Take Time to Reflect on 2012 Before Rushing to Plan 2013

As the year 2012 draws to a close, many people are busy looking ahead to 2013. While it’s important to set goals and figure out how you’ll achieve them (see my ebook, The Butterfly Principles: Nine Steps to Transform Your Life, for a step-by-step guide to doing so in a meaningful way that yields lasting results), and the start of a new year is a great time to do so, it’s equally important to take the time to look back over the year that is ending.

What did you accomplish this year? Of which achievements are you most proud? If you have trouble thinking of even a single good thing that you did, then it’s all the more important that you take the time to make a list. If you think long and hard enough, and ask loved ones for input if you’re still struggling to come up with anything, you will find some successes to celebrate. Nothing is too small or insignificant to include on this list! Too often, we minimize or discount our successes. Give yourself credit for what you did well.

Yes, it’s also necessary to reflect on our failures, but most of us do too much of that already. Go ahead and let your inner critic help you make a list of things that did not go as planned, and things that you intended to accomplish but failed to get done, but don’t spend too much time dwelling on these and beating yourself up. Acknowledging our failures is important, but wallowing in them is not helpful. Too often, we magnify and give too much significance to what we did wrong.

Next, what surprised you? This includes both wonderful surprises, like beginning a new relationship or winning the lottery, and unwelcome changes, like being diagnosed with cancer or getting laid off.

Finally, what did you learn in 2012? This can include things you learned about yourself, about what works and what doesn’t, about what you want more of in your life and what you want to change or get rid of…anything at all. Write it all down, so that you can refer back to it later, remind yourself what you learned, and hopefully avoid having to relearn it in 2013!

I hope that you find this process helpful, and are able to enter 2013 wiser and more ready to move forward because you took the time to look back first!

One Response to “Take Time to Reflect on 2012 Before Rushing to Plan 2013”

  1. Donna Treaster Says:

    Wendi, Thanks for your emails. I enjoy them and enjoy remembering the time when you lived in Lewistown. Donna

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