Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ending 2012 With Gratitude Ritual

It’s that time again - one year is coming to completion, making way for a new one to begin.  I like to complete each year with a closing ritual that includes taking time to review the past 12 months to remind myself of what I accomplished, what I didn't do or get to, and  go over what I learnt along the way. I invite you to join me in consciously completing and celebrating 2012 with the following exercise.

Get yourself comfortable with some paper, pen, and a yummy beverage, creating an ambient environment. I like lighting a bunch of candles and burning some incense, like frankincense or amber. Start by taking some time to review 2012 – grab your journal, agenda, vision board, list of goals, anything that will remind you of what happened over the past year as well as what you had intended to accomplish.  Then, write down the answer to the follow questions: 

What did I accomplish in 2012?
What did I work hardest at?
Which accomplishment surprised me most – either that I hadn’t planned on accomplishing or that exceeded my expectations?
What were my disappointments?
If the past year was a movie, would it have been an action movie, comedy, satire, drama, thriller, cartoon, musical or documentary? What title would I give it? What role did I play?
What goals or intentions did I set for myself in 2012 did I not complete? What happened?
What were my greatest challenges in 2012?
What is the greatest achievement that I’m most proud of in 2012?
What new learning and insights did 2012 leave me with?
What will I intentionally leave behind in 2012? (limiting beliefs, habits or ways of thinking) 
What will I consciously carry forward into 2013 and continue working towards?
Write a list of at least 50 things/people/events/experiences you are grateful for in 2012.

Once this part is finished – safely burn or shred the paper you wrote one while saying “thank you 2012 for the ride!”

 In completing this exercise ask yourself: Have I appropriately celebrated my accomplishments and wins over the past year? Have I thanked the people who supported me in 2012? If not, what will you do to celebrate and acknowledge all the work you've done, the impact you've made, as well as those who have contributed value to your life over the past year?  

Coaching Tip:  Reframing Failure

Far too often we can be hard on ourselves for not meeting our goals or intentions for the year. If you did not accomplish something on your list, it is only considered to be a failure if it is a goal you still want to achieve, one that is really important for you the keep working at, but you choose to let it go instead. The journey to completing any goal is exactly that - a journey. It is a journey which often includes travelling along winding roads, up hills (usually steep ones!), down hills, along peaks and valleys, through various weather conditions, climates and terrains and in the end, it takes the time it takes. If you didn't complete something on your list in 2012, ask yourself the following questions: 

What was important to me about this goal when I decided to take it on?  
What is most important to me now in relation to this goal?  
What have I learnt so far? What has changed?
If I continue working towards this goal, what will it require of me? Who will I need to be?  
If I decide to let it go now, what impact will that decision have on my life 5 or 10 years from now?
Having answered the above questions, now decide:  Do I want to continue working towards this goal in 2013 or it is it time to let it go?  

While it may be tempting to that ask the last question first, I recommend keeping it to the end. Getting yourself thinking along the lines of values and what is important to you will lead you to make a more congruent decision about how important it is to keep working at it or to let it go.