The holiday season is nearly at a close. Many of us are still tying up loose ends from Christmas and the impending New Year. It is easy to get stuck in get-shit-done mode and overlook the power of this time. December 21 marked the winter solstice – the deepest time of reflection and planting deepest emotional seeds for what we want to “grow” the next season. It’s a time to reflect and reconcile. Think Annual Review, yogi-style. I invite you to take the time, get a pen and paper and work through this as you read. This is a hands-on, experiential newsletter.
If you are familiar with annual reviews at work, you know they are used to look at our work habits and output – did we meet our objectives and expectations? Are we on target or is there room for improvement? When I worked part of a team, my annual reviews often felt a bit pat and insincere. A requirement that was completed, but often lacking in real substance or insight. Maybe this is because we are conditioned to resist reviews because we feel vulnerable and exposed and could reveal our imperfections we try to keep hidden. But there is no growth without review.
When I do my annual review, I broaden it beyond my work/business to also look at life goals, hobbies/free time, skills, and relationships. Was I on track with what I said I was going to do for the year? If not, why not? What got in the way? What did I learn? What skills did I develop and how did they progress? What relationships served me, and how? This naturally leads to what are my next steps for tomorrow, the next month, quarter and year. I can use what I learned from yesterday to make a better tomorrow to (in the words of Daniele Laporte) create goals with soul.
So first, the process. I make 3 lists: first, reviewing accomplishments, second, reconciling what actually happened versus what I wanted to happen and third, manifesting for the future.
Let’s start with accomplishments. I notice with both myself and the coaching clients I work with that it is easy to gloss over successes and accomplishments… what a shame! When we keep track of our accomplishments, our overall view of the past looks more positive, even if we experienced challenges or failures. It also motivates us to work hard for more accomplishments in the future and allows us to focus on what we actually made happen (our actual output) and not just our busyness which could or could not result in something tangible.
So take a moment.. take several moments in fact, to presence who you were a year ago and who you are now: : How did you grow, what did you learn, what did you accomplish? WRITE IT DOWN and allow yourself to feel what that feels like. This is what it looked like for me.
In 2017 I:
Created manuals, videos, and program materials for Align to Thrive
Ran 2 Align to Thrive programs and coached 23 people + 2 private clients to upgrade their health habits
Created manual, recipe book, videos and lectures for Detox + Renew program
Ran 2 online Detox + Renew courses with US, Middle East and European participants
Ran 2 yoga retreats
Attended my first retreat
Passed my Yoga Health Coaching certification
Was awarded Yoga Health Coaching Coach of the Month - the first of my cohort
Created monthly newsletters and blogs
Successfully mentored new yoga teachers under Jivamukti JTAP program
Created morning routine, detox workshop, evening routine and new years workshops
Led 40 + people in morning routine workshop
Led workshops in Paris, Switzerland and Munich
Learned how to edit and make videos
Created 6 online yoga videos and 5 habit/instructional videos
Updated my website with videos and online scheduling options (and made it prettier )
Commissioned a graphic designer to create my logo + brand (Thanks Tatiana Martinez)
Got hip with Instagram and posted at least 2x/week
Made massive improvements in time management by following tips in The One Thing
Had almost semi-weekly calls with my accountability partner (Thanks Gin. You rock).
Read/listened to over 40 books
Listened to inspirational business, yoga, and Ayurveda podcasts at least 2-3 times per week
Practiced almost daily meditation and exercise
Cut down my exercise time by half, but increased my strength – hello 10 breath handstand
Have the healthiest, most intuitive diet of my life
Took a guilt-free 1 month sabbatical to recharge from my hectic spring.
That felt great. Ok, and now the reconciliation piece, where we reconcilewhat we wanted to happen last year and what actually happened.In other words, what did you want to happen that you failed to do? Where/how did you get stuck? While I won’t bore you with my whole list, my poor progress in learning German is on the top, along with some pieces I wanted to have completed for several of my courses that I haven’t done AND deepening my meditation and yoga nidra practice.
Create your own list. If you have resolutions/goals or journals that will help you build a more complete picture, bring those out. WRITE IT DOWN.
Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering.There is a crack in everything.That’s how the light gets in. - Leonard Cohen
Reviewing ourselves is a practice of using the dark to generate light -- where we digest and assimilate lessons learned and decide what should my next actions be? If there were projects we wanted to start, skills we wanted to acquire, relationships we wanted to have or hobbies we wanted to explore, what were our roadblocks? There may have been good reason we didn’t make them priorities and we can cross it off our list. Maybe it was a goal, but there was no soul in it. Or maybe we find that we still want what we wanted in 2017 but didn’t know how to get there, so we need another system or better yet, connect with a person who has been there before and knows the bumps in the road and the high points.
Good questions to ask yourself in this manifesting part of review is: Where do I want to be in a year? What are my critical issues? What can I leverage to get through my critical issues? Who do I need to talk to/what relationships do I need to develop/leverage to help me get to where I want to be in 2018? Again, WRITE THIS DOWN. It should be your third list.
You will want your 3 lists handy for the future (especially the third one) so you can repeatedly refer to it and MANIFEST IT in 2018. Having things written down, or even better, posting it somewhere where we can see them, makes our goals more tangible and increases the accountability factor. So, Just Do it. Take a moment. If you haven't already, open your calendar or journals. Get your favorite marker or pen. Give yourself that time to reflect and receive what happened last year. To formally close the chapter so you can invite your new, yet unwritten chapter to unfold....