Have you begun to think of 2016 and what you want to create for yourself? This is the time of the year when we begin thinking of the next year. What do we want to see happen, what life events are we looking forward to, what changes will we be facing? For me, it is a time of the year to create my annual manifesto, be intentional about my new year, and most importantly: reflect on the year behind me.
I am oriented to look forward; I am futuristic. I am also oriented to be pro-active rather than reactive. As my title states, I do look forward to leading my life. In fact, LEAD is the name of a program I will be rolling out with some partner coaches. The program is designed to serve others that want to lead their life rather than always being in reactive mode. We are excited about the potential of helping others learn a process that guides them to empowered living and thriving relationships!
That being said, I have also had to learn the value of looking behind – a skill known as reflection. Reflection brings learning from your experiences and clarity to what is important to you. When you are clear about what is important to you and what you believe, then being able to speak your truth in the moment, without judgment on others, is positive reactivity. It is important to have your voice and this was, at times, difficult for me to do. I grew up with an inherited “belief system” that gave all the power of voice to “those in charge”; the authorities, the nuns and priests, parents, etc. I was a compliant child so I fell in line! I discovered that this belief system was not serving me as an adult. I am in charge of my voice — no one else can speak for me. Learning positive reactivity has been a healthy practice in having a voice.
Being someone who prefers introversion, I have always been a strong observer and reflector. Often times we are so focused on moving forward in our lives and in building our businesses, that we don’t want to take the time to look behind, reflect and assess what worked and what didn’t work. What is the difference behind reflection and assessment? The important thing to remember about reflection is to keep judgment out of it. Simply reflect on what occurred, what your thoughts were, what your feelings were, what the impact was, and how others were in the situation — all without judgment on any of it. Now you are ready to assess. Assessing is really about getting clear on what the meaning is to you for your life or your business. I like to use the “What” game: What? (reflection), So What? (what meaning do I make of it (assessment) and Now What? (Plan: what am I going to do next?).
As you move into 2016 with a desire to lead your life and business, remember to take the time to reflect and assess how 2015 went for you. John Dewey said, “We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience”. Take time to deepen your learning so you can effectively move your life and business forward. If you need support in this process, reach out and we can create your 2016 life/business plan together!