You see, I’m a firm believer in ending the year on a high note, no matter what happened during the first 11 months. I especially like to do some reflection during the final week in December, and now that I have a few years of experience with said reflection, ahem, I’ve developed a workable process to follow and am happy to share it:
- Clear off your desk, even if it means temporarily piling everything on the floor. (OK, yes, it usually means doing that.)
- Find your favorite writing tool and a clean pad of paper, placing both squarely on that cleaned-off desktop.
- Turn away from your computer. Better yet, turn it off. Take a deep breath.
- Light a candle (optional).
- Mix an adult beverage of choice (helpful).
- Listen to the silence.
- Write a title on your blank paper. Something like “Highs/lows of last year,” and start the confessional.
- Sip again.
- Keep writing. Where there is patience, there is (usually) some wisdom.
Hopefully … maybe … potentially … optimistically, your “highs” will outnumber your “lows.” Realistically? Well, I think we all know where this is headed. If your “lows” outnumber your “highs,” it might be worth the time and effort to refresh your adult beverage and start another list. This one could be titled “Things I’ll do differently in 2015.”
So there you have it. A little date with reality that we all need to schedule into our end-of-year rituals. This one is just as important as the time you spend finishing reports, closing out files, saying thanks to clients, publishing REALLY BIG GOALS (always in capital letters, right?) for next year and summarizing all those open-ended Excel tables with data that may or may not be useful in the coming months. Note: All that data you collect should be useful next year, but many times it’s not because, well, it just stays parked there on those neat and tidy spreadsheets and is never shared, discussed or dissected with anyone but the keeper of said stats. Ouch.
On the positive side, whether or not you actually liked 2014, it will soon be over and you’ll have another chance to write a script of your life story. Plus, after completing this assignment, you might be able to focus on reaching more “highs” in 2015.
I leave you with this definition to think about: OPTIMIST (noun): Someone who knows that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s a cha-cha.