How can reflecting on the past year help you to move forward? In our last blog post, we gave you 21 questions that allowed you to reflect on the past year. But what then? How can you avoid dwelling on what’s not gone well? How can you use these reflections to improve 2022? That’s what we’re covering today.
You may have noticed that many of the questions also asked you to consider ‘why’. For example, why you’ve enjoyed a particular activity or why something didn’t go well in your professional life. This is where reflection can be one of the best tools for learning and improving. But only if you observe the lesson to be learned and adjust your actions accordingly.
The Good Times…
Let us show you what we mean with a couple of examples. Let’s start with our personal lives. Imagine that you took part in a new activity this year and really enjoyed it. We'll pretend for now that it was paddleboarding as this has become extremely popular in recent years. When you ask yourself why you enjoyed this activity so much, it could be because you enjoyed being out in nature and the peace and tranquillity that came with it. Equally, it might be that you enjoyed the excitement of mucking around on the water with your children, jumping in and splashing about. But once you've identified what it was about paddleboarding (or any other activity) that you enjoyed so much, you can use this information to ensure 2022 will include more fun. If it's not practical to go paddleboarding every week, you could consider other ways to bring that same level of joy to your life. For example, you might achieve that with calming walks in the countryside or water fights in the garden!
The Bad Times…
Now let’s look at how we can learn from our mistakes. This time we’ll use disappointments in our professional lives as an example. Imagine that you felt an investment you’ve made hasn’t delivered on its promise. If you're a mumpreneur, you'll most likely be familiar with terms such as 'shiny object syndrome' and 'course junkies'. It can be easy to find ourselves spending money on something that we think will solve a problem, only to be disappointed. But how can we prevent this from happening again in the future? Well, it all comes down to reflecting on why that investment didn’t work. Our first assumption can be that the provider was at fault, and if this is the case, you could consider how you could better vet people in the future. For example, you might want to see more testimonials, use recommendations from people you trust, or spend some time ‘Googling’ the provider.
However, there are many other possible reasons why it might not have worked out. Perhaps, if it was a course, it wasn’t delivered in a way that best suited you. Or it might have been that it wasn't the right thing for you to focus on. Only after reflecting on why the investment wasn't suitable can you put procedures in place to avoid the same thing happening again in the future. Rather than beating yourself up about 'wasting money', reflection instead shifts the focus to what you can learn so that you're savvier with your future investments.
If you have answered the questions in our previous blog post, then it’s now time to reflect on what you can learn from them to make 2022 your best year yet. It can help to take an overview of the three areas of your life in which we asked questions: family and friends; work, business and professional; and personal. Below are a few questions that will help you reflect further:
1. Are there particular strategies that have helped you overcome challenges and obstacles that you could make use of in 2022?
2. Are there things that you should avoid or reduce in 2022? How can you do this?
3. Are there some things that need to feature more heavily in your life? How can you make this happen?
4. What have you learned from disappointments or things that haven’t worked out? What could you do differently in the future?
5. What have you learned from your successes and achievements this year? How can you make use of this going forward?
And, of course, if you want some help with reflecting and evaluating any area of your life, then do feel free to get in touch to see how I can help. For now, why not share your most significant lesson of 2021 in the comments below.
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