As you begin the year, consider a pause for a bit of reflection. I have three suggestions for you.
First take a breath, find a place to sit down and take a few minutes to ask yourself about 2023:
- What are you proud of?
- What surprised you?
- What did not go the way you hoped?
- Look through your pictures and take in the good times, remember things you may have forgotten happened, and smile at the amazing humans in your life.
I find it useful to step back and think about how things went last year. I try to set aside my recency bias and consider the full year. Looking through my pictures helps me to remember all that occurred. Sometimes I also look through my calendar or old journals. Use whatever is a good record of your year. I look at my “data” such as finances and accomplishments and also things with less objective measures such as relationships and hobbies. How is my life going across as many aspects as I can think of?
Do take a few minutes to celebrate small and big wins. I am celebrating some finally-finished home improvements and getting through a couple of my own health challenges while supporting my parents through some of their health challenges.
Know yourself and don’t let the medium in which you reflect get in the way of your reflection. You might sit and think about these questions, write about them in your journal, type your answers on your laptop, or talk through them with a friend or loved one.
Next, decide on the most important areas to focus on for 2024 and set your intentions. Here is a starting point template you can adjust to work for you. Think, write, type, talk – use whatever medium works best for you.
What self-care routines allow you to be your best? I prioritize sleep, as one example. What stressors are in your life and how will you manage them? I found this article looking at micro-stressors powerful to help me not discount the many small stressors that build up, causing a ripple effect. Check out the diagnostic linked to in this article to determine where your micro-stressors are coming from.
Need more inspiration?
I browsed my Table Topics To Go set for questions I want to spend more time considering. Here are a few of my favorites.
- How would you like your life to change this year?
- What are your three most important goals for the coming year?
- What support structures would help you accomplish your goals this year?
- What would make your year a total triumph?
- What do you want to do for others this year?
- What’s your greatest worry for the coming year?
- What would you like to learn this year?
- Did you spend enough time with your family last year?
- Did you have enough fun last year?
You can find more decks here.
This recent HBR article offers even more exercises you may want to work though.
Cheers to living an intentional 2024!
Elevate your Leadership Potential
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