Being reflective is a cornerstone of being a self-leader because it builds your sense of self awareness, helps you to solidify learning and supports you in making more intentional choices going forward. All essential qualities for leaders and change makers. This post gives you a few prompts for reflections you may want to make time for as you transition from 2022 to 2023.
WHAT AM I GRATEFUL FOR?
We can fall into the trap of kicking off our reflections with ‘the bad stuff’. Things we want to change or avoid the next time around – which are valid reflections. However, starting with the positives puts us into good spirits and reminds us of all the wonderfully strong foundations we have built in order to move forwards in a positive way.
Here are some ideas for widening and deepening your end of year gratitude reflections.
- List the things you are grateful for. Challenge yourself to come up with at least 12 items (one for each month) but if you can think of more, that is excellent. Remember they don’t need to be big wins. The day-to-day happy moments are just as important.
- Identify your part in them. We can play down the good things that happen to us by marking it as by chance, or someone else’s act of kindness. Take one of your gratitudes and try to name the choices you made, relationships you have built or environments that you put yourself into which have allowed that happy moment to come to fruition. Celebrating and recognising your part in the good stuff builds confidence and helps you to feel in charge of your own life.
- Connect to your feelings. Take another one of your gratitudes and get curious about what feelings it brings up for you. You are grateful for it, but what other feelings come up for you when you think about that thing? Calm? Pride? Excitement? Relief? Try to label the emotion and notice how it feels in your body for a deeper connection to yourself.
WHAT ARE MY STRENGTHS AND QUALITIES?
We all have a unique blend of strengths and qualities that we bring to the table. Again, it can be easy to jump straight into the weaknesses that we want to ‘fix’ or improve upon going forwards. Sometimes we forget to celebrate our strengths and recognise the ways in which we have used them to our advantage and to help others. Positive psychologists have found that knowing our strengths and using them in a meaningful way can help to improve our sense of wellbeing.
- Name your strengths and good qualities. What are they? What do they mean for you?
- How have you used them this year? Notice some of the ways your strengths and qualities have helped you in challenging situations, or allowed you to reach goals. Reflect on whether you have been able to support other people who do not hold those same strengths – this is why we flourish in teams where different people can bring different strengths.
HOW HAVE I DEVELOPED?
A healthy, happy person is constantly evolving to be a little bit better, and wiser than the day before. Sometimes that progress can be so slow that it takes the end of a year to look back and notice just how far you have come.
- What have I learned? This may bring up knowledge or skills that you have gained over the last year. Take time to recognise the choices and effort that it took for you to learn those things. Well done you!
- How have I grown? Sometimes our development is less tangible than knowledge or skills. We may grow in our character, our sense of stillness, our ability to be diplomatic or wise, our choice to make more time for ourselves. Notice other ways you have grown in your thinking and behavioural patterns.
Once you have enjoyed reflecting on the progress you have made so far – AND celebrating that progress – you are in a much better frame of mind to start thinking about the future. Celebrating your wins can provide you with that motivation and evidence that you can do wonderful things going forwards.
So now might be the time to start preparing your vision board for the year ahead or thinking about the positive habits you can build to make your next year just as wonderful.
If you want to make the most out of your reflections and set a positive trajectory for 2023 then get in touch today for personal coaching and training workshops.