Throughout the year, I reflect. Sometimes it’s through video and other times it’s written in my beautiful cork journal with my equally beautiful pens. I reflect to provide clarity, to align myself with my vision and to stay grounded. However, at the end of the year, I do a massive reflection process. It takes me about a week to complete. I began this deep dive reflective process last year. I added the process shared by Elena Aguilar. I want to share how I use that process to hone in on my vision, my intention, in order to stay grounded and in alignment throughout the year. Throughout there are links to videos and posts that will give further guidance.
Day 1: The Year Month-by-Month
I begin with a look at old pictures (usually in my phone because I have 30,000+ photos in there). I dig into each month and I remember. I remember and think about what happened, how I felt about what happened, my feelings/emotions, the good, the bad and the not so pleasant. I think about what was happening in our world, our country, in my community, at work, at home, in my family. I take in all of it month-by-month. This usually takes me a few hours. But it is so cathartic and refreshing to do. Sometimes it can even be heavy. Other times it’s healing. But mostly, it’s so incredibly enlightening.
The collection of pictures is a way that helps me really hone in on my reflective process. I print them and paste them in my journal. I love looking back at all the pictures. One could also look back at past journal entries or videos they have taken as well. Capturing moments throughout the year is a wonderful way to remember and reflect.
On this day, I also think about what I learned about life, how I lived, what I learned about myself and how I lived in my values of authenticity, equity and family. I write about what I could do to live in my values even more and what my body needs to feel healthy and thriving. I end the reflection on this day rereading what you wrote about the year. I get my coffee, I breathe and meditate for however long as I need.
Day 2: Reflection on my Word for the Present Year
On Day 2, I take time to reflect on how I lived my word this year. I also reflect on ways I didn’t live in my word for the year. But I offer myself the gift of grace in those moments. I give myself a gentle hug. On this day, I also go back to my month-by-month remembering and I put a symbol where it showed that I lived in my word for that month or moment. I added that this year and it really made me smile at myself for living in my word even if some months I lived in my word more or less than others.
Day 3: The Story of that Year
This year for this day. I honed the story down to one sentence for each month. This was no easy task, but I wanted to provide clarity in each month to make it simplistic, yet insightful. This helped me to take it all in and to breathe in 12 sentences that I want to tell myself for the year. It just tied it together.
Day 4: Time to pick a word for the year!
Picking a word for Day 4 is so amazing. My process for picking a word happens after my Day 1-Day 3 reflection process. I look at what I have gone through, my experiences, how I felt throughout the year and ways I have grown. I think about my resilience. I think about ways I lived in my word in all areas of my life.
Then I focus how I want to lean into my vision for the new year. I think about what I want to say to myself at the end of the year and how I want to be throughout the year. I choose one to five words that really speak to how I want my year to feel, how I want to grow, to be, how I want to live, what I want to learn. Nouns, verbs, anything works—just words that feel good. I usually think of a few then scale it down to the one word that speaks to me. If the idea of choosing a word is new to you, it may help to look at words of the year to get an idea of what you can choose. You may want to check out this website from Goal Chaser for help in choosing a word.
Once I choose a word, I find 1-2 quotes that speak to me that include my word for the year. Write your word along with that quote in a creative way and post it where you can see it! I also get a bracelet that has my word on it. I wear that bracelet to remind me throughout the year.
Day 5: Letter to Myself
During this day, I write a letter to myself. I write as if it is the end of the new year. Here I write what happened, what I felt, how I showed up for myself and others, how I lived my word. This letter is for me, just like your letter is for you, by you. It’s a gift to myself at the end of the year. I hold onto it and I don’t read it until the end of the new year. I also take this time to read the letter I wrote myself from last year. Once you read your letter, you will understand the power in writing a letter to yourself. There are no words. It’s just that powerful.
Day 6: Vision Board Creation
Last year, I went to a Vision Board Party to learn about creating a digital vision board. I used Google Slides and Slidesgo. I enjoyed this process because you can always check in with it and alter as needed throughout the year. Plus, Slidesgo has tons of creative slides to choose from!
Day 7: Always Take Time to Rest
On the last day, rest. Take it all in. Use this day to meditate, take a walk, and just breathe. Breathe in the possibilities of the year. Breathe in the hopes and dreams. Breathe in your intention. Just take it all in.