Taking time to take stock
I love this time of year. Not for the normal festive reasons, in fact since I have become interested in the minimalistic way of living I am even less into the Christmas chaos this year. The reason I love this time of year is that after Friday 22nd December the work diary frees up for ten days and this gives thinking and reflection space.
My motivational mix is centred around new challenges and goals so again with the combination of this and the space in the diary I can’t stop myself from doing my annual review of the year professionally and personally and considering what my focus areas are going to be moving forwards.
I must admit I get equal joy from the reflection part of this “taking stock” now. When I was busy entering new triathlon races each year the emphasis was very much on the future year and what challenge I was going to take on, be it faster times, longer distance or different location. My work is also goal focused but now just as important as the question 'what do I want to achieve in 2018?' is 'what have I learnt this year' and also 'how do I enjoy spending my time now?'
Last year I tried to live without any goals at all. I got to this new year point and decided my next challenge was to not have any goals; well I failed miserably. I managed this new approach until April when while I was on holiday in Lanzarote when I was so inspired by a British guy who went from chatting to me in English with a broad cockney accent to speaking fluent Spanish to a colleague in the restaurant. That was it by the end of the day my new “non-work” goal was set - I wanted to learn Spanish and I wanted to be above average. I couldn’t help myself. I just knew that was what I was meant to do, and it became very clear while sat in that coffee bar. Currently I am on a streak of the Duolingo app of taking 15 mins each day for 156 days coupled with weekly lessons.
I really would recommend taking an hour out of the festive season, and much longer if you want to take stock of 2017. Some of the questions to consider may be:
- What worked out well?
- What didn’t go to plan and do you need to do anything about this or just learn from the experience?
- What did you enjoy doing the most?
- What did you not enjoy doing?
- How was your health and wellbeing throughout the year, did you manage your energy well?
- Who did you spend time with - Rays of Sunshine?
- Are there any people who are draining you and who may be you need to spend less time with?
Whether you like to set yourself goals or not it doesn’t matter just asking yourself some questions like the list above might be insightful enough.