By Julie Oshins, “Play It Forward”
In January most of us create resolutions, or at least goals for the rest of the year. A proposed future we are hoping to live into. Then when December comes around
(Where did the year GO?) We reflect on the past year and how we did with these goals. I’m a huge fan of completion, which Webster defines as the act or process of finishing something: the state of being complete or finished.
I will share with you what I do to assess the past year and get it complete, and I invite you to take on any of these exercises for your business and your life.
I use something called the ELADGRA system, from Someday is Here by Jeanette Isabella. Divide the page into 3 columns using the headings Eliminate/Add/Grateful For. Close your eyes and relax. Let your mind wander and think about what you want to eliminate, add, and are grateful for. When you are ready, write down everything you can think of in the appropriate column. Be spontaneous and don’t overthink it! When you get stuck on what to write next, it’s time to stop. Sometimes I set a timer for 5 minutes once I begin writing. I often do this exercise mid-year as well. Some items on your list may surprise you; others may be predictable (I have wanted to eliminate those same 10 pounds more than once!) You may not be able to imagine how you could add some things to your life, or where to begin to eliminate others. Don’t worry. It’s in your conscious mind now. Like goals, the items on your ELADGRA list will take varying times to realize. And you already know how I feel about gratitude if you read September’s column “ What Are You Grateful For?” Knowing what we are grateful for helps us to connect with the things in our life that make us the happiest. It’s easy to get caught in the gloom and doom, complaining about life, and overlook our sources of joy.
Additionally, I sit down with a few close friends and our calendars, and we go through each month and celebrate all we did and accomplished, reliving the best parts of our successes and achievements. Notice the events that stand out to you. The memories. The experiences. Simultaneously, I look at what I did NOT accomplish. What did I set out to achieve, that did not happen? I make a list of the “Successes”, then a list of the “Flops”. Then I look at the whole list again, and make a 3rd list . . . call this Blessings and Lessons Learned. Write down as many lessons as you can! This will be VERY useful when you go to create NEXT Year. What learning experiences are you taking with you into the New Year? Which ones are you leaving behind, buh-bye, hasta la vista baby?!
That’s it. Your past year is complete. You can move into 2016 with ease and assurance that you are taking the important lessons from the previous year.
No one likes to learn a lesson twice. By reflecting on your year in this way, you make sure to integrate the most valuable lessons moving forward. Doing these exercises helps you to not skip over the things that need to be celebrated, as well as focus on what you want to do next.
“In Life, Satisfaction is experienced when activities are brought to a state of completion. Loss of energy and loss of control are functions of incompletion. The result of completing things releases one’s ability to create.” William Arthur Ward