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#45: Vision and Planning: Reflecting on the Past Year

Coaching Hive
Coaching Hive
#45: Vision and Planning: Reflecting on the Past Year
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Introduction

Welcome to a new month and a new topic here at the Coaching Hive! Last month, we spent a lot of time talking about measuring progress and that really sets us up nicely here at the end of the year, to start thinking about vision, start thinking about planning and to take time to remember where we have come in the past year. 

What have we accomplished?

This month is all about vision and planning for the upcoming year. But before we do that, I think it’s really important to take a step back. This is a wonderful time and important time to do a bit of reflection. I know that so many people are focused on the next steps, the new ideas, what’s hip and happening for the next year.

I don’t know about you, but my email inbox is full of emails, reminding me to set my plans, to create my vision, to think about next steps. What are the predictions for next year? And all of that is so important, but just as important as planning for the future is looking at what has occurred in the past. And I don’t say this as a way to kind of get stuck in the past, but instead we can use the past to help inform our next choices.

Reflection

All right, this episode is going to be a short one because the bulk of it really falls on your shoulders. I want you to have an opportunity to do the reflection, and if we keep this episode short, you’ll have more time to do that. 

Here’s what I’m thinking of in terms of reflecting over the past year. This is something that I do for myself personally, we do it in our family, and I do it for the Coaching Hive business as well. And what happens is we take time, step aside and step out of the busy and the hustle of the day to day in looking back, you will be so much better able to decide where you want to go and what you want to do in the upcoming year, which means that your vision, your plans for the next year will be a lot more meaningful. They will be more polished and they will ultimately help you take the next right steps in your business. 

So here are a few of the questions that I have for you today.

What do you want to celebrate? What has gone well?  What have you accomplished in the last 11 months of the year? What would you like to celebrate? 

And also, what would you like to let go of when you think about the past year as you think about your reactions, your feelings, your thoughts, the processes you implemented, the products you unveiled? Is there anything that you would like to let go of something that really didn’t serve you or serve your business or your family? Well, that you would like to say this was an interesting trial, but I don’t think I want to carry it forward into the next year. 

These are really great ways to start your reflection. Now, when you do this, I want you to be sure to remember the measuring progress series. We’re not looking to judge the accomplishments or judge what you want to let go of. It is simply a tool to help you decide where to go next with a more informed process. In fact, this is going to take some time. 

I would encourage you to find a quiet place several days this week, maybe even over the next week or two, maybe it’s 15 minutes or 30 minutes, or even an hour. If you have it at a time and sit in the quiet and reflect for me, I sit in my office. I have a foot salt lamp that when you turn it on, it gets really warm. And I have a comfy chair and I have a fuzzy blanket. And what I do is I bring a hot cup of tea or sometimes hot chocolate. And I bring my workbook or a notebook with me where I take all my notes and get my thoughts out about what I’d like to do and work on what my vision is. But I use this to kind of keep track of all of my thoughts. I’m a sticky note kind of girl and sticky notes get lost. This is too important to put on a sticky note. So, I sit with my hot cup of tea or hot chocolate. I sit in my chair, and I think, and I just jot things down. I don’t judge them as I’m jotting things down. 

A lot of times I’ll make a page for everything that I want to celebrate. What have I accomplished in the year? And I make a page for the things that I’m not so sure about that. I’m not sure if I want to continue doing them, or if I want to continue doing them the way I have been. Now, this doesn’t always work. I’m not going to lie. Sometimes I sit down on the chair and I get antsy and all I want to do is get up. You know what? Go get up. If that’s you go do something else, go for a hike, go for a walk, go do what helps you think the best I’ve been known to take long showers and reflect. In fact, there’s kind of a running joke. If my shower’s longer, my husband, when I come out of the shower, he’ll say, so what a-ha moment did you have? Or what new idea did you uncover? Because sometimes just that quiet is enough to uncover next steps or to that thing that’s keeping you stuck. Or that thing that you had forgotten about that went so well. And you truly want to be able to celebrate it. What works for you only, you can answer that, which means before you even get to this reflection of what do you want to celebrate? What went well? What have you accomplished? What do you want to let go? I invite you to do a little pre-reflection of sorts. How do you do your best thinking? You know, where you can really contemplate what’s happened. You can think about where you want to go, but doing it in a way that doesn’t feel rushed, doing it in a way that has a sense of freedom to it, figure out what you’d like to try. And if the first place or thing you do in order to have this time of reflection, doesn’t work, move on, try something else. You’ll find the right way for you. 

Now, when you have those answers, then you can take your next steps. I do want to mention that if you keep track of your accomplishments and the things that don’t feel quite right throughout the year, this reflection is going to be a little bit easier, but it will still be quite valuable and meaningful to sit down and explore. And remember what has happened now that you are out of the middle of it.

So, I like to keep a list running list throughout the year of things I have accomplished or things that have gone well, as well as things that I want to kind of keep on my mind to make an adjustment to in the future. I have those kinds of lists, but a lot of times when I do this reflection, this end of year reflection, I leave the lists tucked away, set aside, and instead I start with a fresh list. Once I have that fresh list, then I’ll pull out the other stuff and see kind of where they meshed together and what new insights I might have, regardless of whether you have a list that you’ve been keeping, or you have an empty notebook in front of you, take some time. There’s no rush with this. There’s a lot of that push at the end of the year to set your vision, set your plan for the upcoming year and for every quarter throughout the year. And that is important. In fact, we’ll talk about that next week and throughout the rest of this month on the podcast, but truly you have to move at the pace that’s right for you.

What I do want you to do is commit to this reflection. Let me tell you why this is so important. At the end of the year, we have this habit of looking back and seeing the things that didn’t work, the things that didn’t go quite how we wanted, or the things that we don’t like. So often I hear from coaches, well, I didn’t really accomplish much this year. I didn’t accomplish as much as I wanted. I didn’t accomplish this or that. What I don’t hear is what I accomplished this and that and that, but when a coach actually sits down or anyone sits down and lists the things that they have accomplished, it is so eye-opening, and it’s affirming because here’s what happens. We will take those accomplishments and they become the foundation for the next year. They become the foundation upon which we build. And each year you are strengthening your foundation and you’re building the next level. But if you don’t take this time to reflect, you’re building your next year on rocky ground, which means it may not be as solid and as stable as you would like.

But if you take time to reflect, you can identify those accomplishments and use those strengths to build this coming year. It will help you with your planning. It will help you with your vision and it will help you certainly with the implementation of those things.

Conclusions

So there you have it this week, take some time reflect on the past year. What do you want to celebrate? What do you want to keep? What went well? What worked well? And what do you want to let go of in the new year? Be creative, take your time. Be open to what you discover. You may not even realize some of the things that you want to celebrate. And some of the things that you want to let go of, explore how you feel, explore how you envision this information, helping and start getting excited for the upcoming year. 

In the next episode, we will begin to talk about your vision for the upcoming year, your plan, so that when we get to the start of the brand new year, you will be ready to go. So on that note, I hope you find your reflection place, that comfy cozy spot, that serene place, that peaceful moment in which to reflect and celebrate and honor the things that you want to let go of honor, that they supported you in the moment. And at this point they may not be something that you want to carry forward, but most importantly, take this time for yourself. 

Take this time to reflect and to celebrate the progress that you have made.

The moments that you have spent supporting yourself, your family, and your business, and get excited for the upcoming year. I hope you have a healthy, safe, and happy week, and I’ll see you back here next week. For another episode of the Coaching Hive podcast.

~ Dr. Moira

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