There are four times of year when I might think about the old and the new. New Year, my birthday, April (spring and a new tax year). And September which for many years was the start of a new school or university year. They can all be good times of year to think about the previous year and the year to come. Who I am and what I want.
About three years ago, I discovered a reviewing exercise . I had left my corporate ‘career track job’ two years before, I had spent time travelling the world and I was starting to get impatient about the next step. The process helped me to take a step back. I realised how much in my life I loved. I gave myself permission to be patient with myself and to move on slowly.
This year doing the exercise I notice that some of the things I listed as ‘would likes’ in 2004 I now have. Some of the ‘I will’ intentions I have achieved. My advice to myself I have changed. I am now urging myself to be courageous and take risks. And I still love the smell of vanilla. I still hate injustice and seeing people stuck.
I would recommend making an annual ritual at one of the ‘new’ times of year to take time to review. Take some time alone to reflect with a glass of wine. There is something powerful about just writing down intentions. I’m not sure how, but often the writing down seems to mean things happen. I am learning at the moment that it’s not all about working hard. Sometimes change can be almost effortless!
The following exercise comes in two parts and I’ll post the second part in about six months time. It was compiled by Cheryl Richardson, an American life coach and it’s her copyright. If you would prefer a text version, email me at rosalyn[add the at symbol] rosalynclare-coaching.co.uk and I’ll send you a document.
ACTION CHALLENGE: This is part one. Complete these questions somewhere you will easily retrieve. Find a notebook or save this as a text document in a new folder on your PC. I have a beautiful notebook covered in sari fabric to keep precious these reflections. Take all the time you need, if necessary completing the exercise over more than one day.
- Make six lists and head them as follows below. Write at least 10 items for each list:
I WILL NOT
I WOULD LIKE
- What advice would I give myself at this time in my life? Take some time to think this through.
- Now 5 questions that someone interviewing you might ask:
- What 3 choices have brought me to this point in my life?
- Looking back, what 3 things do I wish I had tried?
- What object do I choose that symbolically represents my future?
- What object do I choose that symbolically represents my past?
- What tasks or assignments have I been given in my life so far
- What 3 INTERNAL changes do I need to make to live a more meaningful life?
- What 3 EXTERNAL changes do I need to make to live a more meaningful life?
- What 3 positive qualities am I proud of possessing?
- What 3 qualities would I like to develop?
- If I could try 5 new jobs over the next year, what would they be?
Look out for part two in 2008 when you will look back at your answers to part one and reflect further.