As the year comes to an end many of us embrace our own practices and rituals, reflection and create time to rest. Typically then quickly followed by planning and goal setting the first few weeks of the year once the Holiday buzz starts to fade. I find these two weeks to be a particularly great time to reflect and plan, express gratitude and renew my resolve towards aspirations I am working towards. Over the past three years I have created a new practice for myself I would like to share, It is a combination of tools I have picked up over the years, and my top two influencers in this ritual are Kathlyn Hendricks and David Allen.
What I notice each year is that as the calendar comes to a close to turn over a new chapter, I feel an uprising energy to anticipate what is to come and also reflect on what has happened. Today I want to talk about tools to support your completion of a year, and allow for the most energy possible to come with you into the new year. I will share with you in two weeks what my rituals are around goal setting and intentions.
My first activity is to brainstorm and think of any possible items that have gone undone and make a list. I find that "energy leaks", absent mindedness or lack of focus are all a result of keeping too much in my mind and not enough on paper or in a reliable place I can come back to, to get things done. So step one, take an active inventory of all the items out there you might not have completed or are still in limbo.
After I have a good list of items that are still un done or slipped my mind, a practice I learned from David Allen, "Closing the loop" of communication. The term is somewhat self explanatory, and, It is important to get at the root at this concept which is proactively coming back to anything to "tie a bow on it" so everyone involved is on the same page. Closing the loop looks like when you say you are going to do something, and then you do it, go back to the person you told you would do the thing, and tell them what happened, close the loop. When loops are not closed, energy can get leaked out as it creates wonder or mistrust in the person on the other end. Closing the loop keeps a flow between the people you make agreements with and creates space for creativity and collaboration as well.
Once you have your list, you review it, communicate with each of the items or take action if only you are involved, that act is called "completing". You know that rush of energy that comes with crossing items off your to do list, well, this is what I am talking about, creating action around completing with all (as many as possible) agreements or things left undone that you have accumulated over the year. What this does for me is acts as wind at my back, giving me more energy and a more ready mind to go into the next year. You might say, I have actives that cary over into next year, of course, so do I, and the trick is to be conscious of that and have a plan for how those items play out. I have a tendency to have one large to do list or project list that is on going, and sometimes one of those items gets a little bit of work done on it each day for three months, and then it becomes complete. If you have items like that, I find having a deadline I am moving towards and time slotted to reach mini completions along the way. If it is an 80 slide presentation, divide it into sections of 20 slides and give yourself 2 hours a week to complete it over the course of 5-6 weeks. Those types of completion activities have really done wonders for my energy levels and I have Kathlyn Hendricks to thank for teaching me this skill.
As you spend time reflecting and realizing over the next two weeks, remember to actively evaluate your completions for the year. If nothing else do this from a place of wanting as much energy as possible to bring to your goal setting sessions in 2017.
In my next post, I will share with you my own version of how I set my goals and intentions for each year.
Thank you for reading along and please let me know if I can help you with these items, I have found that collaboration is of the highest importance to support ongoing creativity and I would enjoy collaborating with you!
Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter @LindseyRainH2O