can be as simple as “By the end of this experience I want to feel _________ and have clarity on _________.”

  • Get organized by getting messy first. Do a brain and heart dump! Write out everything that you would love to solve for, plan for, analyze, or reflect on.
    [My lists usually fall into these four categories: health, personal, spirituality, work. In essence, what do you want to get down on paper as you approach your reflection and planning time?]

  • Review your journals and calendars. What do you notice?
    [For example, this year I noticed that I continue to overschedule myself and as a result, I’ve committed to doing even less, yet again, next year. I also noticed what got more of my time than I was conscious of and what didn’t get the time I felt it deserved.  When you evaluate an entire year of your time commitments you get really clear on what you’re really prioritizing (and not) in your life!]

  • Use some kind of template to ask yourself a set of questions that reflect on the year and help you look ahead.
    [Use the references above or Tegan’s questions below.]

  • Your end goal is to have a list of things you loved, learned and experienced during the year that passed and to get in touch with your desires for the year ahead.

  • Close your experience by committing to staying only loosely attached to your vision for the new year. Stay open to the year being bigger and more expansive than you have the ability to plan for right now.

  • Sample questions to ask yourself to examine the year that has passed

    • What are the biggest questions you want to answer during this time of reflection?

    • As you look back at last year, what do you feel most grateful for?

    • Who and what were your greatest teachers this year? (this may include books, experiences, relationships, anything you learned from!)

    • If you feel compelled, write thank you notes to people who made a difference in your life this year.

    • Scan your work and professional relationships: what things did you try out this year? What experiences energized you? What drained your energy?

    • Scan your personal life and relationships: what things did you try out this year? What experiences energized you? What drained your energy?

    • What relationships, experiences and tangible things are not 10s in your life that you want to change, do less of, or rid yourself of? (10s = highly energizing)

    • Whose presence do you crave because being with them is a 10?

    • What were your lessons from this year?

  • Sample questions to ask yourself to help you dream about the year ahead

    • How do you want to feel next year?

    • Imagine that next year is over, describe it. What did you do? How did you grow? Who did you spend time with?

    • Do a 1&3 year vision exercise to get clear on what you really want. You can download our vision exercise template here.

    • What experiences do you want to have next year?

    • What would make next year fun and exciting?

    • What do you want to consume less of next year?

    • What do you want to learn more about next year?

    • Ask: What is trying to emerge in my life?

    • Is there a word, symbol, theme, or mantra of focus for you next year?

Enjoy your end-of-year reflection and planning. Seriously consider reflecting more often throughout the year so that you can absorb every bit of joy and happiness you’re creating in your life.

How could focusing on one word, symbol, or phrase over the next year change your life and work?  What would that word, symbol, or phrase be?

Life + Leadership with Tegan Trovato podcast cover

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