So Christmas day has been and gone, and New Year’s is beckoning.
At this time of the year I like to take a look back at the past year and appreciate everything that has passed.
Now, those of you who know me well know that there are two ways that I could look at the past year.
It would be very easy for me to look back and see a long list of challenges that I faced. For example, in (admittedly just over the space of a year) every single member of my close family has been in hospital for one reason or another. There have been five major surgeries and one as yet undiagnosed. I gave up my home for most of the year to look after family. I suffered a significant injury in an accident which temporarily put my marathon training on hold.
2011 has not been without it’s challenges…that’s for sure.
On the other hand, I could look at 2011 and see the following list of wonderful events:
- I started training for a marathon…something I never thought I would do.
- I became a firewalking and extreme events instructor
- I overcame my fear of needles and gave blood for the first time
- I travelled to Australia and made some incredible friends
- I celebrated my best friend getting married
- I travelled to Italy to work an amazing event with some event better people
- I launched my own company which connects me with fabulous women all over the world.
Looking at those two descriptions you wouldn’t have thought that they were the same year!!
What’s even more interesting though, is that I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason and if I look at the ‘challenges’ that I’ve faced this year there is a little more to the story.
The timing of the hospital visits of each of the members of my family couldn’t have been better. I was in a position each and every time to be able to help and support them because of the circumstances I was in personally.
Moving house to look after family reduced the worry-factor of everyone involved drastically and saved me driving across the country any time I had a spare minute to see how they were or if they needed any help.
The injury I suffered drastically changed my life. It gave me the wake up call I needed to change the direction I was going in and was a significant moment towards me starting my own company.
So even the challenges were actually working in my favour. We all know that the attitude of gratitude is important, so being able to look back on the past year in this way is really powerful.
So I would like to suggest an exercise for you to do as part of your own end of year review:
- Write two lists of all of the events that you can remember which have taken place over the past year, one positive and one looking at the challenges you’ve experienced.
- Look at the positive list and for each of the items on the list take a moment to feel gratitude for them, one at a time. Close your eyes and relive the memory, remember how you felt, what you said, what you heard..every part of it.
- Look at the challenges list and for each to the items on the list see if you can find something positive about what happened. It could be when it happened, how it happened, something that happened as a result of it, someone you met because of it…anything. See if you can find something positive with each of the things you’ve written down.
- Now take a moment to feel grateful for each of the positive things for the items on your ‘challenges’ list.
I’ve found that the new Facebook “Timeline” was a great help in reminding myself of all of the things that have happened this year (you can find out all about it here: https://www.facebook.com/about/timeline) – and it was lovely going back and seeing all of the photos, videos and statuses of 2011!
So I invite you to do your own review of 2011…and to find all the things that were working for you even when everything seemed negative or bleak…as well as celebrating and reliving all of the great times you’ve had too.
…and here’s to 2012 being even better!