As we get closer to the end of the year, this is the time we naturally reflect back on what occurred during the last 365 days, as well as what we want in the year to come. I personally love this ritual, and think it is so important that you engage in this as well. Whether you use your birthday, a major life event, your favorite time of year, or the more traditional New Year's celebration, it's a great practice. The important thing is to take some time every year to reflect on what has been, what is, and what you'd like to create from here on out. To help you with the process, I've provided some guiding questions and sample responses. I've also given you two guiding activities to anchor the experience.
First, start by asking yourself the following:
1. What did I accomplish in the last year? What can I feel good about? What do I regret?
Sample responses: I earned a degree, had a child, became self-employed, received a promotion, helped my child through a difficult time, started a relationship, saved my relationship, ended a relationship, survived an illness, celebrated an anniversary, mourned a loss, avoided any change at all costs.
2. What lessons have I learned from the past year?
Sample responses: I learned that I don't engage in self-care enough, I can be selfish, I no longer want to be alone, I tolerate too much from others at my own expense, raising a teenager is really hard, some of the people around me do not have my best interest at heart, I am capable of accomplishing much more than I had ever imagined, I am basically lazy and prefer to take the easy road if at all possible, I wished I had spent more quality time with the people I lost, I have little to no control over what happens to me.
3. Where am I today? How does it feel?
Sample responses: I am gainfully employed, in a stable relationship, living in a neighborhood I like, raising my children and involved with community organizations. As I write down my life as it is today, I see how lucky I am and how good I have it. But somewhere deep inside, something is missing. I still have things to do and dreams to pursue. I wonder if this feeling of something "missing" is simply a part of my nature or human nature in general. I wonder if something inside me is telling me that all is not well—that there is something to understand, something worth my attention.
4. What requires my attention?
Sample response: I need to break some patterns that don't work for me. I need to hold others accountable for their own well-being and myself accountable for my well-being. I need to continue to build financial growth and spend/invest my money wisely. I need to continue to make my health a priority and know that in the end, I am enough no matter what. I need to reassess my dreams and priorities accordingly. I also need to reassess my significant relationships and see what is working and what is not, and take action accordingly.
5. Can I accept what is?
Sample response: I understand that my life is what it is in part because of what I have personally created, and in part because of how I have responded to those things outside of my control. I have no choice but to accept my life as is. I can't change the past and don't know what is in front of me. The only option is to embrace what is today. That is my in-road to feeling satisfied and okay with my life no matter what. And that is my window into what is yet to come.
6. What do you want to create for yourself and your life in the coming year?
Sample response: Financial freedom, reigniting my dream, a relationship that provides a space from which my significant other and myself can heal and thrive, more adventure and fun, time to attend to my physical health and well-being.
Well done! Here's your next assignment.
Take the time to put your desired future state into something concrete. This can be done in many different ways. For example: Write a story that illustrates your future desired state. Create a collage or draw a picture that reflects your desired future state (literally or metaphorically). Create some kind of structure that three dimensionally depicts your dreams or create music or dance. Whatever creative outlet you choose (and yes, whatever you do it will be a creative, by default of creating something, anything) let your inhibitions down and allow yourself to be fully self-expressed. And remember to have fun with this!
Last, keep your dream alive by taking action. Do something that moves you toward your future state. Stop doing things that hold you back. Take your lessons learned and translate them into different behaviors and ways of being. Be proactive. And most of all, enjoy the journey. Here's to completing another year of life and creating a new year full of love, healing, growing, giving and receiving.
Feel free to share your experience with this process. I'd love to hear what came from this. Simply leave a comment here at the end of the article or email me personally.
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If you or someone you know wants to create a strong and intimate relationship, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'm here to help. I provide personalized guidance and coaching. And if you want to start right now, go and purchase The Pathway to Love at-home program. You don’t need to wait. You can begin the process today. Take advantage of the opportunity receive the support and guidance you deserve. As always, I’m here to support you in creating strong and intimate relationships. You can also catch my radio/TV show Pathways to Love w'Julie Orlov LIVE every Sunday 1:30pm PST on LATalkLive! You can also retrieve Retrieve Your FREE Relationship Assessment Quiz and see if YOUR Relationship is on track at www.julieorlov.com/quiz
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