I know everyone will be busy in the run-up to Christmas, but that space between Christmas and the end of the year can be a great time to take a step back and reflect on the ups and downs of the past year, see what lessons there are to be learned, and to refocus and make some plans for 2010.
For those who really want to get their teeth into this, I recommend Jinny Ditzler's book Your Best Year Yet, which takes you through the process using ten specific steps. Otherwise, here are a few steps to get you started…
First, take a look at 2009 and make an extensive list of all you've achieved during the year. Include absolutely everything, big or small. You'll find this immensely validating and if you do nothing else at the end of the year I strongly recommend that you do this. You'll be surprised at the number of things you have achieved and how good it feels to acknowledge them.
Secondly, consider anything that didn't go as well as you'd hoped – or things that you'd intended to do but didn't. What can you learn from this? Can you take this awareness forward into 2010 to ensure that you don't make the same mistakes again?
Thirdly, consider what you would like your focus to be in the coming year. What will your priorities be? What's really important to you? What successes do you want to build on? Are there things in your life that you'd like to drop altogether? Is it time to make some radical changes?
Having done that, come up with a list of your Top Ten Goals for 2010. Ditzler suggests that when pondering these goals it can help to consider all the different roles you play in your life (partner, sibling, parent, employee, employer, community member, sports team member, volunteer etc) and link your goals to these roles. (Don't forget to include goals that relate to your role as "yourself" as well …) This helps to make sure you get a good balance between work and rest.
I've been thinking about this a lot and, having had the sense that 2009 has been far too hectic, with too many plates spinning and not enough 'down time', I have determined that 2010 is going to be all about simplicity. Letting go of all the stuff that isn't important, productive or that doesn't make me happy. That will be my focus. What will yours be?
Whatever you decide, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.
See you in 2010!