At this time of year, it’s customary to look back at what we’ve done over the past 12 months. Just like athletes watch the tape of previous games to look at what they did well and where they need to improve, the highest performing leaders and teams look back so they can avoid making the same mistakes — and increase their chance of future success.
Reflecting on your year
If you’re not the naturally reflective type, here are a few ideas you can try:
Reflect on the previous year
Think about the intention (or New Year’s resolutions, if you do those) you set and reflect on why it was important to you when you originally set it. Consider what you set out to achieve and how you planned to measure whether you were successful. Did you reach your goals? What gaps exist that are still important to you?
Go through last year’s calendar
This is a nice way to refresh your memory of all the different things you did during the year. While you’re doing this, reflect on any activities that stand out to you. What feels like your biggest accomplishment? What could you have done differently?
Add a 13th month
2022 is now behind us, but what would you do if you had one more month to achieve last year’s intention? This question lets you explore what you’d still like to honor — and possibly supercharge your results. I mean, who says you can’t have a bonus month?
Update on Darcy’s 2022 Intention
At the start of 2022, I shared my annual intention to be BOLD. This was important for me because I realized I was wanting permission to play bigger in my life. I wanted to find ways to get outside my comfort zone. This intention would serve as a structure to help me dive in, when the all-too-familiar path of least resistance would allow me to sit comfortably on the sidelines playing it safe.
I love setting intentions because the focus makes decisions easier throughout the year. That was certainly the case this year.
- For example, my daughters and I casually decided it’d be fun to consider moving — after 22 years in our home. Within 48 hours of starting to look at new houses, we found one we fell in love with. I had to immediately put down a non-refundable deposit to make sure we didn’t lose out in this insane real estate market. I typically would’ve taken weeks (who am I kidding…probably months!) to extensively research and think about it. But my intention of being bold was top of mind as I rather impulsively wrote out the check. I have absolutely no regrets.
- I took the bold move of spending a ridiculous amount of money on a dating service. Suffice to say, I shelled out more money getting set up on really bad dates than I spent on my new mountain bike. But it was definitely a step outside my comfort zone. My buyer’s remorse is only mitigated by the fact that it honored my intention (though admittedly I wish I would’ve bought a new cyclocross bike instead).
- I’m taking proactive steps to get on a for-profit board, which is something I never would’ve had the courage to do in the past.
- I invested boldly in my continued professional growth, hiring a new business coach and a new speech coach, joining two new mastermind groups, signing up for a year-long program for entrepreneurs called Strategic Coach, and joining a professional association for training companies, ISA. Um, yeah…maybe I went a little overboard on this one, seeing that I’m already an active member of the International Coach Federation and the National Speakers Association. Bold? Check.
I also wanted to be bold in my company:
- We’ve been researching and developing two new products for years: the Thoughtfully Fit Gym and the Intentional Team Player. Being bold helped us decide: Yes — Let’s launch them this year!
- I took risks in expanding our team. Some worked out, while others didn’t. But those risks were necessary and beneficial as we build the business. And I have a kick-ass team now!
- I worked extensively on my keynote throughout the year taking a bold approach to completely redesign it to be more vulnerable. While it was an intense process, it’s leading to powerful results.
- And even though it wasn’t part of my goal when I set this intention, I found myself being bold in my work with clients. As a coach, part of my job is to hold up a mirror and reflect back what I’m seeing with a team or a leader. Any coach will tell you this can be risky because if you’re radically honest, the client might have a negative reaction and choose to stop working with you. But I found taking those risks led to my clients to have their biggest breakthroughs!
If I had a bonus month, I’d continue to look for more opportunities to be adventurous. Or maybe I’d finally organize that local Triathlon Club for Singles that I wish somebody would create!
Team intention updates
My team also shared their intentions for the year. How did they get on? Keep reading to find out.
Sharon Barbour – Original intention: “Honesty”
I want to celebrate that I chose to speak up a few times in coaching sessions where the client said something and there was an edge or an energy shift that signaled embarrassment or shame. I didn’t even know what the “truth to tell” was, but I went with curiosity and courage. I paused instead of letting it pass, which would’ve been more comfortable.
Kara Barnes – Original intention: “Solitude”
I made significant improvements regarding time management. I’m still working to bring more Stillness into my days and use the groundedness I gain to grow my container for the fullness of life. I’m also shifting my internal narrative of overwhelm and busyness from “We have to have a conversation about logistics” to “Let’s go to a coffee shop to plan our upcoming adventures!”
Nancy Clark – Original intention: “Adventure”
I went to back-country Patagonia in the midst of complex logistics and changing pandemic travel restrictions, and reignited my love of sea kayaking. The bigger adventure challenge has been in the personal realm. I took an active role in seeking alignment with my 7 siblings to persuade our aging parent to willingly accept a move into assisted living.
Jill Mueller – Original intention: “Say it”
I find myself at the end of the year recognizing that I have things to celebrate while I also wish I’d made more progress. In both personal and professional settings, I am speaking up. I’m not holding back as much as I did in the past. However, I still find I doubt myself sometimes.
Sydney Murphy – Original intention: “Discover”
It was a much bigger, longer, and harder journey than I thought. There was a lot of taking one step forward and two steps back. I tried to rush the process and eventually figured out it’s a process that can’t be rushed. I’m proud of myself for not giving up!
Geoff Walters – Original intention: “Learning new skills”
I only learned 3 of the 12 skills I had originally highlighted. My year went in a completely different direction than what I was expecting: I moved to a new country, broke up with my long-term girlfriend and closed a side-business I’d been working on for over two years. But no regrets – I’ve learned tons about myself this year.
Over to you
Now it’s your turn! As you reflect on your 2022, I invite you to try the following Thoughtfully Fit core workout:
Pause: Take time out of your day to reflect on your year.
Think: How did you do with your intention for last year? What do you want to celebrate? What could’ve been better?
Act: Celebrate all that you’ve done in 2022!
Here’s to a new year of getting Thoughtfully Fit! Stay tuned to an upcoming article where I’ll share my intention for 2023. I’m over-the-top excited about it!