As you recap your own 2015, I challenge you to not only celebrate your wins but absorb what you learned. Everything that happens to us, good or bad, happens for a reason.
As I look at where I thought I should be vs where I am, it is easy to get bummed out with not meeting my goals. But the amount that I learned this year has only made me realize, I had to face challenges. Otherwise, I could’ve easily failed.
As we near the end of the year, many of us will spend time reflecting on this year, which can be a scary and dangerous thing.
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What happened to you this year that you maybe were supposed to learn a lesson? Maybe something completely out of left field that hit you like, “Whoa, where did that come from?” What did you learn?
My Biggest Lessons Learned:
- Being able to explain what I am doing and how it can help people in a completely clear statement is super freaking hard!
- I don’t have much time, so any little time I have must be spent on the most important things. If it doesn’t help me get closer to my goal, then I can’t do it or I have to ask for someone else to help me.
- This is harder than I thought.
- This is taking more time that I hoped.
- Doing this by myself is tough and I need to get more help.
- Bootstrapping (self funding my business' growth) is tough but I know I can do this!
- Apparently, I still have a lot to learn. Looking back at where I was a year ago and where I am now, I didn't know as much as I thought I did, yet mysteriously I had more confidence. How is that even possible??? Because I learned a ton this year!
Other personal lessons that are valuable
I also learned a few extremely valuable lessons about what I need to not do again and what I need to do more of. Both of which are still really important to remember to be aware. Some of these are more of my habits and patterns that I need to spend time reconditioning myself on.
What not to do:
- Although I love helping upcoming rockstars (aka interns), I don’t have the time or the bandwidth to do it at this stage of my growth.
What I need to do:
- I am going to need help with the programming and development, someone good, which is probably going to be expensive! UGH!
- I have to take care of myself. I need to rest, I need to eat better, I need to exercise. I need to treat myself with the same care I give everyone else.
Bethanie’s 2015 in Review in all it's raw glory
Here is what I did as I spent some time reflecting on my year, the goals I set, why I missed them, what I learned and what I think I can do differently next year.
My Personal Routine:
First, I have a very strict personal rule for this exercise: When reflecting no shoulda, coulda, woulda.
You want to just get everything out of my head. This is just a brain-dump for you. You can share it if you want but don't restrict your thoughts in fear that you will be judged. You are also not doing this so you can dissector over analyze anything. We'll get to that in a sec.
Now, grab a journal, piece of paper, notebook, phone, stack of sticky notes or whatever you need to collect your thoughts. Sometimes I have a journal that just doesn't feel right, so I feel the need to get a new journal. Same thing for pens and colors. (I know what you're thinking, don't judge!)
I would do this when you don't have a bunch of distractions or something important coming up in 5 minutes. Depending on you, you may get lost in thought and if someone or a child interrupts you, you may not be that thrilled. And if you are going to give yourself 5 minutes to do this before you meet your boss or your partner, you may want to just do this later so it doesn't affect your meeting/date/whatever.
Now, let's get busy. Start writing down this year (month, quarter, week or day). Whatever you want to review. What was amazing? What was hard? Where did you struggle? What did you learn? What did you do well with? What did you suck at? What happened that you didn't expect? What habits did you start? What habits dropped off? Did you get more done than you thought or less? Nothing is off limits. Just brainstorm. Brain dump away!
Step 3A - For my Type A personalities that would like to see your thoughts neatly organized
If you are not familiar with chunking, we are going to do that really quick. I you know this is you, then I would strongly recommend you use post-it notes for this exercise, then you can make your recap of your life a beautifully organized canvas. See the note on Chunking below before going to step 4.
Step 4 - For my creatives and visionaries that don't need no stinkin' organization
This is the fun part or not so fun part for some of us. Let's look at what you wrote. How was it? What I realized was my real life gets in the way of my dream life. And that was something that I can't control nor can it be scheduled, so it is what it is. But the key here is you deciding on what you are doing to do with what you have learned in this exercise. You may see that your business turned in a completely different direction than you thought it would. You may see that you don't want to spend your time on the same thing or with the same people. You may see that you missed your goal completely. And regardless of how positive your outlook may be, it still may make you feel defeated. And that's OK....for a short tiny moment in time. Then, you need to decide how long you live in that moment and if it is going to define your future.
*If everything is still overwhelming, then check this out about realizing the worst possible scenario. It may seem super scary but this always helps me put things into perspective.
Listen to my episode that explains how to do this on your own, listen here later.
Click here to listen to the other episode.
Now that you have dumped everything that you have swirling around in your overactive brain. We are going to organize it and group these thoughts in similar buckets. This is easiest to do with post-it notes. If you wrote in a journal or notebook, you may want to create a few new pages for each category. A few common categories that I use are: Personal, Business, Administrative, Delegate, Family/Friends, etc
Group everything in related groups:
Delegate - Cleaning the house weekly, pickup patio furniture, schedule dentist appt
Administrative - Call the IRS, Call Google Local, Call Pool guy
Personal - Visit LA Fitness, Schedule Massage/Facial
Business - Call the UX firm, schedule follow up with branding strategist, create 2 more FB ads
Most of these ideas that you are dumping out of your head fall into most major categories. If you have a one off that doesn't fit anywhere, then just stick it where ever you want.