I’m going to take you through my exact reflection and projection end-of-year process I’ve done for the last four years to close the year, and open the new one. Find out what I’m proud of, my word of year, what I would name the book (or movie!) about my 2022 year, and how you can do your own Year Compass reflection with a free template.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Happy New Year! Welcome to 2023. Thanks for tuning into the podcast this week. When I know a lot of people may not be working, but still keen to listen to my wonderful, podcast week on week. What I can tell you about today’s podcast is linked to at last week’s podcast or last year’s podcast.

[00:00:25] And in Episode 32, I talked about my Clean Slate Method. What, if you could achieve more of what you wanted by taking things off your plate. And I use some inspiration from Seinfeld’s George Costanza and Marie Kondo. Yes, it’s a very unusual mix. And I asked a few questions about your year of 2023.

[00:00:46] So building off that, today I’m going to take you through my exact reflection and projection end-of-year process I’ve done for the last four years. It’s a free tool that you can use as well. And I’ll put the link in the show notes so you can download your own copy of this template.

[00:01:02] Firstly why close 2022 and open at 2023? In some ways, the end-of-year is quite an arbitrary moment. People talking about new year’s resolutions and really it’s something that you can do any time of year, but there’s something about a fresh year that seems to give me this inspiration to have a moment and think about what happened this last year and what I want for the future.

[00:01:28] I’m not a big one for setting New Year’s resolutions per se, but I do enjoy a moment to sit and reflect. And without the guidance of this structure, I can get a little bit lost.

[00:01:41] Let me talk you through how it works and what you can expect.

[00:01:46] So, what is Year Compass? It is a free booklet that helps you reflect on the year and plan the next one. There’s carefully selected questions and exercises, and it helps you uncover your own patterns and design the ideal year for yourself. You can learn from your mistakes, celebrate victories, set out a path you want to walk on, and all you need is a few quiet hours and the booklet. It’s also available in about 30 different languages, so if English isn’t your first language, jump onto yearcompass.com and find your own version, because often we think. And reflect better, particularly in our emotions in our mother tongue.

[00:02:25] You can either download a soft copy of Year Compass or you can print it out and write it by hand. I’ve done a mix over the years. This year, I did it on my iPad pro, but I think in future years I will actually print it and use a pen and paper. There’s something about writing that is a lot more visceral than using a computer. Plus, I did find that partway through I started to remember a few things that I had to do and I got sidetracked. So it’s a lot easier to stay on track. If you have the digital devices put to the side.

[00:02:57] So the first thing that I love about the Year Compass is you go through your past year and by going through your calendar week by week, and if you see an important event, family gathering, friendly get together or significant project, you write it down. And for me, this is actually one of the best bits about Year Compass, because I forget so much that happens. And as I went through week by week, I’d sort of forgotten about that weekend away or this musical audition I had done or a triathlon. Or at the beginning of the year that we were doing regular date nights and they have some have fallen off the radar. So going through my calendar week by week is actually one of the highlights of this for me, because it makes me realize what was important for me in the last year and helps me think, ah, what sort of things do I want to keep for next year?

[00:03:45] Personally, I keep quite a detailed calendar. It is something that is really useful for my memory. if you’ve listened to the podcast before you’ll know that four years ago, I’d had a Vertebral Artery Dissection and a mini- stroke, and it did impact my memory for awhile. So one of the techniques that I have to help with my memory is to be really detailed in my calendar and the things that I need to do and the places that I need to be.

[00:04:09] So being able to go through the last year is very good for me in the calendar, because all the details there. But you might find, even if you don’t keep such a detailed calendar, you will still have enough to be able to do this exercise.

[00:04:21] Also this morning, I would have told you that this year has gone quite quickly, but after going through my calendar and writing down the significant things, I’ve realised it’s been a year. There’s quite a lot of things that happened. Including launching this podcast and getting married, lots of weekends away for different events. It was really rich in a whole variety of different things that just sort of slipped my mind.

[00:04:47] So as far as gratitude goes, this is a great exercise for me.

[00:04:51] Then after you have gone through your calendar and looked at the significant events for the year, it helps you categorize them into different areas, such as personal life and family relaxation and hobbies, physical health, friends, community, career, studies, and a better tomorrow, so things you’re doing to help pay things forward.

[00:05:10] And this is really useful because it helps me to see what areas of my life and this last year have I been focusing energy on, and what areas haven’t been such a high priority. What I noticed in this year is there’s nothing in the mental health, self knowledge box but in previous years, this box has been really rich. I try not to look at it as a judgment, just an interesting observation.

[00:05:32] Then go through asking you some questions about your past year, things that you’re proud of. What were you not able to accomplish? What you’re most grateful for and the best moments. There’s also a small piece about forgiveness and letting go. And it’s really curious to read these from previous years, of what I was holding on to, or if I was angry with myself about something. It has a great point of how you can do yourself good by forgiving.

[00:05:58] The final thing before you close out the last year, it talks about your past a year in three words. And the three words that came to me were around Progress. So personal progress, my business progress, life progress; around Family, it’s been a big focus for me this year for a number of reasons. And the final one is Future.

[00:06:20] And if I look back in my past years the three words have always been so different. So it’s a nice reflection of where I’m at Progress, Family and Future. And then it asks the book of my past year. If there was a book or a movie that made your past year, what title would you give it?

[00:06:36] And my came up with “The Hidden Track”. I don’t know if you used to remember that on CDs, there would be this hidden track at the end, and you didn’t know it was there, but if you listen long enough, this secret song would arrive. And I find this question, that book or movie about the past year, the most interesting, because curious things come up. So that’s mine for the last year.

[00:06:58] Then you get to go into the next year and you go into Dare to Dream Big. And then you go into the categories similar to when you did your reflection of the year before. Your word for the year ahead of which my 2023 word is Wonder, and a secret wish.

[00:07:16] In previous years, it’s been about thinking bigger, or doing less but better. And it helps me frame up the year ahead. So if you’re curious to go through this process, I would recommend setting aside a couple of hours, a good space of peace and quiet to do it. And perhaps a friend, or to do it alone.

[00:07:38] And give yourself the gift of reflection of 2022 and some focus for 2023, and see what comes up. I’d love to hear how you go with this.

[00:07:49] Thanks for tuning in today and Happy New Year.

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