December is a great time to reflect on the year and review how far you’ve come. The time you invest in doing this will mean that you’ll have more clarity, confidence and reassurance about moving forward. It also means you’ll have more energy and ease in the New Year.
If things are not resolved, physically or emotionally, they will eventually trickle into the New Year and continue to play out in your day to day life; relationships, work, family, finances, health and so on.
This will continue to occupy you, whether consciously or subconsciously, and take up your precious time and energy. It can also distract you from your priorities, objectives and goals.
So, to prevent this from happening and break vicious cycles of old behavoural patterns, it’s important to take the time now to ensure you close off any open loops, unfinished business and deal with any unresolved emotions.
What exactly does unfinished or unresolved ‘business’ look like? Here are just a few examples:
- Unfinished projects or tasks either at home or work;
- Unfinished conversations;
- Conversations that need to happen
- Decisions that need to be made;
- People you need to respond to/get back to;
- Boundaries that need to be set;
- People you need to forgive;
- People you need to thank; etc…
So each year at the beginning of December, I take myself, as well as my clients, through a powerful process called The Year in Review Process.
The Year in Review Process requires about an hour of your time to journal about your biggest achievements, challenges, lessons and future plans to ensure you start the New Year on a clean and blank slate.
This will allow you create space for possibility, opportunities, ideas, creativity, and more growth. You’ll be able to start the New Year on a solid and powerful foundation.
Completing the The Year In Review Process is a also about rewiring your brain and changing your mindset to:
- Look at life’s challenges as gifts and opportunities;
- Be more open and accepting;
- See your life as half full rather than half empty;
- Increase your resilience reservoir;
- See the bigger picture in life;
- Feel grateful more often;
- Feel more connected to others and the world around you;
- Experience more meaning and purpose;
- Feel inspired and focused to reach your goals; and
- Feel more empowered about overcoming challenges along the way.
To get ready for the The Year in Review Process here is what you’ll need:
- A quiet and comfortable space
- A journal and a pen.
Here is the step-by-step guide to completing the The Year in Review Process:
Part 1- Meditation: Meditate for 5-10 minutes to get out of your thinking head and into a calm and centered state. Personally, I get much more insight and revelations when I meditate before any kind of journalling.
Start by observing your breath for a few minutes. Then as you inhale, breathe in possibility and as you exhale release and let go of what no longer serves you – but don’t thinking about this. Trust that your subconscious mind and your body know what needs to be released. All you need to do is pave way for this to happen by staying centered and continuing to follow your breathing. After about 10mins of meditating on your breath this way, you are ready to start journalling.
Part 2- Achievements: First, journal about what went well in the past year by answering the following:
- What did you learn?
- How did you grow?
- What are you grateful for?
- What are you proud of?
- What did you achieve?
Part 3 – Improvements: now journal about what you want to do differently next year?
- What do you want to keep working on ?
- What do you want to continue to learn or strengthen? (This can be a quality, a skill or even a new hobby).
Part 4- Forgiveness: now journal about who you need to forgive in your life (in many cases this can include yourself).
- Who do you need to forgive?
- What do you need to forgive them for?
- How can you do that?
An effective tool for forgiveness is writing a letter to whomever you perceive hurt you or caused your some wrong – but you don’t have to send the letter to them. The purpose of the letter is to acknowledge, accept and release any resentment, pain or other emotions which may be holding you back from moving forward. As a symbolic act of forgiveness you may want to light a candle while writing this letter or even put on some music.
Part 5 – Gratitude: Finally, journal/write down the people in your life that you want to thank.
Choose 2-3 people who’ve been instrumental in supporting you throughout the year and helping you grow. This can also include anyone who challenges you or your found difficult to deal with. These people in one way or another always help us grow in ways we never imagined. Journal about:
- What do you want to thank them for?
- How can you thank them? You may want to write a card to each person expressing how they helped you grow. You may even like to take them out for lunch.
Once you’ve completed your journalling take a moment to pause and acknowledge yourself for doing this. Notice how you feel now compared to how you felt before your started the process. Do you feel a little clearer or more complete about moving forward? Or even excited about next year? Did you gain additional insight? I hope so.
Part 6 – Ritual: I love rituals and have written previously about why you need to do them. To bring The Year in Review Process to completion do something as a symbolic acknowledgement of all that you have achieved and learned this year. For example, you may want to dedicate you next run, or yoga practice to all that you’ve learned, or you may want to have a mini celebration with you friends of the past year. The choice is yours- but make if fun and celebratory!
Please feel free to share your experience about completing the The Year in Review Process by commenting below or reaching out to me on Facebook here.
You can also watch my video on 5 Powerful Ways to Close off The Year.