Monday, 3 January 2011
Your annual review
As most of us know, the month of January gets its name from the Roman God Janus, who is often represented by two heads, one looking back at the previous year and the other looking forward to the new year. It's a good image to think about. Looking back over the last twelve months and considering what were your achievements, things you were proud of, new people you met, friendships, relationships, how you spent most of your time and if you made new year's resolutions last year, reflect on how successful you were with those or not. If there were things you did not achieve or you feel disappointed with the progress made in particular aspects of your life, now's the perfect time to give some thought about why that was and what you can do to bring about change now.
Writing down some brief reflections on the past year can be a helpful tool to organise your thoughts. If you keep a diary or calendar, taking a glance at each month to remind yourself of specific events, habits and situations that might have slipped your mind can be a good way to review the year gone by. You don't want to spend a ton of time focusing on the past but a bit of meditation on what has passed can give some guidance for future actions and help establish some goals for the year ahead.
Once you've reviewed the previous year, it's time to think about the new one and what you desire, hope and aim to achieve. This doesn't have to be in the form of resolutions. You could draw a diagram or picture. Get a blank piece of paper and write 2011 in the centre. Similar to a brain-storming diagram, have lines coming out of the central '2011' and write or draw pictures of things you'd like to do, see, accomplish in the coming months. These might be things you still need to work on from last year that you didn't pursue as you'd have liked or they may be totally new fresh thoughts. Having them on paper can be an effective way of visualising how you'd like your new year to be. It would be ideal to display the completed diagram somewhere you will see it each day. It doesn't need to be on the fridge in full of view of everyone, but on the inside of a wardrobe door that you open each day, for example.
A lot of us naturally do an annual review at this time of year but many of us do it too fleetingly in our heads and the thoughts soon pass. By spending a little more time and writing down some reflections for both past and present, those thoughts and aims are more likely to stay with us into the year ahead.
How do you tend to review your year past and new? Do you regularly make new year's resolutions each January?