Looking back to see ahead clearly (how to process your year)

Looking back to see ahead clearly (how to process your year)

Like going to bed at night and waking up the next day, year's end is a good time to recon with what today presents. This means looking at what you have learned, completed, accomplished and left undone. You know how it goes. What you didn’t get done yesterday, waits for you today. So the following worksheet is a great way to process the past year you lived. That means instead of walking away from one experience to quickly move to the next, you take a moment for reflection. Without introspection, we tend to repeat experiences and neglect to learn from them. Whereas contemplation helps to put things in in order, and that means clearly seeing the road ahead.

Consider the following: What did the past year present to you? What were the most significant events, how did you respond to them and how did they shape you? That leads you to the present. What do you want now and what is required, on your part, to get it? Answering these questions not only establishes perspective in letting go but also adjusts your thinking and expectations for the next go round. You also understand yourself a bit better and, appreciate what you’ve been through and accomplished despite it all.

Resolution means to resolve or promise. Resolutions for the New Year can work for you, if you are clear and explicit about why you want them. Keeping tabs on your progress helps to calculate future steps. All this leads to objectivity and clarity of purpose. Your goals or resolutions become commitments to yourself, not the rest of the world. Thus they become memorable and sacred.

This process is a bit like being a Monday morning quarterback. As you look over your shoulder to objectify the past, you know where you've been and that helps you know where you're going. Appreciation is fundamental to growth and a superb way to release the past and prepare for the promise of the future. Be sure to feel grateful for every event and experience. It doesn’t matter if you performed well or not. This is not a time for criticism. Just observe and take note.

In the past year many people cleared away the old job, relationship, goals, lessons or belief systems, and even stuff from their closets and basements. Letting go creates space for newness to enter. Wisdom tells us you can’t fill a bucket that is already full. Do you have room in your life for new friends and opportunities? Are you willing to put up with bad behavior -- abuse, neglect, or negativity? Is it time to move on? In the same way, if you are hanging on to an unfulfilling, energy-draining career, you cannot move into work that enriches.

Change paves the way for your next chapter. Good and even the bad times offer gifts and insights. Reflect and receive those offerings. Proper perspective engenders hope for the future. Without hope, there is no motivation, and without motivation, joy and enthusiasm wane.

Ensure forward movement by making your new year's promises thoughtfully. These are to be made to yourself and no one else. Recognize your aim and reward for each one. Maybe it is feeling good. Then you are ready to begin 2021 with a clear head, a happy heart and joyous expectancy.

Jean Walters is a best selling author, transformational coach, and teacher of self empowerment principles. You can reach her at jean@spiritualtransformation.com

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