We’ve arrived. It’s December, and we might say something like “Gosh, didn’t the year fly by? Where did it all go?” Often, the year end is a reality check about the passing of time. If there’s anything that’s as precious as good health, it’s time. Unlike any other factor, it doesn’t fluctuate and just keeps going.
Whether you’re feeling motivated or a little heavy-hearted, taking stock of what you did this year is key to help you make the most of the coming year. And if you’re using your Afterthought, taking stock of your 2018 is an excellent segway into setting your 2019 Annual Intention. So, let’s go through some ideas and get our thinking going.
LET THE AWARENESS OF TIME HUMBLE YOU
Feeling regretful about the passing of time can be quite a powerful motivator for becoming more time-conscious. The idea that we only have so much time has much to do with fueling our enthusiasm to get things done, plan our days intelligently, and make room for being more present in the moment.
Let’s get real and ask some tough questions:
- What did I set out to achieve in 2018 that I didn’t achieve?
- What goals did I fall short on?
- Where did I waste time?
Take out your journal and jot down some notes. Let your feelings circulate in your consciousness as they could make you more committed to time. Make time your friend, not your competition. “Racing against time” is such a negative affirmation; try getting it out of your vocabulary.
GET SOME PERSPECTIVE ON WHERE YOU DRIFTED
We talk a lot about what we will do, but hardly about what we won’t do. You want to manage your to-do list like a project: Items have a start and finish date, and a clearly defined scope. When goals aren’t defined, they become prone to ‘scope creep’, which leads us to drift away from our essential outcomes. We might achieve some goals but not the key ones, or we might achieve only part of the goal. Looking at how we drifted off our goals in 2018 will help us create strategies to prevent scope creep in 2019.
- Where did I drift off my goals in 2018?
- How can I define my goals more clearly in 2019 to avoid scope creep?
- What should I have said ‘no’ to?
Take your insights as lessons learned. You might jot down your thoughts in December’s Lessons Learned section of your 2018 Afterthought.
RECOGNIZE YOUR MANY SUCCESSES
It’s easy to get hung up about our shortcomings and overlook our successes. But the truth is, the more we focus on what we did right, the more we’re motivated to achieve. It’s a law of attraction thing whereby like attracts like and what we focus on grows.
Another aspect of achievement that we overlook is the details. We might feel like achievement is only about the big goals. But achievements can be big or small, and focusing on small achievements contributes to major accomplishments because that’s how it all adds up. As John C. Maxwell puts it, “The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.” So give yourself more credit than you might be inclined to, don’t be stingy with yourself, and think about all of your small successes in addition the to big ones.
- What are my major achievements in 2018?
- What are my many more smaller achievements?
- Where might I not be giving myself enough credit?
Try to come up with a long list. Don’t edit your thoughts. You can always go back and think about which areas are more important to you.
THE INSIDE JOURNEY IS KEY
We should examine our outward achievements and shortcomings because results matter. But the fact that they’re tangible and easily observable helps us go within because they’re also mirrors of our soul’s growth.
Our personal development might be an area we don’t always want to look at. We might subconsciously know that we’re avoiding certain issues or postponing some changes. At the same time, knowing that we can grow and change is awesome and totally empowering. It’s just about nurturing our motivation consistently and long enough until we tip over into committed action.
- How have I changed over the past year?
- Who am I today?
- What am I wanting to become?
These are key questions to ask, and if you read your own cards, you might want to draw a few cards and look up their Spiritual Correspondences in the Card Combinations Master.
Take note of your insights and connect with yourself. Life can be so demanding, so love yourself for your amazing effort and tap yourself on the back for doing, trying, and managing all that’s on your plate. This, really, should motivate you to continue becoming a better version of yourself.
DECLUTTER – A LOT OR A LITTLE
If you’re having a hard time thinking through all this, try your hand at decluttering. It’s a physical, outward practice that makes it easy to go within. The stuff that surrounds us mirrors much of our thoughts and feelings, and where we’re at in life. Declutter anything unwanted so you can detach from its psychic aspects and make room for new, positive experiences.
- Do I love this thing?
- Do I use it? When was the last time I used it?
- How does it make me feel?
Ask these questions as you go through the stuff in your home. You might like to focus on a specific category, like clothes or books, or on a specific area of your home, like the living room or hallway. Different authors (like Marie Kondo and Karen Kingston) have different approaches, but you can go with your intuition and you’ll know what to do.
SUMMARIZE YOUR INSIGHTS
With a view of your shortcomings and achievements, an appreciation for the details, insights into your soul’s growth, and some (or a lot of) decluttering, you should have an excellent perspective on your 2018.
- What would you say were your most important achievements? Why?
- What are your main lessons learned?
- What are you ready to put behind you or get rid of once and for all?
Give yourself some time to ponder all this and savor it if you can. There won’t be another 2018! Soak up this clarity so you set a powerful 2019 Annual Intention, which I’ll talk about next month.